Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: nexGate Press
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 inside the old 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 and put the pieces of their lives back together, or will they be consumed by their worst nightmare?
First I have to say "Thank You" to Jeff Bennington for contacting Good Choice Reading and giving us (me) the chance to review his book. I finished this book in two days and that's only because I had to sleep. LOL. I love the way Jeff wrote this book. It sucked me in from page one and I was hooked. As I'm reading, a movie played in my head.
So "Reunion" is basically about a kid named David Ray, who was bullied, teased and humilated in school and never quite fit in. Like most kids, this kind of teasing takes a toll on them and many grow up to be very resentful adults. But some like David Ray couldn't take it anymore and let took matters into his own hands and figured his solution was go to into his high school and basically kill those to blame for his misery. He killed 8 students before turned the gun and shot himself.
Twenty years later, the survivors of the shooting suffering still from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, agreed to hold their 20th reunion at this old school. The school that has been closed up since the shooting But little did they know that in that same building, their high school was haunted by the dark and evil spirit of David Ray. And he was not about to let them have a peaceful reunion. What they didn't know was that this reunion would probably be just a traumatic as the shooting. The question that remains is, will the students get the closure they desire or open up new wounds?
This book made me think back to when I was in high school. And I was blessed to have a backbone because the few times I was picked on, I stood up for myself and it never really got the best of me. I was never really bullied. Thank God. However there are many less fortunate. Those that do get teased and bullied and some don't feel they can turn to anyone too. And these experiences eventually mold them into people that end up like the character David in this book. Look at how horrible the shooting of Colombine was. This book just made me feel like something has to be done with bullying, And parents we should be the firsts to talk to our children about it. Whether it's our kids being bullied or doing the bullying. Sit down and talk to them. We can make a difference in our kids lives just by talking to them and showing them what's right and wrong. Let's work on our future and help prevent these shootings from happening again
I absolutely LOVED LOVED this book. It gets a 5 stars from and it is a MUST READ and a DEFINITE "Good Choice for Reading".
Good Choice Reading: Jeff Bennington Interview
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
Okay. How about this; I’m a right brain dude, trapped in a left-brain world, and I’m trying to escape. The more I write, the closer I am to releasing my self-imposed shackles of personal expectations. In other words, writing has freed me as an individual and made me a better person, because the dreams and nightmares bottled up inside of me are finally coming out.
2. Tell us a little about your book.
Reunion is a story about a group of kids who go through a school shooting and then reunite twenty years later in spite of their fears and personal struggles. It is a book about living with pain, surviving trauma and overcoming fear. It is about bullying, school shootings and the pain and residual effect that these things have on the individuals who experience them.
3. How long did it take for you to write "Reunion"?
It took about six months to write the first draft of Reunion. It took about two years to finish it. I wrote another book in between the first draft and the editing process. As a result, I was able to bring the lessons learned on the other book into Reunion and make it even better.
3. Why did you choose to write a story about a school shooting?
Because I had too many unanswered questions about what the victims and survivors go through. As a writer, this was my process of trying to make sense of the school shooting phenomena.
4. Were you concerned about your readers reaction regarding the touchy subject of your book?
Yes, I was very concerned. In fact, I was afraid that Reunion would be flat out rejected, and that I would ruin my writing career. However, I believed in what I had hoped to accomplish with this book, so my dreams won out over my fears.
5. Do you have any advice to those in a bullying situation? (Doing the bullying or being bullied).
Yes. To the bully: No matter how much you lie to yourself, the reason you are cruel and hurtful is because you feel weak…but you’re not. If you want to be strong and respected you have to respect others, no matter how different they are from you. No one likes a bully. Everyone thinks bullies are jerks. Stop being cruel and start being cool – you’ll have a lot more friends if you treat people with kindness and dignity.
To the bullied: Don’t put up with it. Tell someone, a parent, a teacher or a respected adult. If nothing changes, you have to stand up for yourself. This may not be the answer that professionals give, but in every case I know of when the bullied fought back, even at their own peril, the bullying stopped—end of story.
6. Have you written any more books? If so what are their titles?
Yes. I’ve written 3 novels; two are published and one is on its way. I’ve also written a really cool short suspense. Here’s the list…
Killing the Giants (2009)
The Rumblin’ – short story (2010)
Act of Vengeance (coming in late 2011)
As proud as I am of Reunion, I’m very excited about Act of Vengeance, because it is an incredibly mind-twisting novel that I hope will leave the reader guessing until the very end.
I’ll give away a free Digital copy (.mobi or .epub, winners choice). I’m giving away 2 copies at Goodreads (sign up until May 13th).
For more information on Jeff Bennington and his novels, check out his website