Sunday, 23 November 2014

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker: Review

Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy this book: Amazon

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. 
I have to be honest and say that the first thing that made me want to read this book was the cover. I have so much love for the cover, I'd buy the book just so I could have that on my shelf. But I was definitely sold on the book the minute I read the summary, it sounded like the perfect creepy read, and I liked the idea of the Louisiana swamp setting. Beware the Wild delivered on being a quick, enjoyable and entertaining read. I had my issues with it, but it was an enjoyable book nonetheless.

Sterling Saucier has lived her whole life in Sticks, a small town that has always been fearful of the swamp and the stories surrounding it. They've built fences to surround it and no one enters it, because those that do don't come back. After a fight with Sterling, her brother Phin  jumps the fence and disappears into the swamp. Sterling watches and waits for her brother to return, but instead she sees a girl appear from the swamp and walk into her house. No one remembers her brother, instead they believe that Lenora May is her sister. Even Sterling herself has memories of growing up with Lenora May, but she can also remember her brother, even if nobody else can. The only person who will believe Sterling is Heath Durham, someone who says he lost his best friend to the swamp and he's the only person who remembers. Together they are determined to figure out the secrets of the swamp, who Lenora May really is and what they must do to get back what the swamp has taken.


Clearly proof that swamps are evil!
The beginning of this story was so good, I was so impressed and completely hooked. The moment Lenora appears from the swamp and goes walking into Sterling's house like she owned the place, it was the perfect moment. It was creepy and I couldn't wait to continue reading to see where the story was going to go. I was a little disappointed with the story once we reached the halfway mark, there was a little twist to the story that was easy to see coming. The story didn't keep the creepy atmosphere that I felt at the beginning of it.  It was good and the end concludes the story, it just didn't blow me away or end in that big bang style climax that I was hoping for. I was really hoping the creepy swamp element would work for me, I've not been a fan of swamps since that scene in The Neverending Story! *cries*

Sterling is a character that I am still unsure as to whether I like or not. The one thing I did appreciate about her character was the way her eating disorder was handled. Sterling hasn't really been eating since she found out her brother is going to be leaving and attending college. She knows what she's doing, but no matter how much people tell her to eat, she can't. She's lost weight, but she doesn't feel hungry and she doesn't worry about food. I liked the fact that it's shown that an eating disorder isn't always about being thin. That t's made clear that that's never been Sterling's goal. Her eating disorder is something that's caused by stress and the feeling of having something you can actually control. I liked that that's made clear in this.

There's a romance in this, but it never takes over the story. I thought the romance was cute enough, and I really liked Heath's character. I really did appreciate the fact that the romance is never the important thing on either characters mind. They both realise that there are far more important things to worry about given their current situation. Another character that I really loved was Sterling's best friend, Candy, because she really made me laugh. She brought a lot more fun to the story.


3/5 Butterflies

I enjoyed this story, but it didn't blow me away. It wasn't as creepy as I thought it was going to be. Lenora May was a character that wasn't what I was hoping for, that left me quite disappointed. This book had a brilliant start but it went a bit messy by the halfway point. I enjoyed it, everything about it is good but it just isn't what I was hoping for. The book is very fast-paced and the writing worked to make me unable to put it down, so I read it in one sitting. It's a story that I would recommend because even though it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, it was still a good read. It has the added bonus of being a standalone!



*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.


12 comments:

  1. A romance that doesn't overtake the story? YES I WANT THIS. I've been quite curious about this one but it's sad that it kind of lost its momentum in part two. Fantastic review, Charnell! x

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    1. It was an enjoyable read but not a memorable one. I definitely appreciated the subtle romance, especially since it was slow building. It lost momentum but it was an okay read overall.

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  2. This was a crazy read and not really what I was expecting which was both good and bad for me. Glad you liked this well enough though.

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    1. I did, it was enjoyable but it's not very memorable.

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  3. Aww, it's a shame this one lost a bit of the creepiness as it went along, but the beginning does sound promising! I think I like the idea of a romance being on the backburner of the story, especially because even though I do like a romance it is literally everywhere I go! And no one can begrudge you choosing for this cover. It looks great :3

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/11/carrier-review.html

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    1. The beginning was very promising and managed to get me really stuck into the story. It was an enjoyable read and I was pleased with it.

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  4. Too bad this wasn't as creepy as you thought it would, although the presence of having a swamp is still creepy enough for me. Sterling's eating disorder, while not immediately obvious, sounds like it was handled really well. Wonderful review Charnell!

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    1. I know, I really wanted the creepy element to continue throughout the whole book. But it never got as creepy and eerie as it did the moment Lenora May steps out of the swamp.

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  5. So true, when that cover was released I knew I needed to pick up the book no matter what it was about. Lol.
    I agree the summary also sounded super creepy. But as I've been seeing it doesn't seem to live up to that. Sucks that you didn't enjoy this one as much as you hoped to. But a 3* isn't really that bad(in my opinion anyhow). It was enjoyable but probably won't be something you really think about again.
    I'll probably still give this one a go but maybe lower my expectations. Great review, I now know what to really expect.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. It's just so pretty, how could I not want to read the book. I really did enjoy this, it just wasn't as creepy as I would have liked.

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  6. Ohh, I am intrigued! I just got this one in the mail today, and your review has me very curious to read it. I mean, even if it doesn't end up being the best book I've ever read, I do like the idea that it holds your attention and moves quickly. Great review!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. It does, it isn't an amazing book but it's enjoyable. I don't regret reading it and I wouldn't have felt disappointed if I had bought it for myself.

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