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I Belong

Review: Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker

Behold the BonesTitleBehold the Bones

AuthorNatalie C. Parker

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Beware the Wild (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 23, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 358 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062241559 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062241559 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Candace “Candy” Pickens has been obsessed with the swamp lore of her tiny Louisiana town for . . . forever. Name any ghostly swamp figure and Candy will recite the entire tale in a way that will curl your toes and send chills up your spine.

That doesn’t mean Candy’s a believer, however. But with swamp haunts appearing in town every day, a suspicious new family in town, and her own mind starting to betray her, Candy must come to terms with the one piece of swamp lore she’s never heard before. It’s a tale that’s more truth than myth, and may hold all the answers . . . and its roots are in Candy’s own family tree.

Quick & Dirty: A decent companion novel set in a small Louisiana town.

Opening Sentence: Grandpa Craven kicked it the day I was born.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Candy Pickens lives in the tiny Louisiana town of Sticks. She’s never believed in the swamp lore that is spoken like religion, but she is about to face a surprise when ghost sightings appear everywhere. Except, she’s the only one who can’t see them, and apparently her touch chases them away, as well as the magical Shine that wreathes through the swamp. When a TV producer moves through town to film their ghost stories, his intentions are anything but innocent, and its up to Candy to figure them out and solve her ghost problem.

This novel was a companion to a previous installment, Beware the Wild. Instead of focusing on Sterling, the story followed Candace, or Candy, as she journeyed a very different adventure. For the most part, I really enjoyed the originality of the story and how the Louisiana swamp factored into the mythology and folklore of the town. Sticks was just your average tiny Southern town – with a nice heaping of ghosts and magic. Again, the rich Southern atmosphere could have been translated a little stronger, but I still really enjoyed how the author played with such eerie swamp elements.

Candy is a very different character than Sterling was. Sterling was more reserved, but Candy is the rebellious one, the one who shakes things up a bit. Her bravado and confidence tended to hide the softer parts of her. I did enjoy how the writing style diversified with a different character, because I hate when one point of view sounds exactly like another character’s (like in Allegiant by Roth). Over the story, Candy grew as a character, and became more selfless and more able to see other’s points of views.

As for the love story, I really don’t know how I feel about that. There wasn’t much focus on the romance, more on the immediate plotline, which I enjoyed. The romance was kind of built in bits and pieces, but wasn’t altogether unexpected. In all honesty, I was entirely uncaring toward the love interest. His character and the romance felt very subpar to me. There was kind of a love triangle, but never a legit one. And then, the ghosts: I liked the idea of Mad Mary. I think the first book carried a more original plotline, and more interesting one, but this second installment managed to take the world from the previous one and expand on it. This helped to explain certain things from the first book so I liked drawing these connections.

Altogether, I enjoyed the characters and development of this story. The plot was interesting and the setting was nicely done, although the tone and atmosphere could have been a bit stronger. It was a decent companion novel, with one of my bigger complaints being the romance, which didn’t interest me at all. I still think the first was better but really liked this one, and I’d recommend fans of the first to go ahead and check out this awesome book!

Notable Scene:

And here I am, the North Star. Brilliant and isolated, orienting everyone but connecting to no one. I am all I’ll ever be and I don’t know what that means anymore.

I’ve never been the girl who imagines her wedding, or anticipates a family like it’s a given I’ll have both, but I’ve never considered that neither were in my future.

But I’ve also never imagined myself alone. And right now, that’s all I see in my future. Me.

And me alone.

Beware the Wild Series:

1. Beware the Wild

2. Behold the Bones


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Behold the Bones. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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