A Cactus in the Valley - Olivia Bennett


I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

This was an amazing book. I haven’t read a YA book this deep and emotional in a while.

 

First off, I loved the dual points of view. It allowed me to really get into the minds of both Terra and Wyatt and feel what they felt.

 

I also really loved the flashbacks. They were incredibly well done and were spaced perfectly throughout the novel. You learned more about the characters gradually, as opposed to being info-dumped with backstory. The author did a good job paralleling the flashbacks. I enjoyed seeing the connections between their stories.

 

The writing style of the book was really beautiful. The descriptions were phenomenal. The author writes with such an ease. Two of my favorite lines (which also show the parallels) were “My name is Terra Lombardi, and I am a shooting star falling from the heavens” (24) and “My name is Wyatt Hartman, and I am a meteor crashing from the skies” (44).

 

The subject matter can be heavy and very mature at times, but it was all handled appropriately. Sometimes authors will throw in things like rape and abuse as a plot device, without doing the matter justice. This book did not do that and I really appreciated that.

 

Overall, this is a powerful story about survival and facing your inner demons.