By: Melanie | October 13, 2014 | (22) Comments

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. ParkerBeware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 336
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

stickers-my-review (1)No one has seen Phin all day. After having a fight with his sister, Sterling, he stepped foot into the swamp and hasn’t emerged ever since. Everyone knows not to go into the swamp, they say that if you go in, you never come back. Yet later that day, while Sterling is outside underneath the hot beating sun, she see’s someone come out of the swamp, but it’s not her brother. It’s a girl and apparently her sister. Lenora May has always been Sterling’s sister according to everyone but Sterling. Suddenly, no one knows who Phin is, like he never existed, and in his place is Lenora May, the strange girl that emerged from the swamp. Determined to find out what has happened to Phin and why no one remembers him, Sterling might just have to go to the swamp herself.

The things that I liked:

The atmosphere in Beware the Wild was fantastic. I loved every bit of it and could practically feel the heat of the burning sun and the creepiness and ambiguity of the swamp. And on top of those detailed descriptions? I was feeling pretty skittish and wide-eyed in the end. Seriously guys, this isn’t a swamp you want to go poking your head around at.

Ours is a creature all its own. We don’t stare into its depths and we don’t ever go inside.

– Sterling. She was a quick to love narrator and a very determined girl. I really liked her devotion and strong-will to save her brother from the swamp without acting rash and not thinking before acting. She was an ideal protagonist and the author made her so easy to love. Also, Sterling does a have an eating disorder here, which I appreciated for being addressed, especially by her friends. It just goes to show how great the friendships were as well as they were all constantly looking out for each other.

The story line is one of the more obvious things I loved. It’s the thing that got me wanting to read this and it still remains one of my favourite aspects of the book. I wanted to know why no one remembered Phin and what had happened to him and why there was a totally random girl in his place.

The things that I didn’t like:

– The romance. The synopsis says there’s a swoon-worthy romance and I absolutely LOVE swoon-worthy romances. Sometimes I go out of my way and read a book just because there’s a swoon-worthy romance. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel any swoons here. Honestly, I didn’t see the connection–apart from the fact that Heath also experienced something similar to Sterling, and could relate with her. That being said, I don’t think the romance dominated the plot that much, so it wasn’t a problem in the sense that it took the attention away from the plot line. Thankfully, the romance wasn’t something that pissed me off or made me want to rage. I guess I was just disappointed that I didn’t get a swoon-worthy or convincing romance, ultimately.

I got bored for a while during the book. The pacing did stutter here and there a bit for me and I was losing attention. However, it wasn’t a large issue.

Summing up:

Beware the Wild was a intriguing read with a refreshing premise and a brilliant atmosphere and array of characters. I am definitely curious to see what other works this author has to offer!

~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~

3 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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22 Responses to Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

  1. I hate when they try to reel you in with promises of a romance only to disappoint you in the end. Sigh. I too, am most likely to read a book if I know that a swoon-worthy pairing is in the offing. Booo.

    Great review, Mel!
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 123My Profile

  2. I’m still not sure about this one. I may pick it up sometime, but I’m in no hurry to do so.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Review: Storm Siren by Mary WeberMy Profile

  3. Giselle says:

    I really did not like this one. I agree the atmosphere is awesome, but the silliness of the whole plot got to me. I also grew bored after we found out the secrets behind the swamp which, imo, was way too early in the book. And yeah that romance was very bleh and unfeeling. I did like the addition of serious topics like an eating disorder, but I felt like it could have been a bit more…. meaningful I guess. I think my not connecting with the characters def affected how I felt about everything else though. Great review, hun!
    Giselle recently posted…Interview with Cat Winters, author of The Cure for Dreaming + Giveaway!My Profile

  4. I had been seeing this book around and just never considered it, maybe I don’t like swamps, but whatever it was, I decided not to request and oh more fool me, what a shame, because this sounds like I would have liked it. Romance, I can get over, but the general premise, why did I not know that this book existed, gosh Amanda! Fantastic review Mel, 3 stars is a good rating to me 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – Perfect LiesMy Profile

  5. Lily says:

    I still don’t know if I should read this one. The atmosphere sounds truly amazing but there have beens so many mixed reviews for this one and you only gave it 3 stars (and do I really need another 3 star book on my TBR?) plus what you said about the romance immediately turned me off. It’s not swoon worthy? If there’s a romance in my books I want them to be swoon worthy or nothing at all *sigh* I’m still not convinced this one is for me.
    Lily recently posted…All Lined Up (Rusk University#1): ReviewMy Profile

