Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Release date: October 21st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 220
Source: Edelweiss

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.



Beware the Wild is... Well, it's different. A standalone YA paranormal - I haven't read many of those. And the premise is easy to understand, but I like having more detail in things like this, which I didn't get in this book. But I did enjoy the overall story, as well as the whole mystery of the swamp and the disappearances.

After a fight with her brother, Sterling realized he's run off into the swamp, the one place no one should ever go. And after a while, she discovers that no one even remembers him. A girl climbs out of the swamp in his place, and she takes over his life. Suddenly Sterling's always had an older sister, not a brother. Everyone in town has replaced Phin with Lenora May, and Sterling doesn't know what to do. When she finds out that Heath, a boy she used to know, also has a connection to the swamp (which is, he's also lost someone in there), she's determined to team up and find their missing loved ones.

Though we don't get to see too much of this, I enjoyed Sterling's relationship with her brother. We see it mostly through her flashbacks. The two of them are really close, and they have fun goofing off together. Phin is also really protective of his sister, but not in an overbearing way. I wish we'd got to see more of him in the book!

I thought it was pretty clichéd that the one person who can empathize with Sterling is a gorgeous broody guy who has a sort of history with her. But whatever, I really liked Heath. He has his own secrets, his own reasons for being the way he is. Mostly it's because he lost his best friend to the swamp, and Sterling is the only one who remembers after he reminds her. Don't worry, there's a reason why the two of them remember while no one else does!

We get to find out more about what's really in the swamp, and there's a nice little folk tale about the way it began. In fact, you can sort of relate this book to that folk tale as well. There's a lot of danger in there, creatures that shouldn't exist and a kind of magic called the Shine. Sterling and Heath need to know how it all works in order to get back whoever they lost.

Some things are a little bewildering if you think about it, like how everyone in the town knows the swamp exists and there's something wrong with it, but no one ever does anything. And also the fact that people are disappearing but life goes on normally. I mean, it's a small town, someone's got to notice something, right?

The romance is sweet, and I liked the way Sterling and Heath kept each other on track, and made each other remember who they lost. There isn't much of it on account of the danger surrounding them, but despite everything they had some cute moments together. I haven't said much about the characters because they didn't really stand out to me, and were in fact a little forgettable. Even Heath, although I really liked him. So bottom line, this was an enjoyable read, but not exceptional. I would try more books from this author, though.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

  1. Great review sweetie. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it. I... thought it wasn't all that good :( a two star for me. Sigh. I did like the romance. Kind of. But it was too insta-love for me. Just suddenly they are in love. Didn't get why they liked each other, hah :D Anyway. Love your review. <3 thank you for sharing :)

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