Thursday, November 27, 2014

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Series: Beware the Wild (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Paranormal Romance/Southern Gothic

Subjects: swamps, folklore, supernatural, mystery, missing persons, memory, siblings

Setting: Sticks, Louisiana (A town near a swamp/Bayou)

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Sterling Saucier

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 327 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “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 Review:  I went into Beware the Wild without knowing what it was about. I only knew that it was paranormal and set in the Louisiana bayou. With such a creepy cover, I couldn’t help but be interested. I started out by introducing us to our main character Sterling whose brother disappeared into the swamps only hours before. She’s pretty different from the usual heroines I read about. She’s was starting to develop an anorexic eating disorder ever since her brother decided he was going away to college. Her father was abusive and her brother protected her. Now they have an African American stepfather who’s a deputy of their town’s police department. Her mother is much happier with Darold that she was with Sterling’s dad.

Sterling and her best friend Candy are looking out at the swamp and talking about Phin. Sterlign sees swamp lights and Candy tells her it’s called the Wasting Shine, and usually only the drunk and crazy claim to see it. Candy is a very logical girl. When Sterling is at home and by her self in her yard, a girl comes out of the swamps and everyone believed her to be Sterling’s sister and everyone has forgotten Phin. A person disappears and you are the only one who remembers then, and they are replaced. People though Sterling was losing it to heat stroke or lack of food. They say Lenora May has always been her sister. Sterling knows she’s not crazy. I wanted to know what happened and with that the story pulled me in. It was like something out of the Twilight Zone. That’s only about 30 pages into the book. It starts out with a bang, for lack of a better phrase.

As the book goes on we find out what happened and who or what’s behind it. There’s lots of creepy, disturbing and heat wrenching things that happen. Also there some romance between Heath and Sterling. I love the complete uniqueness of this book. I realize it’s a standalone and I won’t get more, but wish there was more. It’s this amazing mix of mystery and southern gothic. It takes folklore to a new level. I love stories and show about the bayou and swamps. I never been to the south and now I’m intrigued. I would never venture into the swamp without being in a larger group because I heard all these stories on TV about people being lost forever, or losing time. Lots of ghost stories. And alligators, of course. There are gators in this book too.

If you pick up Beware the Wild, you are in for a unique treat. If you enjoyed paranormal stories set in the south, like Beautiful Creature, Ghost Huntresses, or TV shows like the Originals, you may enjoy this. Also, if you love anything related to New Orleans or Louisiana, swamps and gators, then check it out.

Cover Art Review: Love the creep title treatment for the word wild. The swamp tree background with the wasting shine looking like fireflies is very cool.

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