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.
Review: Wicked Charm is not your average YA story. Full of angst, murder, mystery, and growing-pains, this dark story makes for a unique read. I adored the sassy southern lead female, Willow from the start. Resilient, intelligent, and close to her grandma, the teen takes relocation to a new high school in stride. There were moments when I wanted to shake her for her poor decision-making skills, but it was generally in line with being young, with a few exceptions. Which I found refreshing. The feud between her Grandma and the next door neighbors is legendary, which makes things difficult when she meets the attractive Beau.
Beau was the reason my rating isn’t five stars. I didn’t like him. Cocky, self-centered, and irresponsible in many ways, he didn’t jive with me. He spent so much time being an anti-hero in the worst possible way. I could never root for him. I longed to see more growth, development, and redemption for this heartbreaking bad boy who went through girls in the school like dirty socks and never cared about their feelings. While it’s true hurt people, hurt people, it’s not an excuse for bad behavior.
The setting was a charming small town in Georgia and the bayou. Beautiful, foreign, and deadly for those who don’t know it well, it’s the perfect background for this who-done-it. Ms. Hart does a fabulous job of blending teen life, everyday issues, grief, and murder fairly seamlessly. There were certain scenes where I felt the story dragged, and I wanted a faster pace, but she did a good job of keeping me guessing who the killer was until the end.
If you’re in the mood for a darker read, and you don’t mind a jerky hero, this is the perfect read for you.