Genres: Anthology, Retelling, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 5, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrator: Candace Thaxton, Jacques Roy
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Source: Audiobook Received for Review
At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and they were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks learning to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.
Inspired by The Canterbury Tales, Feral Youth features characters, each complex and damaged in their own ways, who are enticed to tell a story (or two) with the promise of a cash prize. The stories range from noir-inspired revenge tales to mythological stories of fierce heroines and angry gods. And while few of the stories are claimed to be based in truth, they ultimately reveal more about the teller than the truth ever could.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Our parents and teachers, and all the other adults in our lives might have seen us as animals, as feral youth determined to destroy our lives and the lives of those around us. But we weren’t, we were people, and we would not be ignored anymore.”
Feral Youth is the first audiobook I’ve listened to. Going into it I didn’t know what to expect, but was excited because of my initial interest in the book. Overall I really enjoyed the story and the experience of listening to the story.
This book follows a group of ten delinquents at a camp for troubled teens. The purpose of the camp is to help teens learn how to work together. To test this, the adolescents are dropped off in the middle of the woods and have three days to get back to camp. At the start of the book none of the kids are friends, so the trek is silent and no one is working together. One of the teens tries to break the silence by challenging everyone to tell the best story. It takes a while for anyone to start talking, but soon they’re all telling ghost stories, folktales, fan fiction, and even science fiction stories.
Even though the premise is about the teens surviving in the woods and getting back to camp, the focus is the stories the adolescents are telling. I really enjoyed listening to the character’s stories, but I wish there was more about the actual hiking experience.
“The truth doesn’t exist in our words, but in the spaces between them. You can spend a lifetime exploring the vastness between a person’s words and still never really know them. That’s the only thing that’s really true as far as I can tell.”
Since this is an anthology by many authors, there were definitely some stories I liked more than others. Overall, my favorites were A Ruthless Dame, Jacki’s Story, and Violation of Rule 16. I especially loved Violation of Rule 16 because it’s about how high school dress codes are specifically targeted towards females, and what one girl did to fight against it. Even though there were stories I didn’t like as much, I still enjoyed them, and flew through the audiobook.
The audiobook was narrated by Candace Thaxton and Jacques Roy. I really enjoyed the male narrator and had no problem keeping up with what was happening, but when the female narrator was talking I couldn’t pay as much attention because I didn’t like the cadence she spoke with. Also in the short story The Subjunctive, I couldn’t pay attention to what was happening because all I could think about was the bad accent the narrator was using.
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to listen to an audiobook! In the past I had been wary because I didn’t think I would enjoy the story as much if I listened rather than read it. But I listened to this while driving, cooking, cleaning, basically during all the times I want to read but can’t. I’m so excited I finally gave audiobooks a shot, and can’t wait to listen to more!
“It didn’t matter whether we’d stay bound to one another, only that we’d learned to tie the knot at all. And it gained the strength to show the world that we are not animals, we are not the feral youth they believe us to be. We are people, we are real, and we will not be ignored”
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