A haunted weathervane. A floor that makes all trash magically vanish. A house whose windows open and close, enabling its inhabitants to sneak out. An abandoned circus in the middle of a graveyard. These are just a few of the quirks in the town of Blackfin, and Skylar is about to discover another one.
The town of Sticks, Louisiana, on the other hand, is bordered by swamplands that no one goes near, surrounded by homemade barriers to protect the locals, even though they pretend it’s “just a swamp” whenever you ask them. Sterling is about to discover just what happens to people who venture into the woods — and how to get them back.
Today, I’m talking about two books with a focus on strong characters with mysterious family secrets hidden in the dark, creepy woods: Kat Ellis’ Blackfin Sky and Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild.
If you’re a fan of teen books, and you’re anything like me, then chances are you’re always on the lookout for a truly original story, something that catches hold of your imagination and takes it for a ride. Both these books deliver solidly. Blackfin Sky appeals to my sense of adventure and love of the strange and otherworldly; Beware the Wild stirs my appreciation of the Southern Gothic, full of monsters and magic, like the stories I grew up hearing from my dad.
The biggest unifying theme between these two stories is the emphasis on tough, resilient female leads who discover their own inner strength and learn something new about their peculiar lineage. With such equally creative, colorful settings and instantly unforgettable characters, the only real question is whether you’d rather travel deep into the American South or to a tourist-friendly, coastal fishing town in Great Britain. If you get the chance, pick up both!