Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Beware The Wild

BEWARE THE WILD
Natalie C. Parker
Paranormal Young Adult
336 pages
HarperTeen
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Beware the Wild is a story that breathes life into a setting and makes it a character unto itself, the swamp running through Sticks, Louisiana as layered as those individuals who fear to step foot across its threshold. Though we haven’t grown up with Old Lady Clary’s stories as Sterling and her brother have, we still can’t help but be instantly wary of the swamp, wanting to reach out and restrain Sterling every time she moves to cross the fence line and search for her brother. Its menacing presence keeps us on edge throughout, both fearful of what we might find if we travel through it with Sterling, but even more so of what might happen if we turn a blind eye and keep our feet firmly rooted.

Sterling is a young woman who shows a great deal of growth as the story unfolds, beginning this journey so dreading the moment her brother Phin leaves her behind to attend college that there’s no room in her stomach for anything other than fear and nerves, but she ends it knowing she’s strong enough to conquer whatever life throws her way. It takes the extreme circumstances of Phin’s disappearance for her to finally look outward rather than solely inward, seeing for the first time how she’s allowed her relationship with her brother to change in ways she’s not entirely proud of, and the moment the Sterling-centric fog clears, she owns up to her every mistake and works on setting herself and her various friendships to rights.

Woven through Sterling’s supernatural path to repairing rifts both internal and external is a sweet romance with Heath, a longtime friend with whom she had a falling out. Their relationship is delightfully drama-free and secondary to the mysteries and dangers of the swamp, giving us just enough light to keep the encroaching darkness at bay without shifting the entire story’s focus to the two of them. Sterling does have the tendency to wander into the swamp without waiting for Heath, the only other person who actually believes her about Phin, but it’s hard to work up any real frustration given how upfront she is with him about what she learns.

Overall, Beware the Wild is entertaining and atmospheric, showing us just how much strength and power-–good or bad–comes with believing.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the author  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

35 comments:

  1. Wasn't this one great, Jenny?! It was so well written, and I loved how real Sticks, Louisiana became in my mind. That swamp is seriously creepy!

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    1. I really enjoyed it Z! Makes me glad I don't live near a swamp though:)

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  2. Damn. I regret skipping the ARC for this when I had the chance.

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    1. It was a quick read Christy, I thoroughly enjoyed it:)

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  3. Oh I'm glad you had a good time with this one. I'm curious about Sterling and about the atmosphere of the book. It sounds well done! Great review!

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    1. I loved the atmosphere of this one Melliane, I could feel the heat and hear all the swamp noises as I was reading. I'm quite glad to live in the middle of Ohio though:)

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  4. I can't say I want to visit that swamp

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  5. Well, this is definitely interesting. And who doesn't like some creepy elements in their books?
    GREAT review
    Definitely thrilled to add this to my TBR
    Your reader
    Soma R.
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    1. Glad this made it onto your list Soma!

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  6. I have heard some less than stellar reviews for this one, but I've also read some great ones and I'm so very intrigued by it, so I think your review has finally tipped the balance to the "getting the book with next paycheck" side, Jenny!
    Fantastic review as always!

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    1. I hope you give it a try Pili! It was something different and I really enjoyed it:)

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  7. Can I just start by saying that I love the setting for this book! Swamps are creepy by nature, so the author definitely did an excellent job of setting the stage for her eerie tale. A drama-free love interest is always a bonus too!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

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    1. Yessss. Count me out for any type of swamp-based activities:)

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  8. This sounds creepy and I like it. (Though I also like true crime shows like Swamp murders, so there's that.) Plus, the cover is rad. (I just said rad. Who am I?)

    PS. Um. Can't help notice that Sarah MacLean's Lady is up next. *flails*

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    1. I don't know who you are, but I love that you just used the word rad.

      And also? I LOVED NEVER JUDGE A LADY SO MUCH!!!! I need you to read it immediately so we can discuss:)

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    2. IT'S COMING TO ME, JENNY. It's to arrive some time next week. (Because I tried out the slow shipping from Amazon so I could get a $1 book credit. Books!)

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  9. For some reason the first few reviews I read for this one weren't all that favourable but lately more and more reviews for Beware The Wild are popping up left and right and people are saying good things and now I regret not reading it! LOL! I'm going to have to get this book from my local library. Lovely review Jenny :)

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    1. I hope you give it a try Lily! I was in the mood for something quick, a little creepy, and a whole lot entertaining, and that's what I got:)

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  10. I really liked the characters and the romance, but I wasn't creeped out enough. I was sort of expecting the kind of read that would not allow me to come out from under my covers, but this wasn't exactly that kind of read. The romance was adorable though and I liked the author's writing and I'm looking forward to other books she writes!
    Lovely review, Jenny! :)
    Also, I can't wait to see your thoughts on Never Judge A Lady! I've been panting for that book for quite some time now and I didn't know you were a fan of the series!! EEP! :D

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    1. No, I wasn't overly creeped out either Nick. Though I will admit that I would never, ever step foot in that swamp:)

      I loved Never Judge a Lady so much! I'm a HUGE historical romance reader, I just don't review them all that often on the blog. They're typically my "fun" books:)

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  11. Sterling sounds like a character I need to get to know. I love when a character owns up, realizes his/her issues and tries to work through them to improve.

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    1. Yes! I really liked the growth she showed throughout and how she took ownership of all the mistakes she made along the way.

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  12. Oh dang! I was curious about this one and now I know I need to read it. This one really sounds like something I would enjoy. Off to put it on my wishlist!

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  13. Wasn't this just an amazing different read? I loved it for all of its unusualness and uniqueness.

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    1. Yes!! I just had fun reading this one Ali:)

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  14. Loved your review. Definitely have to give this one a try.

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  15. I am glad you enjoyed this one. I thought the whole swamp thing was creepy and cool and I liked the romance as well. It was simple and easy. I also liked that it appears to be a stand alone.

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    1. This was the first stand alone I'd read in a while - it was so nice to reach the last page and have an actual ending. No unanswered questions or cliffhangers!

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  16. I thought this might be a little too scary for me, but I don't know, maybe not. I love the setting though and would read it just for that!

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    1. Definitely not scary Candace! Believe me. If I can handle it, you can too:) It's just eerie in places, not overly creepy.

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  17. I haven't heard a negative thing about this book, it sounds like a nice creepy read!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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