Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

13639182 Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: October 21, 2014 by HarperTeen
Length: 336 pages
Source: HarperTeen (ARC)

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. ”


What a creepy book! Beware the Wild is split up into three sections and told in first person point of view by our main character Sterling. What I really enjoyed about this book is the creepy and mysterious tone and atmosphere due to the author’s writing style. I felt like I was with Sterling in the swamp because of the way the author writes. I also like verses that the author wrote when she introduced the new section of the book. Throughout the novel, I have been guessing how Sterling will be reunited with her brother, but when I got to the second part, it sort of got predictable from there. Even though it was a bit predictable, it was still a good read.

Although it was a good and different read, I still think the author could have elaborated on the world building of the swamp. It’s been repeatedly told in the book that there are different stories and unusual happenings in the swamp, but the author did not elaborate on what those were. I wish she included a few stories to creep out the readers more. I also did not like the romance. There weren’t a lot of romantic scenes, and it definitely wasn’t the focus of the story (good thing) but it would have been better if the romance was completely taken out from the story because it was sort of insta-lovey.

I thought the characters were okay. They each had unique qualities so I feel a little bit attached to them. I admire how Sterling was brave to rescue her brother from the swamp. She’s used to having her brother rescue her etc. but now it’s time for her to do the same even if it’s out of her comfort zone. Lenora May, Sterling’s “sister”, was super creepy when she first came up in the story! I hated her because she was greedy, but as the story continued, I felt sympathy for her. I think readers would’ve been able to relate to these characters more if they had character development. I think the author was trying to do that, but did it too quickly; there’s a quick turnover on how the characters acted which kind of made it unbelievable. Overall it’s a great read if you like mystery, and books with a creepy setting.

3.5 of 5

10 Responses to “Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker”

  1. 1 Jess@MyReadingDress January 13, 2015 at 3:21 AM

    AAAAH always the world building, isn’t it? That’s such a shame! And unnecessary romance? Yeah, I get you. It’s so sad that romance has become less of a genre under YA and more of a genre REQUIREMENT. Everything under the YA tree must be meshed together with romance. It’s such a shame. I want us to progress from that but alas, romance sells, I suppose. Beautiful review, Leigh! x

    • 2 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 15, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      I know! We get it that romance is cute, but that doesn’t mean it should be in EVERY book. It should only be there if it’s significant to the plot or if it’s really good. I hope you read this someday b/c it def. wasn’t a terrible book, it just lacked a little bit of world building & character development. Thanks Jess ❤ !

  2. 3 Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) January 15, 2015 at 1:31 AM

    I had very similar thoughts on this one! I definitely agree that the world building could have had some work, especially because the concept was really interesting! I hadn’t read any books with swamps in it until this one. Yeah, I thought that the characters could have had some more work–I just couldn’t connect with them as much as I wanted to!

    Fantabulous review, Leigh <33

    • 4 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 15, 2015 at 3:08 PM

      Yes! I’m so glad you thought the same thing. Seriously, this book could have been better if the author elaborated more on the world. It was getting there…but it didn’t fully reach it. It’s my first read that involved swamps too, and it’s super creepy! I’ll def. read more books that has a spooky vibe like this. Thanks Melanie ❤ !

  3. 5 Hazel @ Stay Bookish January 16, 2015 at 2:24 AM

    Creepy books are not something I read often but would like to try. I’m a little disappointed that the world-building here wasn’t as developed because that really would build the creepiness factor for me much more. Anyway, great review, Leigh! I’ll check this out if I can!

  4. 7 Sam January 16, 2015 at 3:56 PM

    I’m not really into creepy books (I can scared easily, okay?) so I don’t know if I should pick this one up. On the other hand, the writing style sounds really cool. Soooo…maybe?

  5. 9 Nicole @ The Quiet Concert January 18, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    I am not sure this is my kind of read but it does sound very unique!

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Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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