  6. I just finsihed this last night, and I agree about the romance, but that wasn’t a big deal for me. It did drag a tiny bit in the middle as well. Overally, though, I liked the creatity and I enjoyed the whole swamp and the atmospheric tension.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Something Wicked Strikes Day #13: Blood Rule by Heather Hildenbrand: Guest Post, Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Too bad the romance wasn’t able to convince you it was swoon-worthy, Melanie! The premise for Beware of the Wild is amazing! It sounds so very creepy, and I am in the mood for creepy right now. I think I’ll check this one out, even if the romance wasn’t up to par. If I know that in advance, I just might enjoy it more than you did.
    Awesome review 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
    I hope you’ll have a fantastic week, happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: Bound to Danger – Katie ReusMy Profile

  8. I hate being bored in books, although it seems you ended up liking it, I don’t think this is for me. I do like that cover though.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Audiobook Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick!My Profile

  9. Alise says:

    Ooh, sounds like this one has a bit of a creepy factor. I absolutely love a strong protagonist in YA so that’s also good. But pacing and romance issues give me pause, especially as I have very little patience xD I know what you mean about wanting a convincing romance, if I can’t believe in their “connection” it really just brings down the book.
    Alise recently posted…The Perilous Sea by Sherry ThomasMy Profile

  10. I hate it when books say something and then they don’t give it too you…wah. If it says swoon worthy romance IT NEEDS HAVE ONE! *stomps foot* But anyway. I’m really quite curious about this book, and it looks quite weird and creepy, which are definitely thinks I want to read about. *nods*
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Shouldn’t You Be In School? (#3) by Lemony Snicket || ANSWER THE QUESTIONMy Profile

  11. Would it be late of me to say..MEL FACE. PRETTY <3

    I did see this one going around but was never too interested in it. The cover looked great though but the plot just didn't sell it to me. I might skip it though because I'm currently in the mood for a great romance (which I can't find) and this seems to not go down the path I want it to. Fabulous review Mel! <3
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  12. For some reason swamps creep me out in general. This sounds highly creepy. I am sad about the romance not being swoon-worthy 🙁
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  13. manda says:

    This one was also a bit of a “meh” for me. Good point about the romance; I didn’t mind it at all because I don’t actually *like* romance that much (stone me now) but I had a feeling others would find it lackluster. Although I was glad at least they managed to avoid a love triangle!
    manda recently posted…Crown of IceMy Profile

  14. Cover love. TOTAL COVER LOVE.

    No swoon makes me sad though 🙁 Also, the fact that his name is Heath makes me sad (LOL).
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Where Books Have Made Me Want to Travel {Top Ten Tuesday}My Profile

  15. Nothing good ever happens in a swamp, but their high creep factor is undeniable which makes this book’s locale rather fitting, especially with Halloween right around the corner. The meh romance, and stilted pacing are a little off putting mind you. I just don’t know what to make of this one.
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Taken by the Others by Jess HainesMy Profile

  16. Henrietta says:

    What… no swoon-worthy romance?! That’s disappointing. 🙁

    Thanks for sharing that Sterling was a character you enjoyed connecting with. The plot definitely sounds fascinating. 🙂
    Henrietta recently posted…One Potion In The Grave – Heather BlakeMy Profile

  17. Tanja says:

    LOL This is really interesting, but we rated this book with 3 stars both, but we loved different things! For me romance was really sweet and even though these wasn’t much of it, I loved how sweet it was. But yeah it was boring at times, so we do agree about that. Sadly it wasn’t as good as it sounded. Great review, Mel :))
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  18. Buona says:

    Uh oh, unconvincing romance? I generally have a hard time wrapping my head around fantasy and paranormal so this wouldn’t be my typical read. But I allow exceptions when the swoons make it worth my while. Thanks for the review! 🙂
    Buona recently posted…Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava DellairaMy Profile

  19. MEL. I SEE YOUR FACE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! AWW YOU’RE SO CUTE!!! ^_^ XD x) 😀 *squeals and jumps up and down*
    Ella @ Once Upon a Bookish Time recently posted…IT’S MY HALF BLOGOVERSARY!! These Last Six Months and First Ever Frabjous Giveaway!!My Profile

  20. Oh no! I’m totally expecting to love this romance… 🙁 Why must back covers be deceiving?! It definitely makes it sound like it will be something epic.
    But I’m glad that the atmosphere lives up to its creepy promise. It’s one of the few “halloween-y” books I’ll be reading this month. 😛
    Great review, Mel!
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…Swoon Thursday [4]My Profile

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