Tuesday, 19 April 2011

GuestReview: Reunion - Jeff Bennington

Genre: Supernatural thriller
Pages: 336
Published: April 15th
Review by Anna

David Ray killed eight students and then turned the gun on himself. He thought the shooting and suicide would fix his world. It didn't. The massacre threw Tanner Khan and the other survivors into chaos.

Twenty years later, Tanner and his fellow classmates reluctantly agree to hold a reunion to lay the past to rest. Although they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they come back to their hometown and reunite in the defunct school building. Old flames are rekindled, fears are ignited, and their lives are about to explode in a whirlwind of memories, haunted by the spirit of David Ray.

Once they're inside the school, they discover that a dark entity has joined them. It has come to collect a debt, long overdue, and someone has to pay. Will Tanner and his classmates overcome their fears, putting the pieces of their lives back together, or will they be consumed by their worst nightmare?

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"Reunion” (by Jeff Bennington) is fictional, and not based on anything that has happened in real life. It is the author’s third story, with more on the way.

Reunion” can be described as a paranormal thriller, but as the author writes in the foreword, it is also a mixture of “supernormal, horror, romance, suspense, and dark fiction”.

The story starts with a school shooting in Crescent Falls, a small fictional town in Idaho. A young man, David Ray, opens fire in his high school cafeteria, killing several students and seriously injuring others. The shooting occurs only days before the summer holidays.

The story then jumps 20 years into the future, and follows a number of survivors that were graduating in the year of the shooting. The survivors all have one thing in common; they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They all, however, deal with the PTSD in different ways, whether it is writing books, drinking or treating other people with PTSD.

Maria Vasquez, the Valedictorian in the graduating year who is now treating other people with PTSD, feels that the only way to put the shooting behind them, is to go back to Crescent Falls and have a reunion. And what would be better than to have the reunion 20 years after the tragedy? She contacts old school mates and some of them reluctantly agree to return to the town, which they have avoided for two decades, although some of the survivors remained in Crescent Falls the years after the shooting.

The survivors return to Crescent Falls well in time for the reunion, as there need to be a lot of preparations done. The high school has been closed ever since the shootings, and it is decided that the old school building shall be renovated before the big day. As the reunion day draws closer, the tension grows and the survivors continues to have flashbacks from the event 20 years earlier.

But there is something terrible going on in the school and the sheriff’s department is unwilling to tell the real truth to the survivors. Will they be able to have the reunion in the school after all? The sheriff Larry Richards is determined to find out what is really happening in the old high school and to solve the mystery before it is too late.

“Reunion” is hard to put down, once you have started to read it. You just have to find out what happens next. The different characters are all very well described in the book.

But “Reunion” also makes you think. Is David Ray such an evil monster, knowing what happened to him in the childhood? Could the society do something to prevent school shooters from comitting such horrible crimes? Do they deserve to die, the school shooters, or should they be put in jail for the rest of their lives? In the foreword, Jeff Bennington lists ten of the worst school shootings in the US history. When one hears and reads about school shooting one will of course feel sorry for the victims’ families and friends, but one should also remember the survivors. 

 I highly recommend “Reunion” to everyone. I think it is a very important book to read. It is very thrilling, with a little bit of romance and mystique. I give the book top marks, 5/5.



18 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this one. Sounds powerful as well as a great thriller - thanks!

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  2. Oh good! I have this one in my TBR pile and am looking forward to it. It's a bit different from my normal read so I'm excited:) Nice review!

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  3. Eeep! Sounds a little scary...

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  4. Wow this sounds so intense. I like that it made you think.

    Btw, I don't think you would like "never a gentleman"!!!

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  5. This sounds like an intense read!

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  6. Thank you Anna for the review! :D



    Carrie
    I do think you are right, I fear I would throw it at the wall ;)

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  7. This is not really my genre, but your review is fabulous, Anna! :)

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  8. Wow, it must be written well to include all that!

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  9. Oh Blodeuedd! I'd probably need you to hold my hand while I read this one. It just seems like such a hot issues book, and I don't like to feel sympathy for characters who commit such horrible crimes. Still, seems like this one would be worth trying because you only hear about the crime, you never really know what the lasting effects are unless you read about them.

    Very thought provoking review.

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  10. Oh this sounds like something I will enjoy. I will check this one out. Thanks for the thrilling review! :)

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  11. Hmmm, sounds interesting. Really interesting. :) And after this review I want to know what is going on at the high school! lol. Thank you!

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  12. I love a good thriller, so I will be definitely adding this to my TBR. Sounds very intense and exciting!

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  13. WOW! I appreciate the review, Anna. And I'm grateful that so many of you are considering adding Reunion to your tbr lists. I can't wait to hear what you think!

    -Jeff

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  14. Great review! This definitely sounds like a book I'd love to read.

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  15. Alyssa
    Just as a thriller should be it seems

    Jenny
    I hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

    Chris
    I am not big on ghosts either

    Naida
    It sure does

    Janna
    :)

    Bermuda
    She sure seems to have enjoyed it :)

    Missie
    Lol, I am sure I would feel like that too if I read it. Scary things and I are not a great combo.

    Melissa
    :)

    Melissa
    Not a school I would like to check out

    Misha
    I am sure you would enjoy it :)

    Darlene
    I hope you get the chance :)

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  16. Trying to get Anna to come by and comment too, will see if it works ;) Until then I will just do it :)


    Jeff
    I will be sure to tell Anna that :D That is if I can't get her to come over here and see ;)

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  17. The first part of the plot is very much like real life school shootings in the US. I wonder what would happen if, for instance, the survivors of Columbine decided to reunite and go back to their old school. That does make for a very compelling and anxious scenario.

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  18. Stehpanie
    I do not think I could ever go back if something like that happened, but then if you still are in school you gotta.

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