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Rooville | Julie Long

"Surrendering isn’t quitting, it isn’t failing. It’s opening yourself up. Accepting, incorporating.” 

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Number of Pages: 400
Perspective: First
Location: Iowa/California

Rooville follows the story of Owen, a weatherman from California. He decides to move back to his hometown in Iowa, but soon discovers that the town has been taken over by Transcendental Meditators and all things alternative. To make things worse, the mayor is trying to turn Owen's family farm into a New Age amusement park. For a complete summary, you can go here.

To be honest, the only reason why I chose to read this book is because I thought it would be about Australia (Rooville—>Kangaroos—>Australia). I was SO wrong. At first, I kept waiting and thinking, “Ok, now is when he decides to go to Australia…” Nope. He moves to Iowa. And Roos are the people that meditate, not kangaroos. Bummer.

It’s actually really funny that I did read this book because it deals with a lot of New Age topics such as meditation, yoga, and alternative healings. My mom and step-dad are both healers and are really into all the New Age things that the Roos are into in this book. I feel like Owen because I don’t quite buy into everything that they do, but I do appreciate yoga and how it makes me feel. I also understand the stigma that is placed on people who are really into meditation.  

I liked how Long incorporated the themes of weather and meditation throughout the whole book. It’s a metaphor for the relationship between Owen and Trishna. It was also funny that Owen leaves California because the people are too into raw foods and alternative lifestyles, but his midwestern hometown has shifted that way too.

I’ll admit, I always try to figure out the ending of the book before it happens. It’s a bad habit. I did guess what the ending of Rooville would be, but how it happened completely surprised me, which I can appreciate. 

I thought the book was a little too long. The first half moved pretty slowly, but it did pick up at the end. I also didn’t feel like the characters had very much depth. It’s bad when I still can’t remember who’s who with the supporting male characters. I kept having to go back to remember who they were and why they were important. Overall, the story was interesting and I enjoyed it [I just wish there were more kangaroos…] 

If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it hereAfter you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

“You know why people resist change? Because they overvalue what they have, and underestimate what they could gain by giving that up.”

 4/5 Stars

o Amber Gregg

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book, but it did not impact my review in any way.*

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