Feral Youth - Edited by Shaun David Hutchinson

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. 

Shaun David Hutchinson - The main narrative
Suzanne Young - A Violation of Rule 16
Marieke Nijkamp - The Butterfly EffectThe Chaos Effect
Robin Talley - Look Down
Stephanie Kuehn - A Cautionary Tale
E. C. Myers - Big Brother Part 1 & 2
Tim Floreen - A Ruthless Dame
Alaya Dawn Johnson - The Subjunctive
Justina Ireland - Jackie's Story
Brandy Colbert - Self-Portrait

I'm a bit of a Chaucer fan (okay, maybe more than a little bit) and when I saw that this collection was inspired by the Canterbury Tales in terms of style, I got super excited! While the setup is quite different, the idea of the tales each being told toward a singular purpose (self-discovery and revelation) is quite captivating. I had no expectations going into this book, so I wasn't entirely certain what the encapsulating narrative would be like or how all the stories would work together. I think it's quite a wonderful way to bring together such distinct voices, though, having each character tell a story that is creepy and yet also reveals truths about the storytellers even as the reader and other characters question the truth of the stories themselves. Even if a reader isn't a fan of every story's style, there will be more than enough material for them to find inspiration and enjoyment!



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