A Cactus in the Valley by Olivia J. Bennett
Novel Rating 5/5 ⭐
When withdrawn Terra Lombardi wakes up in a smoking airplane in the middle of the remote Arizona desert, she realizes the only other survivor is the arrogant Wyatt Hartman. Clouded with the uncertainty of how they crashed, the two strangers head west, in pursuit of civilization. Amidst the environment and dangerous animals against them, they must band together to survive and even thrive in the rocky, sun-drenched Southwest. However, the elements force them to confront their inner demons. Told through dual points-of-view and intermittent flashbacks, teenagers Wyatt and Terra brave the sun and sand alone. But it is through the hardest times in which we grow the most.
*This novel was given to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are indeed my own.*
I absolutely LOVED this book! The visuals were so real, it was like the author had thrust me into this world, making it come to life. The whole time it was like I was right there along with the characters and it became the best experience. When you can describe things so adequately it really gives the reader a full experience of your story, making it that much more believable.
Olivia has done a really amazing job of showing character development, each character is broken and dealing with their personal trauma, which adds to the storyline a great deal of emotional pull. My heart was racing with every chapter, especially towards the end when I grew anxious about the survival of the characters, and Olivia did such an amazing job with pulling at my heartstrings! I almost completely lost my cool a couple of times, that’s how invested I was in the story and the characters.
I just really loved everything about this book, it was emotional, thrilling and intense. I absolutely loved how this book gave me LOST vibes even though the plots are completely different aside from a plane crash, it has that survival quality to it obviously but it just gave me that vibe. The flow of events leading up to the crash, the backstory if you will are so seamless, it all ties together so nicely.
I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that it left me shook and wanting more. I believe there is a sequel in the process of being made and I am so excited for that! I need to know more about the characters and what happened after the crash, I hope it shows us how the crash affected our two main characters because I NEED answers!
Only critique that I have is that another set of eyes for editing should have scanned this, I found misspellings but it truly DID NOT take away from the book and its growth in story-telling.
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