Blog Tour: The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle (Review!!)

Today, I'm beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for McCall Holye's The Thing with Feathers! 

The Thing with Feathers 

by McCall Hoyle 

Publication date: September 5, 2017 
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary 

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 McCall 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.


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 

Source: eARC provided by publicist and publisher for blog tour

Buy Links: 

About the Author: 

McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a middle school language arts 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.


  1. I love the colors on the cover, so pretty! I love that the author really captures the setting well. I think the MC might bother me, too, though!

  2. It sounds like a really good coming of age story, and the setting sounds wonderful. I'm glad that you enjoy it. Great review.

  3. I love that the character grows in the story and that there is depth to her. Looking forward reading this book.

  4. Thank you for the review, Lauren! It was a joy to work with you!


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