Book Title: Wicked Charm
Author: Amber Hart
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: YA, Thriller, Crime Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: 01/30/18
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.
As an adult with grown up responsibilities and big girl woes, it’s refreshing to jump into a YA novel that is neither pretentious nor related to current events. Not that the heavy young adult contemporaries aren’t enjoyable or much needed, but sometimes my brain needs an escape for pure pleasure reading. THIS was one of those reads. It had that “guilty pleasure” feeling I’ve received whenever diving into a Pretty Little Liars novel; the plot was completely different and the characterization wasn’t laid out for a long running series, but there were all the juicy tidbits necessary to make this a creepy, compulsive read.
The swamp beats and throbs and hums with life. Sickly hot air meets a limitless blue sky, and below, a forest of teeth and limbs reaches toward a jagged scar of land that separates two properties. One belongs to my family.
The main reason why I enjoyed this book likely won’t be the same for everyone else, but being the southern bred Georgia peach that I am, I wholly appreciate the level of detail and accuracy the author put into creating the setting. I’ve been to Waycross, Ga and the Okefenokee wetlands are a very familiar landmark to us from the deep south. It’s the perfect atmosphere for an unsettling read and it really comes to life in Wicked Charm. I would go as far as to say that the swamp is a character all in itself here, and for that reason I was fully invested in the plot and finding out what was happening to these girls.
Most claim only the craziest live this far out. And they’re partially right.
Of course there’s a boy. He’s dark, and mysterious, and a sexy playboy, so there’s obviously more to him than what we initially see. While that all sounds predictable and cheesy, what grounds this from becoming a trope is that he has an equally dark and mysterious twin sister who adds an extra dimension to the story. There’s some romance, but I found it satisfying that, while present throughout, it didn’t outshine the remaining facets of the plot and the ongoing mystery. I don’t want to say more than that to avoid spoilers, but I did find I was pleased with the outcome of all plot aspects.
“The brightest light casts the darkest shadow,” Gran says.
I’m new to Amber Hart’s books, but I felt entirely comfortable in her writing, like slipping into my favorite sweatpants after a long day at work. This is the type of novel that needs no bookmark; you can easily read Wicked Charm in one sitting if time allows. I’m eager to check out Hart’s previous novels and can’t wait to see more from her in the future. Go ahead an grab a copy as it’s best read anytime you choose; just be prepared that the gorgeous, purple cover is even more stunning in person! Highly recommended for a fast paced, entertaining read. ❤
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy.