Book Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Published Date: October 21st, 2014
Genre: YA Thriller
Synopsis 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.
This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
This book was straight up, freaking awesomesauce.
I really needed something creepy, so I was hoping that this book would deliver the creepiness that the cover teased us with. And it DID!
When the book really gets going, everything is different. Phin is not only gone, but no one remembers him. Not even his own mom. Sterling remembers him, but she also remembers memories of Lenora May. The Lenora May that appeared out of the swamp shortly after Phin disappeared. Nothing makes sense. She knows Lenora May isn’t actually her sister and she does remember her older brother Phin.
It isn’t until she begins talking to the town loner, Heath. Heath has his own secrets. The most important secret that he carries with him is that he believes Sterling. He knows she’s telling the truth. He remembers Phin and he remembers his best friend. His best friend disappeared into the swamp a year ago and, Heath’s been living with the knowledge that only he remembers his best friend.
No one else in Nathan Payola’s life or home remembers him. Not his mom or dad. Only Heath.
Sterling knows she’ll be labelled as crazy if she talks to anyone about the swamp and the fact that she believes both Phin and Nathan and probably others have been taken by it. Even her friends Abigail & Candace “Candy” This book had a healthy dose of great friendships, which really excited me.
“I’m trusting you not to get eaten Saucier. And if that trust is misplaced, so help me, I’ll tell all of your worst secrets at your funeral.” -Candy-
As the book goes on, and we learn more of who Lenora May is and how she came to be, Sterling feels herself fighting the ever present pull of the swamp. It’s lights are enticing and her desire to save Phin is constant and relentless.
“As much as I hate that my brother is trapped here, I somehow can’t wish the swamp away.” -Sterling-
Lenora May’s past was one of my favorite things to learn about. I was so curious to figure out how she was connected to the swamp, why she had come out of the swamp shortly after Phin disappeared. I wondered if she had some sort of history with Sterling’s family. The idea that she could simply walk into the house and it was like she had been there all along was so mind boggling to me. I felt sympathy for Sterling who was so clearly confused initially.
I absolutely loved this book. I am so glad I read it when I did and I cannot wait to get a finished copy of it soon. The twists and the turns were there in abundance. The creepiness factor was very high as the world building was spectacular. I am giving this awesome and unique story 5 stars. I cannot wait to see what the author writes next.