Reviews for Feathered


Booklist Reviews 2008 July #1
Terrible things can happen to high-school girls on spring break in Canc├║n. Vacationing Illinois teens Michelle and Anne know that; it's just one of many warnings they've heard over the years from their mothers. Michelle becomes more apprehensive after Anne becomes mesmerized by Ander, an older man who takes them to ChichÚn Itz├í and talks of Quetzalcoatl and blood sacrifice. But it is the familiar-seeming high-school boys they should have feared. Told in alternating chapters by Michelle in the third-person present tense and Anne in first-person past, this eerie story of attempted date rape and Anne's absorption into the Mayan world will enthrall teen readers who have a taste for magical realism. The quiet, sinister beauty of the jungle contrasts with the frenzy of American teenagers determined to have fun; both are at the same time seductive and repulsive. From the opening sacrificial encounter to the very end, Kasischke maintains both mystery and suspense. A satisfying treatment of a familiar topic in a fresh and intriguing setting. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
High school seniors Anne and Michelle, on spring break in Mexico with their friend Terri, get more than they bargained for after accepting a ride from a stranger. Michelle goes missing, and Anne is left to deal with her guilt and grief. Michelle's interest in Mayan temples, history, and lore infuses this otherwise tepid thriller with some mystical imagery. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 March #1
A spring break in Cancun goes horribly wrong. Anne and Michelle flee the teen binge scene and head into the jungle to explore Mayan ruins with a male stranger as their guide. Michelle's worries evaporate as she walks the ancient, sacrificial grounds, entranced by images of the god Quetzalcoatl (the Plumed Serpent), eviscerated hearts and dying virgins. The following morning, Michelle is missing and Anne stumbles out of the jungle, bloody and alone. Kasischke spreads her poetic wings, using lyrical language and lucid imagery to create a transcendent novel. Readers will be enchanted by remarkable poetic conceits and narrative devices. Feathers, scales, blues and greens appear as talismans, signaling readers to look for meaning in the novel's periphery. Bright flashes of horror, exaltation and folklore draw teens into the thick Mexican jungle, and into Anne and Michelle's story. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Gr 9 Up-- Three friends take a trip to Cancun for spring break in this novel about the dangers of trusting strangers. Told in the alternating voices of Michelle, the victim of assault and abduction, and her friend Anne, the story reads with the poetic lyricism of Francesca Lia Block and the thrills of teen-scream novels such as Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer (S & S, 1998). When Michelle, Anne, and Terri land at the Hotel del Sol, they have different ideas of what they want from their vacation. Terri, a gorgeous blonde, disappears early in the novel to enjoy the benefits of the sun, sand, and drinking. Meanwhile, Michelle longs to take in Mexico's ancient temples and cultural history. Anne decides to follow her to the Mayan ruins. While there, the girls break one of the major rules their parents warned them about: don't take rides from strangers. The boys seemed like normal, American Midwestern teenagers but, when they drug Michelle's water, Anne quickly realizes that they are in a life-threatening situation. The story builds slowly, but readers who continue through to the end will find that the pace increases. An excellent choice for fans of the author's Boy Heaven (HarperCollins, 2006) and other teen thrillers.--Marie C. Hansen, New York Public Library

[Page 144]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2008 October
In this haunting page turner, a spring break in Cancún, Mexico, becomes a nightmare of brutality, rape, and desertion. High school seniors Terri, Michelle, and Anne anticipate a fun-filled, coming-of-age adventure. The more streetwise Terri opts for booze, boys, and parties at the hotel, while naïve Anne and Michelle accept an invitation to tour the Mayan ruins from Ander, a middle-aged stranger. Michelle sees him as the father she never knew. Anne distrusts him and cuts their tour short by accepting a car ride for her and Michelle from "regular" suburban boys. The boys drug and rape Michelle and then leave her naked in the jungle. Anne escapes. Ten months later, with Ander's direction, searchers find Michelle living with natives. Trauma has taken her memory and voice, but a guilt-ridden Anne finally finds a way to break through the silence The two girls' often lyrical accounts build a novel as tough and frightening as Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999/VOYA December 1999). A feather motif links the horrific possibilities of modern coming-of-age partying to the ancient Mayan myths that lured virgins, both eager and drugged, to kill themselves for Quetzalcoatl. The parents agreeing to send their daughters into a "party" situation without knowledge of a foreign country's language or the support of reliable guides raises the question, "Has human judgment evolved with technology?" With its reflections of current headlines, this novel, although probably having more appeal for girls, is an important read for teens and their parents to share.-Lucy Schall PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-081318-5. 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.

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