Sunday, June 22, 2014

HarperTeen ARC Review: Beware The Wild (Natalie C. Parker)

Beware the WildHardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 21st 2014 by HarperTeen

ARC Provided in Exchange for Honest Review

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. 

Natalie C Parker grew up in a Navy family where having adventures was as common as reading fairy tales.
She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in English, then went on to earn her MA in Women’s Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Continuing her efforts as a lifelong scholar, she currently works on a project studying climate change at the University of Kansas where she eavesdrops on the conversations of brilliant scientists gathering fodder for future novels.
Though still baffled by having ended up in a landlocked state, she lives in Kansas with her partner in a house of monsters.
Natalie is represented by the indomitable Sarah Davies of theGreenhouse Literary Agency.

"Beware the swampy places, child,
Beware the dark and wild, 
Many a soul has wandered there, 
And many a soul has died."

The very first thing that caught my eye about this book was the cover. I mean what a seriously creepy, INCREDIBLE cover. I loved everything from the dark color scheme to the wickedly drawn letters spelling out "Beware the Wild." 

From the very first chapter of this book I knew  that I was going to love it. The atmosphere of the book is so captivating. The idea of a swamp that that "takes" people and makes everyone in the town Heck YEAH! I am all about a good mystery and I turned pages so fast because I couldn't wait to solve this one! 

Sterling is a young girl who is the main character in this story. She and her family live in the small town of Sticks, Louisiana. Sterling and her brother, Phin have an argument one morning in June and Phin runs into the town swamp to get away. There are lots of stories about the swamp and many of the townsfolk say it is an evil swamp and warn the children to stay away. After Phin runs away Sterling chases after him but is unable to stop him before he enters the swamp. It is at that moment that a young girl emerges from the swamp and this is when we meet Lenora May. 

“When the swamp took my brother, it sent someone—something else to take his place. I don’t know what Lenora May is, but she’s not my sister.”

Lenora May exits the swamp and enters Sterling's life. She takes over the role of Phin and no one in the town suspects anything. All they remember is Lenora May. It is like Phin has been totally erased. But not for Sterling. Sterling remembers everything including her brother. Sterling then decides she has to discover what happened to Phin and where Lenora May really comes from and how she can get her brother back. 

"I fall asleep with one dreadful thought in my mind: if I want to save my brother, I'll have to follow him inside the swamp."

Along this journey Sterling befriends Heath. Heath is a young boy that Sterling attends school with and Heath is the only one that believes Sterling.  Heath and Sterling face so many obstacles and twists on their journey to discover the mystery and secrets of the swamp. This journey brings them closer and a beautiful romance is built. 

There are so many dark secrets within this mysterious book and I don't want to ruin it for anyone so I will not give away any spoilers. I will just say that this book is perfect for anyone who enjoys YA, romance, mystery, and magic. 

"The most dangerous secrets are the ones we forget..."

All quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof subject to change in the final edition.

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Harper Teen for allowing me to read an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tea Time with Team Epic Reads

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