Review 295. Natalie Parker – Beware the wild.

13639182Title: Beware the wild.
Author: Natalie C. Parker.
Pages: 336.
Published: October 21st 2014 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Stand-alone.
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.

I’m not sure what to think about this book.  The beginning was great. I liked the set-up and the direction from the story, but it made a strange turn that came out of nowhere.. Which was interesting, but also a little disappointing.

Sterling’s brother Phin disappeared into the town swamp, a place everybody fears. There is one rule: you never go into the swamp. That’s why the town built a wall, but the day Phin runs away, his life is taken over by a girl called Lenora. Sterling is the only one who still remembers what truly happens and her parents think she had a melt-down. Heath, the boy she flirted with last year, is the only one who believes her. It’s up to them to find a way to to get Phin, and everyone’s memory, back.

There was a very creepy atmosphere. The swamp is a mysterious place and a lot of people know scary stories about things that took place there. I liked the idea of stealing someone’s life. Everybody thinks Lenore is Sterling’s real sister and even Sterling is sometimes surprised by memories of her and Lenore. It’s like Phin never existed and it’s the perfect set-up for a rescue mission.

The only thing is that the book switches around the end. We finally figure out what is going on with Lenore and how Sterling might save her brother, but it’s a weird twist. It didn’t feel like a proper solution for this type of story. It’s pretty tame and it doesn’t end in the big BANG I expected. I was left with an almost fairytale-like attempt, while I was hoping for something action-packed and bloody. I mean, look at the cover..

Nevertheless, the writing-style was pleasant. It was an easy book to read and I flew through the pages. Sterling was a good character. Nothing too special, but I like how she fought for her brother and how her growing feelings for Heath doesn’t cloud her judgement. Heath wasn’t bad either, especially when you find out more about him and his secret. It made sense that the two of them have to work together to unravel the swamp's mystery.

The only character I couldn’t care less about was Sterling’s brother and this was a bit unfortunate. He did something I couldn’t appreciate and I think he deserved a little punishment. While it wasn't the story I expected, I didn't think it was bad.


  1. I never really gave this book too much thought. I like a good creepy novel but...I don't know about this one. Perhaps it's the swaps? Ending twists that go completely against everything else the book has established annoy me so much. I feel cheated, for some reason. least the writing was enjoyable, right? Fantastic review, Mel! x

    1. The ending really caught me off guard, in a not-so-good way.

  2. Sorry this one didn't go out like a bang for you! Thanks for sharing Melanie!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  3. This sounds pretty interesting - it's too bad it didn't work out for you. I am curious to try it out though - it's good to know that it's a quick read at least! I just hope I'm not too disappointed by the ending as I know that will ruin my overall experience of the book.

  4. Great review Mel. <3 I'm glad you ended up enjoying this book, despite not loving it :) It was a two star for me, but when I think back at it, it should have been a one star :p I shall not mention it, but ohh. This whole book annoyed me, lol. I wanted it to be awesome. As it sounds so creepy! But it wasn't :( sigh. Pretty cover lied to me, lol. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  5. Ugh. Endings can make or break the book...I usually like when books like these end in a bang as well. I might hold off on this one, for now.
    Great review! :)

  6. You pretty much confirmed all my suspicions about this book, Mel. I am more sure with every review I find that this isn't a book for me.
    Great review!

  7. Great review. I recently finished this and am still trying to gather my thoughts to write my review. I ended up rating it 3 stars too. I really enjoyed the beginning but started to struggle the longer it went on. I didn't like the direction the book went in and wasn't too impressed with the ending either. It was okay, it was by no means terrible but it didn't live up to my expectations.

  8. Great review, Mel. I'm sorry this didn't live up quite to what you were expecting, but at least it wasn't a complete dud. I always hate it, though, when endings are a let down, especially if the prior build up is really good.
    I want to give this one a chance - I've heard mostly good things, and the premise definitely intrigues me.

  9. Hmm...this sounds decent enough, but it's a shame the random plot twist in the beginning kind of ruined it for you. :( I love the sound of the creepy atmosphere though! Thanks for sharing and, as always, FANTASTIC review! <3

  10. Yeah, I haven't been seeing too many positive reviews for this either. Such a shame, because nearly all of HarperTeen's books this year are turning out to be disappointments. :( I'm really curious about this twist that was both interesting and a let-down at the same time, though, since it was both interesting and a let-down for you. But I think I see where you're coming from: I would be pretty annoyed too if the book could have ended with a bang but didn't.

    Ooh, I love the sound of this creepy atmosphere! The whole concept for Beware the Wild is both intriguing and confusing at the same time, but it sounds like the author did a good job with the setting overall. I'm glad that the writing was okay, too!

    I don't really know what to think of this now, but if I do get around to reading it (I have an ARC in my Kindle, way overdue, oops!), I'll keep all these in mind and hopefully I'll be able to enjoy it more! Lovely review, Mel. :)

    1. I've been quite disappointed by them lately :( You should see the ending and let me know what you think about it!

  11. I agree with you, from the looks of the cover I was expecting this book to not only be creepy but with with gore and action. I still may have to check this one out though because sometimes books that are a little too creepy just aren't for me. It still sounds like an interesting read. Great review! :)

    Em @ Books & Cleverness


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