Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

BTWIt’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. – Goodreads

First off, I LOVE when I read stories that I haven’t read some version of a million times before (and this is far more rare than you’d think) and that’s exactly what happened with Beware the Wild. It is such a unique story, told with absolutely amazing detail, and to top it all off there’s a slight creepiness to the entire thing. Needless to say, I loved it!

While overall, I loved the story and the details that Parker included, there were a few things that irked me. First off, the story behind Phin & Sterling & why he’d gotten so angry, etc. took forever to fully come out. That was frustrating, when the entire story revolves around Phin getting so angry that he takes off. The other thing that sort of drove me mad, was that Sterling couldn’t just be happy for her brother… she had to make his decision about her, and quit eating and was basically a ridiculously melodramatic teenager who wanted the world to revolve around her. That’s EXTREMELY annoying. Suck it up, be happy for him, and do your best without him. It’s not like her mom & step-dad weren’t good people or wouldn’t support her. Goodness gracious.

Other than those points, the story was wonderful. Lenora May was very much the character you wished you could hate but for some reason can’t and Heath was adorable. Sterling was relatable for the most part, especially her desperation in trying to get her brother back.

This magic-filled world of swamps in Louisiana is definitely one I want to return to, and I just saw on Goodreads that Parker is coming out with a second book in February! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

I rated Beware the Wild 4/5 stars on Goodreads, and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different. The writing is by far the best part of the book!



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