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Feathered [Library Binding]

Laura Kasischke
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1 2008

Afterward, Terri will tell everyone that, from the beginning, she knew something terrible was going to happen on spring break.

Something bad was going to happen.

She knew.

It was supposed to be the perfect vacation: hot guys, impeccable tans, and no parents. But for two high school seniors, an innocent car ride will drive them into the heart of their worst nightmare.

Feathered is a provocative and eerie tale that flies readers from safe, predictable suburbia to the sun-kissed beaches of Cancún, Mexico, and into mysterious Mayan ruins, where ancient myths flirt dangerously with present realities.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description


“Kasischke spreads her poetic wings, using lyrical language and lucid imagery to create a transcendent novel. Readers will be enchanted. ” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Laura Kasischke teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan. A winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, she has published seven collections of poetry and nine novels, two of which have been made into films, including The Life Before Her Eyes. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan, with her husband and son.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Feb. 25 2011
Two words: Spring Break.

Anne, Michelle, and Terri are heading to Cancun for their first real adventure. It's going to be great - beaches, blue water, drinks galore, and cute boys! But they also want to take in some of the history that Cancun has to offer.

It just so happens that they met a guy at the bar that is going to the Chechen Itza and offers to give them a ride. "Don't take rides from strangers!" is screaming in the back of the girls' minds, but somehow the man seems trustworthy enough that they justify taking his offer.

Michelle is captivated by the ruins and she also seems to be captivated with Anders. This freaks Anne out and she talks Michelle into taking a ride home with some guys she met from the hotel. Hopefully, they made the right decision.

FEATHERED was unlike anything I've ever read. It didn't reach out and grab me, but there was something that made me want to keep reading. The whole time I was thinking about the Natalee Holloway case and thinking, "Please don't let something like that happen!"

Kasischke easily blended folklore with modern day. The descriptions of the ruins are captivating! The chapters alternate between Anne and Michelle, allowing a brief look into the minds of the girls. It truly makes you realize things that we take for granted and that you can't always trust the familiar.

If you are looking for a quick read full of mystery and suspense, this might be right up your alley.

Reviewed by: The Story Siren
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feathered is a Must-Read April 8 2008
By Little Willow - Published on Amazon.com
Laura Kasischke's novel Feathered tells the story of two best friends who travel to Cancun for Spring Break. After an auspicious start, the unexpected happens, and their dream vacation turns into a nightmare which they can't simply escape by waking - which, perhaps, they cannot escape at all.

This story wonderfully captures that feeling of freedom one gets while far from home, when it's possible (easier?) to be uncharacteristically impulsive. Fueled by the toxic intensity of perfect strangers, fast friends, and foreign cultures, the girls find themselves in an extremely dangerous situation, and, in the blink of an eye, everything changes.

Every high school student who is planning a big-deal trip for Spring Break (or for any break) needs to read this book - and so do their parents, teachers, and chaperones. Lest you think Feathered a run-of-the-mill cautionary tale, it's not. Truly, this book does not promote anxiety or xenophobia, but simple, basic caution.

Feathered is told in alternating points of view, with Anne telling her story in 1st person past tense in one chapter, then Michelle's story is described 3rd person present tense the next. Each voice is very distinct. Kasischke's lyrical writing shines, especially in Michelle's chapters. This is Kasischke's second novel for young adults, following 2006's Boy Heaven. Though the plots of the two books are vastly different, both offers twists, turns, and tension from start to finish, and both get my recommendation.

Feathered is on my list of Best Books of 2008.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected May 23 2008
By Sarah Miller - Published on Amazon.com
If I told you this is a book about a spring break trip to Cancun, you wouldn't expect it to be full of delicious writing, would you? C'mon, 'fess up. You're thinking tequila, tanning oil, and wet t-shirts, right? You probably wouldn't expect it to spiral into an edge-of-your-seat page-turner, either.

Feathered is and does.

The setup is simple: three friends fly to Cancun, eager for fun, sun, and a taste of freedom. Two of them tell the story in alternating chapters. I thought I knew right at the outset what was going to happen, who would get in over her head, where disaster would strike.

I was wrong. The shifting perspectives, styles, and tenses all conspired to keep me from figuring out who really had a handle on what was going on. Suspense abounds, and it's almost impossible to untangle the elements of danger, safety, and trust before things spin out of control.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Feathered" is a haunting book... May 16 2008
By L. C. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
...about making the wrong choice even when all evidence and emotion point to it being the right one. Michelle and Anne know better than to accept a personal tour of Mayan ruins from a stranger old enough to be their father, but on their spring break in beautiful Cancun it seems nothing can be truly dangerous. The novel captures perfectly the illusion of invincibility travel to a foreign country can create; the risks that don't seem risky when one is away from home. "Feathered" is also a smart examination of how trust is formed from instinct, and how dangerous it can be both to trust and question that instinct.

Since the novel is told from each girls' point of view in alternating chapters, the reader doesn't know whose instincts to trust. Is Ander, the older man, really as creepy as Anne thinks he is, or is he simply treating them like surrogate daughters, as Michelle wants to believe? Are those boys Anne trusts to give them a lift back to their hotel really safe just because they are sunburnt Midwestern boys from a familiar-sounding Illinois town? Each girl has seemingly unerring emotional, instinctual, and logical reasons for placing their trust where they choose. The novel's suspense is so well crafted the reader absolutely cannot guess which choice is the wrong one; which one will put them in danger.

The descriptions of Michelle's and Ander's exploration of the Mayan ruins are both beautiful and chilling. The depiction of Anne's long night alone on the road after tragedy unfolds is one of the scariest, most wrenching descriptions I've read in a while. One of the things I liked about this novel is that although the girls are victimized they are not portrayed as victims. Each girl has her own vulnerabilities that lead her to make the wrong choice, but they are strong when faced with the dangerous consequences of their choice, and fight to protect each other. Teenage readers of this book will love the main characters and the challenging twists and turns in the plot.

I am not a young adult reader. I read "Feathered" because I have enjoyed Kasischke's other novels and find her storytelling poetic and compelling. I have always enjoyed Kasischke's themes concerning the underlying danger of beauty, and the harm that inevitably comes when we, innocently or not, make the wrong choices. But I am especially drawn to "Feathered", particularly the redemption parable that plays out in the last part of the novel. Michelle's literal journey through the jungle of trauma's aftermath, and the healing she finally finds in the end, were unexpectedly thought-provoking and inspirational to me.

"Feathered" is a wonderful book, as suspenseful and meaningful for the adult reader as the young adult one. I have given my copy to my teenage stepdaughter for her to read on summer break!
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as her other books, didn't come together at the end May 13 2014
By donna cavaliere - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I liked Mind of Winter by this author and decided to try one of her other books. I still don't really understand it. Maybe I missed something important along the way but I'm just not sure what happened at the end. And the ending was the best part of the last book!

I'll probably still try out a few more books by this author, I do like the way she writes. This one was just a little too esoteric and confusing.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book very much Sept. 6 2012
By schnoodle - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I really like this author. I guess the only part I would like done better is a more specific ending. But that is how it goes in stories I suppose. :)
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