In her debut novel, Natalie C. Parker brings together a unique southern gothic mystery in the thrilling Beware the Wild. One day, after a particularly awful fight, Sterling's brother Phin runs into the mysterious swamp outside their home and never returns. Instead, a strange girl named Lenora May emerges and the entire town (including Sterling's family) treat her as if she's always been Sterling's sister and that a boy named Phin has never existed. Only Sterling remembers her brother and she is determined to get him back from the dark swamp.
I never knew where Parker was going to take the story,which was fun for someone who always figures out the endings. She does an amazing job in creating conflict with Sterling, who loves her brother and wants him back, but also starts to care for Lenora May. The memories begin to mix deeper and deeper the longer Phin is gone, and Sterling has to make the horrible choice of giving one of them up forever.