Title: Wicked Charm
Author: Amber Hart
Genre: YA Romantic Thriller
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
My Rating: 4/5 Stars!
Willow moves in with her feisty Grandmother in the swamps of Georgia with her Bird-watching parents. Instantly, she becomes interested in her next door neighbor, Beau Caldwell. Known for dating around and breaking hearts, everyone, including her grandmother warns her away from getting involved with him. But Willow is determined to think for herself and decide on her own. Taking things slow and getting to know a side of Beau no one else sees, Willow is sure she made the right choice. When girls who used to be involved with Beau start popping up dead in their swamp, Willow wonders if she should have stayed away from Beau after all or if he’s the only one she can really trust.
Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.
Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.
Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.
Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.
But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.
When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.
Like it? Love it? Hate it?
I really liked it! It was more than what I expected. The narrative goes back and forth from Willows POV to Beau’s. I was expecting a cliché teen romance aspect. Where willow stupidly gets involved with an obvious dangerous guy and gets sucked in or pushed around but WIllow can hold her own! Willow knows who she is and isn’t going to change herself for anyone or let them make decisions for her. Rather than obsessing and letting Beau call the shots, Willow gives him a run for his money and forces him to step up and let her in, in ways he hasn’t before with anyone else. Beau turns out to be a vulnerable and honest male love interest despite trying to avoid being either of those things. The book also avoids the cliché where the female character thinks she is “better” than other girls in her school or the male characters says the dreaded “You’re different than those other girls.” At one point, Willow doesn’t talk to Beau for weeks, leaving him the one desperate to see her. I really enjoyed the romance part of this book, I thought it was realistic and enjoyable. The murder mystery I thought was more subdued and maybe a little unrealistic but It still had me guessing until the end who it actually was. The book also touches on themes of grief which isn’t my favorite in a book for personal reasons but it was well done and an important addition to teen fiction.
I didn’t think the murder aspect was 100% believable. I did like the reasoning though. If you aren’t a CSI nerd and don’t mind that, I wouldn’t let it bother you.
Favorite Quote: “You suffered another loss, and you survived it. You don’t have to live in fear of caring–that’s the best part. Without caring, you never truly live.”
Conclusion: Very good teen romance with a murder mystery plot. Not cliché at all and appropriate for anyone 13+.
Should you read it? If you like romance now and then I say give it a try!
Wicked Charm releases this Tuesday! Check it out!*
*I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley. All of my thoughts and ratings are my own and based on my honest opinions. I write my reviews to help readers make their own decisions.
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Thanks for reading!