Review || Reunion at Walnut Cherryville by Lauren Salem

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~ Genre : Young-Adult Dystopian ~

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|| BLURB ||

Johnny Cockit accidentally murdered a man when he was ten years old, which is why he was sent to Sonoran Correctional High School, a gender-segregated boarding school located in Phoenix, Arizona. Two months before graduation, Johnny and his friends are drugged and abducted by Walnut Cherryville secret watchers during an afternoon counseling session. Making decisions about the future has never felt important until the students are forced to work in a remote produce factory owned by the vengeful Quinton family. Walnut Cherryville is no ordinary factory; it’s the Quintons’ futuristic desert village governed by the principle that people live better-quality lives when they don’t make their own decisions. To ease the burden of life’s basic yet complicated choices, the government limits misdirection by choosing every citizen’s career path and lifestyle. Johnny and his friends plot an escape but must avoid being recaptured because abandonment of the village is a crime punishable by death. In a scandalous turn of events narrated by Johnny and his delinquent friends Vincent, Laura, and Collins, they discover that the reason they were captured roots back to an ancient family feud between the Cockit and Quinton families.

Due to strong sexuality, this book is intended for young adults ages 14 and up.

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|| REVIEW ||

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the lovely Lauren Salem

This was one really enjoyable read and quite different from the other YA thrillers I’ve read before. I was intrigued right from the beginning and it felt like the pages kept turning themselves.

The characters were great but my favorite was undoubtedly Laura. She was strong and a realist through and through. I liked the rest of the characters as well because they were all different and it’s always awesome to read about such diverse personalities. But for me Laura and Collins were the most well developed characters throughout the book. I loved how the story was told through the point of views of the different characters. And it was amazing how they all had a very distinct styles of thinking, thanks to which I was never confused whose POV a chapter was from in the middle of chapters.

This was a very fast paced story but the only problem I faced was that there were moments when too much happened all at once and it was a tad bit difficult to keep track of everything and understand what exactly was happening . But once I was able to catch up again, I found myself liking the book more. I found some of the events a little unbelievable and far fetched but this being a dystopian novel, I cannot expect a lot of  credibility. Also I really would have liked to know a bit more about the ancient feud because it was talked about very little in the book but I guess it’s kept under wraps to be revealed in the next book.

Now I wouldn’t call RAWC a real dystopian…but it was rather a mix of different genres – romance, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, dystopian. …but I didn’t really mind it.

The best thing about this book however had to be the writing. Really, Lauren Salem has a very unique style of writing. It isn’t overly complicated but rather straight forward, funny and interesting.

This book had some positive as well as negative aspects. But despite it’s shortcomings, I am really interested to know what happens next and am quite looking forward to the nest book.

My Rating : ★★★1/2

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