Action-Packed, Emotional, and Romantic || Review: Reactive

Kidnapped when she was seven, Lune Avery is determined to get out of Tatum City by completing the Elite Trials, a series of tests focused on strength and precision. But then Brendon Bearon, the boy who kidnapped her, appears and everything starts falling apart.

Title: Reactive (The Elite Trials, #1)
Author: Becky Moynihan
Publisher: Broken Books
Genres: YA Dystopian Romance

Official Synopsis


Lune Tatum, adopted daughter of the Supreme Elite, has lived within her father’s walled city for eleven years.  

But she wants out.  

Except she can’t leave, and not because of the clans and mutated beasts that roam beyond the impenetrable, electrified walls protecting her life. Her plan has always been to win the Elite Trials and earn Title of Choice—her only chance at freedom. And the only way to return home to her mother.  

Then a boy from her past arrives on her eighteenth birthday. His presence threatens Lune’s carefully laid plans and exposes memories she’s desperate to forget. He can’t be trusted. Especially as he possesses dangerous secrets. And what he reveals could ruin the chance at freedom she’s willing to die for.  

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Shatter Me series, THE ELITE TRIALS trilogy is the gripping story of Lune Tatum as she fights for freedom in a futuristic dystopian world plagued by danger, secrets, and betrayal. An emotional, action-packed journey of resilience, second chances, and fierce love.


Reactive is fast-paced and action-packed, the stakes building and snowballing with every chapter. I couldn’t stop reading. The author has compared her book to The Hunger Games, which I feel is an apt description in style. The story is told through the POV of Lune Avery, kidnapped at seven and abused by her adoptive father. She’s willing to do anything to win the Elite Trials that would free her from Tatum City.  

There are a lot of fun, and not-so-fun (but in a good way), twists. A lot of interesting reveals. But the plot never feels bogged down by it all. I think this might be true because this book is very character-driven. That’s an odd thing to say about a book such as this, but Moynihan takes a lot of time with her characters. Lune’s emotions and thoughts are at the forefront of the story, and they are powerful.  

The ending is explosive. This book does well in setting up a sequel, though it didn’t feel like it was all set-up. The ending, especially, make me want to read the sequel.


Moynihan does a wonderful job in creating three-dimensional characters. Case in point: Lune Avery.  

Lune is the main character of this story, and she takes a very active role. She is headstrong, experienced, motivated, snarky, and willing to do what it takes, no matter what. But she does have fears, some debilitating and some not so much. As I mentioned before, her emotions are an integral part of the story–there is no mistaking what she’s feeling at any point in this book. It was easy for me to cheer her on, to laugh with her, and cry with her.  

Bren, the love interest in the story, is also a fascinating character. A lot of things about him are purposefully hidden away, but what we do see of him is his strength, integrity, and indecision. He’s also frustrating in many ways, but I felt it added to the story, added to Lune’s frustrations enough that it didn’t detract.  

The romance between Lune and Bren is a large part of the story, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow. The banter between them is hilarious at times, sweet at others. I’d also like to say that Becky is amazing at kissing scenes.

World Building

The world Moynihan has planted her readers in is both fascinating and brutal. The author doesn’t pull her punches. Tatum City is a cruel place of tyranny, abuse, hazing, and punishment. Is there any doubt Lune wants to leave this place?  

Tatum City is a place that stands after the Silent War, a war that took out 90% of the world’s population. What’s left are small populations like Tatum City, where those who want to survive must fight for it. The Elite Trials seem to be in the same vein as The Hunger Games, but it sets itself apart with the intricate details of the competition and the different dystopian aspects. Mutated, deadly horses and bears, strange decayed gadgets. It feels very much like a disintegration of modern society.  

I’m excited to see how Moynihan expands this world because we see only a small part of it in this book. But what’s there is well written and thought out.

Overall Thoughts

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is fun, action-packed, emotional, and romantic. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

If you like dystopian novels, what’s your favorite thing about them?

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