The Thing with Feathers
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The Thing with Feathers

Blink / 2017 / Hardcover

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Product Description

In The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle, Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she's homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she's probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can't swim. Then Emilie's mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj's to halls full of strangers.

To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn't told anyone about her epilepsy. Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she'll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet's advice and "dwell in possibility." Recommended for ages 13 years and older.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Blink
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 0310758513
ISBN-13: 9780310758518
Ages: 13-16

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Publisher's Description

Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and "dwell in possibility."

From Golden Heart award-winning author McCall Hoyle comes The Thing with Feathers, a story of overcoming fears, forging new friendships, and finding a first love, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Robyn Schneider, and Sharon M. Draper.

The Thing with Feathers features a stunning cover with embossing.

Author Bio

McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day. Learn more at mcallhoyle.com.

 

Editorial Reviews

It’s become very hit and miss when it comes to my liking of contemporary novels. I have to say “The Thing with Feathers” was a successful hit out of the park! It started off so funny and held that until the very last chapters. This book will rip your heart out just to put it back in and caress it with love. I am so over joyed I had the opportunity to read this wonderful story! “The Thing with Feathers” features Emilie. She’s hidden away from the world ever since her dad died of cancer. She has also been diagnosed with epilepsy and she doesn't leave her room. She is homeschooled and pretty much has drawn away from the world. I felt very sad for her because she felt like she couldn't do anything because of her illness. An illness that she has no control over. Emilie grew so much in this book. I was surprised to love the one part where she attempts suicided and then decides she wants to live. As a survivor of suicide, that really touched my heart. This story is so empowering. It teaches that you shouldn't give up. You shouldn't let illnesses or anything take over your life and stop you from doing what you want to do. There is always hope! Book in a Pinch: Girl with epilepsy learns that she doesn't have to hide away from the world. Go Into This One Knowing: It involves themes of cancer, epilepsy, suicide (slight), domestic abuse (slight) and romance
A refreshing, quality debut--meaningfully woven and beautifully engaging, from the first page to the last. Told in a remarkably unobtrusive first-person present-tense format, THE THING WITH FEATHERS is a coming-of-age story centered around new beginnings, old grief, and coming to terms with an 'invisible' disability. I liked the subject matter and voice in the blurb enough to give this a go, but it was the first line that truly snared me: 'My mother lost her mind today, and I'm going to prison.' A terrific introduction to the main character, Emilie, in a single (and perplexingly snarky) sentence. From there the author doesn't just grab initial attention, she holds onto it with crisp writing, insightful emotional depth, and a relatably smart, sarcastic heroine. Kudos to the author on such solid characterization of a service animal. Hitch (Emilie's seizure-sensing golden retriever) feels immediately believable, and his functionality is explained and expanded on at natural intervals. What's more, the additional significance and personality Emilie ascribes to his actions and facial expressions often tells readers as much (if not more) about her own mindset as it does about the dog himself. I'd never before heard the theory that Emily Dickinson may have been Epileptic--but it would certainly explain both her reclusive nature (especially during an era in which the condition was misunderstood and stigmatized) and her broodingly hopeful compositions. That tie-in was a welcome organic thread, offering opportunity for both educational points and outside literary input; without beating readers over the head with it. There isn't anything surprising about the plot itself--no twists or anything you won't see coming from early on. The primary antagonist (outside of Epilepsy itself) struck this reader as almost disappointingly toothless. But the story's execution is charming and the ending pulls everything together with a satisfying and ultimately hopeful symmetry.
Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she's homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she's probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can't swim. Then Emilie's mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj's to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn't told anyone about her epilepsy. Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she'll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet's advice and 'dwell in possibility'. 'The Thing with Feathers' is a compelling story of overcoming fears, forging new friendships, and finding a first love. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists, 'The Thing with Feathers' will prove to be an ideal and enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections.

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  1. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An enthralling story of recovering from loss and finding the courage to accept new challenges
    October 24, 2017
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    An enthralling story of recovering from loss and finding the courage to accept new challenges. And Emilie doesn't always do it gracefully but there is such exhilarating hope in her story.

    I can totally relate to Emilie because I struggle with change too and have had periods in my life where I've been sure that I'm the only one with problems -- that everyone else is leading a perfect life. I loved being a part of Emilie's awakening -- not only in coming to grips with who she is and how she can relate with the larger world, but in her growing awareness of the people in that world. Of their individual struggles and challenges.

    Emilie has a great 'voice', punctuated with humour and drama and plenty of teenage angst. The opening line sets the stage perfectly: "My mother lost her mind today, and I'm going to prison." That prison is high school and Emilie is suddenly thrust into a world she has been hiding from for years. I lived every awkward, terrifying, exciting and ultimately triumphant moment right along with her. Budding friendships, first love and the joy of finding a place where you can grow and thrive and make a difference -- all the stuff that makes for a fascinating story. Not to mention my hero, Hitch, seizure dog extraordinaire who has never met a stranger. An inspiring debut novel that will delight YA and older readers alike.

    My thanks to the author for gifting me with a copy of this book.
  2. Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Refreshing, Clean YA
    September 20, 2017
    Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When Emilie Days mother forces her to attend high school after years of homeschooling, shes convinced her life is over. She was perfectly content with hanging out in her PJs with her service dog as her friend, occasionally hanging out with the little girl next door.

    The last thing she wants to do is hang out with a bunch of teenagers who view her as a freak because of her epilepsy. What if she has a seizure and embarrasses herself?

    Yet, despite her best efforts, a couple students manage to penetrate the wall Emilie builds around herself.

    This book was a delightful surprise for me. I loved Emilies sarcastic edge to the thoughts and comments she (mostly) keeps to herself. Shes struggling with the loss of her father, her illness, and being forced into a world she wants no part of. When she opens herself up just a little, there is the smallest light in her dreary life and you want it to grow.

    Yes, McCall Hoyle uses some familiar high school clichsEmilie even notes them through movie referencesbut those are quickly dispelled as Emilie gets to know her fellow classmates better.

    This book is about living, about friendships, first loves, and family. Its about letting go of anger and fear and believing theres more to life and reaching for it. A wonderful and uplifting debut novel for readers looking for clean YA fiction.

    ***I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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