Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Thing with Feathers

The Thing with Feathers

The Thing with Feathers is by debut author 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.” 

The Breakdown:
1.  Hoyle's debut book deals with being different, and wanting to fit in, which is a problem that faces many people.  Emilie different is she has epilepsy, and starting at a new school she does not want to be known as the seizure girl.  Hoyle, also, deals with grief and learning to move on and opening up and face new things. 

2. Emilie is an extreme introvert.  She is afraid of having a seizure in front of others, that along with the loss of her father from cancer puts her in a bit of a tail spin.   She definitely pulls off moody teenager very well at times.  I enjoyed seeing Emilie grow as a person.  She slowly learns to make friends, sees that not everyone is what they seem, and try new things.   I liked that by the end, she does not let her epilepsy define her as a person.

3.  I enjoyed both the characters of Chatham and Ayla.  Both were important to Emilie is her journey of self discovery.  Ayla shows that she can be accepted for who she is. That friendship is an important part of life.  Chatham teaches that is good to try new things and the importance of being honest with each other.

4. Overall, I enjoyed the story and characters, but I felt that the big epilepsy reveal Emilie's classmates was predictable.  My other complaint is that Cindy's, the neighbor girl, story did not really do much for the story.  It felt like it just did not belong.

To Read or Not to Read:

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