Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Publisher- Harper Teen
Published- Oct 21st 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

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.
My Thoughts:
After a huge fight with his sister, Phineas takes off into the forbidden swamp that stretch throughout the town. Scared and worried about her brother, Sterling waits for him to come back but instead of Phin, a girl named Lenora May, emerges from the swamp. She took over Phin's life and no one seems to remember him besides Sterling and what's worse is she's starting to have memories of the sister she's never had. Sterling will do anything to get back her brother, but she doesn't know if she has the heart to send Lenora May back to the one place she fears the most.

Truth? I had my doubts at first about this one, but it turned out that I really ended up enjoying this book a lot more then I thought. Beware the Wild isn't like most books I've read, it has a really unusual but fascinating plot, likeable and animated characters that piece the story out in a suspenseful, haunting and intense way and the writing has this irresistible pull that had me completely absorbed. If your gonna tell a swamp story? This is a nifty way to do it!

I really enjoyed the plot concept, it's definitely out there, but given this is a paranormal, it was easy to just go with the flow. My favorite part of the story was learning about the swamp and hearing the stories related to it and then later how it's connected to Sterling's family. The swamp was written so vividly that it was it's own main character. It's alive with evil forces and ghost of the victims consumed but it. Riddled with darkness and danger and magic that has the power to entice and repulse you at the same time. It's eerie and maddening and completely intriguing.

While the swamp was definitely it's own force, I have to hand it to these amazing characters that made it so worth the while.
Sterling is such a great character. I love her determination, strength and bravery. She's been through a lot in  her life with an abusive father but the bond that she has with her brother is unshakable. Phin was always there for her, protecting her and taking care of her and my heart really went out to Sterling for losing such an anchor.
I was a little surprised that I liked Lenora May has much as I did. By all rights the reader should have hated her for taking Phin's place, and yet I found myself sympathetic towards all she's been through. Parker really could have went either way with a character like this, but I'm really glad with the direction she went with. Lenora is a good person who was lost and wanted to taste life again. Like Sterling, it's hard to fault her for it, no matter the circumstances of how she came into her life.
I also really loved Heath. He's the only one who believed in Sterling when everyone else had no memory of who Phin was. He know she wasn't crazy since he's been through the same ordeal by losing his best friend to the swamp. Together they made a really sweet team. 

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. I love that Parker took her time and plays with the readers mind. I loved that this had such a creep-worthiness to it's tone and setting and that the characters never gave up hope even when all seemed so hopeless. A great entertaining escape.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                              4 Snowflakes

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