Book Review: Beware the Wild

Beware the Wild
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: October 21, 2014
Genre: YA paranormal
336 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

Beware the Wild is a great big bundle of debut awesome. The captivating characters, the masterfully mixed setting, and perfect levels of magic and creepy make for storytelling that is pure entertainment.

Sterling Saucier’s brother Phineas walked into the swamp one day, and didn’t return. When Lenora May walked out in his place, the town of Sticks, LA forgot that he ever existed- everyone except Sterling, that is. Sterling’s resolve to protect the brother who had always protected her is the driving force behind a plot that has her trying to win help from friends who aren’t able to believe her story. She is a girl who has survived more than any child should, thanks to her brother- and she will need all he has taught her to save them both.

Sterling’s adventure takes place in the swamp in her back yard- the swamp that her grandfather fenced in, the same one that people are warned to stay out of, for fear of the evils that are rumored to abide there among the undergrowth, the mist, and the Shine. I love that this creepy Wild place is set right next to a fictional town called Sticks, common slang for “the middle of no where”. 

Both the magic and the creepy come from the swamp, which is deep, dark, and dangerous. I can't tell you much about the sorcery without getting spoilery, but the creepy- well, there are some nasty creepy-crawlies in the brush and the murky water of a swamp. Add in some malicious magic, and you have a recipe for nightmares. There are some very good reasons to respect the fence around the place and stay out.

I predict that, not only will this book be quite popular with its YA audience, but that Ms. Parker will continue to grace readers with entertaining material for years to come. Years from now, when she is wildly popular, remember that you got your first recommendation to read her right here.


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.


  1. Sounds great! Thanks for the review.

  2. The premise for this novel sounds amazing, and I'm so glad to read such a positive review of the book. This one is definitely on the top of my to-read list!

  3. Love how it's the setting, the actual environment, that's the source of the magic! It's a completely new twist on Gothic!

    Lovely review :)

  4. Glad to hear it, Monica!

    I agree, Christina- a new twist, and it's good stuff!


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