E-ARC Review: Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

Hi guys! Can you believe January is almost over? Neither can I! Today I have for you a review of a YA thriller (although it’s more of a contemporary romance with a murder mystery backdrop). This is one of the first of many ARC reviews of 2018 releases that I will post throughout the year, and believe me, there are a lot. I hope you enjoy this book and give it a try! 😉


About the BookWicked Charm

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.

Goodreads


3 Stars

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to the author and publisher for providing me an electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.

I am a huge fan of YA thrillers. I love the feeling of exhilaration when you’re on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next or the sense of dread as you coil back in fear of something bad happening in the near future. I was highly looking forward to reading Wicked Charm, but unfortunately it didn’t meet my expectations. It fell short for me, and at times, I found myself more focused on trying to finish the novel than actually enjoying it. This novel did have a lot of promise and potential, though, but sadly it wasn’t exactly for me.

Wicked Charm definitely sent chills down my spine. I loved how the ominous setting of the Okefenokee Swamp evoked a dark, creepy atmosphere. There were many times I was put on the edge of my seat as I was flying through the pages super fast. The characters gave me suspicious vibes and I couldn’t pinpoint who the killer was–and the revelation at the end surprised me. The story was very jaw-dropping at times, and you can’t help but accuse everybody when a new piece of “evidence” comes into play. The thriller and murder mystery aspect of the novel was my favorite part!

However, this book just did not feel like a thriller. For me, it focused too much on the romance to where Wicked Charm was more of a romance with a murder mystery backdrop rather than an actual thriller. The romance between Willow and Beau just did not feel exactly right to me, probably because it felt very “insta-love-ish” even though they tried to denied it to themselves and to others. It also was a bit “too much” for me at some points. In addition, while I was on the edge of my seat at the beginning, the novel started to lose its impact on me. I didn’t feel as shocked as I should have been whenever another girl died or something surprising occurred. It was as if Wicked Charm had lost its power over me.

Even though I did not like Wicked Charm as I had hoped, I did fairly enjoy it, which is why I’m giving it a 3 stars. There were many times that I just could not put the book down and know what would happen next. There were times where I focused more on getting this book done rather than savoring it. However, if you love YA thrillers and contemporary romances (like I do), then I hope you’ll be able to enjoy Wicked Charm more than I did.


Happy Reading!

Are you excited for Wicked Charm? Do you like YA thriller and contemporary romance?

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

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18 thoughts on “E-ARC Review: Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

  1. I reviews the ARC of this too! I think I gave it 4 stars because I liked Willows character and even though it had an “insta-love” feeling to it, I felt it was a very healthy portrayal of a teen relationship unlike many similar stories. I liked Willow didnt change herself or act sappy and that Beau opened up to her rather than being the typical brooding, disinterested love interest. haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did! It was a healthier relationship (though a bit too much for me at some points) than some YA romances since they did open up and trust each other. I personally wish it was more focused on the thriller and solving the murders than the romance since that’s what I was expecting.

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    1. It definitely is a gorgeous cover! And yes, I’m a bit disappointed. I love thrillers which is why I expected more thriller and less romance. And me too–instalove is just very unrealistic. There are people you just click with, but usually it’s a bit more messy than that, haha.

      Like

  2. Oh I’m sorry to hear this didn’t really do it for you, Kester. The premise sounds so interesting and I thought the romance would be a great plus, too, but apparently it just didn’t work at all, here. What a shame :/ It’s cool that the author got the atmosphere right and you could get really engaged at times but when you’re hoping to finish a novel more than you’re to enjoy it, that’s a clear sign it’s not doing its job.
    Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That cover is marvelous! I started reading thrillers last year and fell in love, but don’t tend to like romantic thrillers and especially ones that are insta-love. I’ll think about reading this one, but it’s definitely good to have the warning. Thank you for the thoughtful review!

    Liked by 1 person

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