The Thing with Feathers

The Thing with Feathers

by McCall Hoyle


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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 Mc Call 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310758419
Publisher: Blink
Publication date: 08/21/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 165,331
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Mc Call 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

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The Thing with Feathers 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great coming to age book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous debut!
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
Because she could have a seizure at any moment, Emilie Day has been very careful to avoid anything that might be dangerous, including high school. But then her carefully constructed world comes to an end: her mom and her psychiatrist insist that Emilie stops homeschooling to enter high school so that she can build a better social life. Emilie is sure it will be a disaster, but she has no choice but to go along with their plan. McCall Hoyle's book, The Thing with Feathers, is the story of a teenage girl dealing with big problems, like her seizures, grief over her dad's death years ago, and a little bit of depression. She thought she was doing fine with it, too, when she was forced into public school. But hidden problems have a way of coming out in times of stress, and it helps Emilie to face them. I really enjoyed watching her grow in that way. This book was cute and interesting. Aside from focusing on Emilie's internal and bodily challenges, it also told about her friendships and budding romance. The book in general was also kind of funny for me to read since it was about a person with the same name as me and a similar personality. It made me relate to her all the more, even though I don't have epilepsy. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to readers of YA contemporary. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for sharing them.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
I've been dying to read McCall Hoyle's The Thing with Feathers ever since I first heard about it. I love stories focusing on "new" everything - new friendships, new love, new school, etc. Plus the cover is just stunning - I love the simplicity of the multi-color feather. The Result? Heartwarming, emotional, and romantic, The Thing with Feathers is a beautifully told coming-of-age, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy this one there was one aspect holding me back from outright loving it: the main character. One of my favorite parts of The Thing with Feathers was the setting. The Outer Banks is such a lovely area to begin with, and with McCall Hoyle's stunning descriptions as well as overall world building, it was even better. Additionally, I like how she included the rising tensions between the "new" houses and the "old" houses. I feel like that's something often seen in places like this, and it was interesting to see Emilie and her family's feelings on it. At its heart, The Thing with Feathers is a coming-of-age. Over the course of the story, Emilie starts at a new school and makes a new life for herself. McCall Hoyle did a great job of developing Emilie's school life. It was always fun and interesting to see her make friends, start things with a potential love interest, and overall just the learn the new ways of a new school. Additionally, I thought McCall Hoyle did a great job of bringing Emilie's epilepsy into the story. It wasn't always sunshine and rainbows but it also wasn't always stormy clouds and rain; instead, McCall Hoyle presents the best and worst parts of it, and more importantly, learning to live with it, no matter how much one wishes for it too fade. I don't want to spoil anything; however, that moment at the end where Emilie gives her speech? I was so incredibly proud, and my smile was huge. Last but not least, Emilie. In my opinion, Emilie was a complicated character. On one side, I really liked her. She was loving dog mom, a great friend to her next door neighbor, and wickedly smart and talented, especially when it came to English. I especially loved her relationship with her mom. It was adorable and sweet, which made my heart break all the more when they got into spats. On the other side, some of her decisions and choices left me wanting to scream. For the majority of the book, Emilie makes many of her own problems by refusing to communicate and open up to people. I understood that it was hard to tell people about her epilepsy, but goodness, this girl was her own worst enemy at times. By the end, I did like where she ended up, and I did appreciate her overall transition...there were just some difficult moments there. Combining a beautiful setting, an adorable dog, and numerous firsts, The Thing with Feathers is well worth a read, especially for those of you like me who enjoy anything Dessen-esque. Grade: B
ReaderMax More than 1 year ago
The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle - A FANTASTIC READ--not just for YA, romance, teachers, but for all! I do think all high school students should read this and it belongs on the school library. I loved the opening and enjoyed it from that point on. I had forgotten how hard and scary high school could be, but Ms Hoyle leads us right through it all and to Emilie's final decision. . A great read. Maxine Davis
JCW77 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that shows the strength and struggle of a girl with epilepsy. The author paints such a vivid and heartfelt voice that you are immediately sucked into her life and will fall in love with. 
DStrieff More than 1 year ago
Many authors try, but few succeed in creating that exquisite balance of humor and heart I so adore. Hoyle manages this feat with effortless grace. Which is to say that I LOVED this book from the first page to the last. In fact, I’m still smiling over it. :) Emilie Day is exactly the kind of protagonist I can get behind—a little sarcastic, a little sweet, and a lot broken. She’s oblivious to her hidden strength, so following Emilie’s journey to self-discovery made my heart absolutely soar! The characters are wonderfully drawn and multifaceted. You’ll want to squeeze them all in a giant group hug by the end! And the writing, well, all those gorgeous descriptions of North Carolina’s Outer Banks has me wanting to hop a flight today! So if you enjoy stories about getting lost and getting found. Friendships. The fragility of hope and the strength of human spirit. And love, both familial and sweetly romantic . . . Don't miss this gem of a debut!