ARC Book Review | Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Posted on Monday, September 22, 2014 4:30 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s something about the swamp in Sticks, Louisiana. Something different, something haunting . . . something alive. Everyone knows this, and everyone avoids going near it. And even the Mardi Gras–bead-decorated fence that surrounds it keeps people away.

Until one morning when Sterling Saucier’s older brother Phineas runs into the swamp . . .

And doesn’t return.

Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out in his place, and all of a sudden, no one in Sticks remembers Phin at all. They treat Lenora May as if she’s been Sterling’s sister forever.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—but first she’s got to find someone who believes her.

Heath Durham might be that someone. A loner shrouded behind rumors of drug addiction, Heath has had his own strange experience with the swamp. He and Sterling will have to piece together enough bits of memory and ancient swamp lore to get to the truth. But as the wild swamp encroaches on their town, Sterling and Heath may find a lot more than they expected . . . and Phin may be lost to them forever.

My Thoughts:

Unique, eerie, and incredibly fascinating, Beware the Wild is every one of those things. This book had me hooked from the very first page and kept me enthralled until the very end.

In Sticks, Louisiana it’s a known fact that the swamp is dangerous and for no reason do you ever go beyond the fence that contains it. However, when Sterling and her brother Phin have an argument one morning, he jumps the fence. Sterling waits all day for her brother to come back out but he doesn’t. Instead a girl named Lenora May comes out in his place and takes over his life. Everyone, including Sterling’s parents have forgotten all about Phin. Everyone except Sterling, and she is determined to send the imposter that everyone thinks is her sister back to the swamp and bring Phin out. But she quickly learns that everything isn’t as it seems and you have to be careful who you trust.

I really liked Sterling, she was so stubborn and strong and she would do anything to bring her brother back, no matter the costs. I really didn’t know what to think of Lenora May at first, but she really grew on me. I really enjoyed the baking scene, I felt like that was the moment that I realized she may be different than what I was thinking.

Heath was also an amazing character, he’s also not a stranger to the swamp. He was really sweet and he was determined to help Sterling bring her brother back.

The romance, although light, was very endearing. You couldn’t help but to want the best for Heath and Sterling and I found myself constantly hoping that they would overcome the things that were thrown their way.

Overall, Beware the Wild is a wonderful YA fantasy with the right amount of creepy and mystery to keep you engrossed. The plot was fast paced and flowed wonderfully, the twists and turns of this swampy debut makes it a book that’s not to be missed.

---- Christy

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