Summary: When Sherri moves to Lewton, Ontario for a summer job as a student reporter for The Lewton Leader-Post, it’s as if she’s crossed over into the Twilight Zone. Businesses are closing left and right, the other reporters are cagey and secretive, Sherri’s own uncle is acting like a zombie, and it all leads back to the new box store in town, Shopwells. Though she is blocked at almost every turn, Sherri keeps asking questions in the hopes of getting the story. Along the way she is befriended by Ben, a local willing to help Sherri in her investigation who may be willing to help her get back at her ex-boyfriend as well.
Number of Pages: 180
Age Range: 15-17
Review: A lighter, comical read, The Lewton Experiment is part Stepford Wives and part All Good Children, but ends up being a quick and enjoyable jaunt into the science fiction/mystery genre.
I liked Sherri’s character and her observations of the totalitarian minions, but the part that didn’t quite mesh for me was Sherri’s relationship with her boyfriend Michael. She’s mad at him when he starts hanging out with his ex-girlfriend after she doesn’t sleep with him before leaving for Lewton. When he stops hanging out with his ex and eases up on the sleeping together idea, she’s still mad at him.
And even though she seems sensible to not start a physical relationship with Michael just before her summer excursion, Sherri has no trouble jumping into bed with Ben when they stay at a hotel during their investigation after only knowing him a short time. It was an elaborate plot device on Sa’s part that seemed only to serve to explain why Sherri wasn’t in her hotel room when the minions of Shopwells came for her and I didn’t think it fit into Sherri’s established character.
Otherwise, I had fun reading it. It’s a bit overdrawn on purpose, and the larger-than-life characters and situations had me laughing out loud and cringing with fear.
“‘You’re serious about this?’ Ben asked, as he put the car into gear and steered toward Shopwells. ‘ You think we can just waltz in there? This is a long shot without Tom.’
‘Haven’t you seen any good zombie movies? All we have to do is look like them and walk like them. Then we’ve got a shot at getting in.'” – Conversation between Ben and Sherri from The Lewton Experiment by Rachel Sa, page 164
“She snorted. ‘What do you think this is – an old-fashioned spy movie? Do you think I have a secret file hidden on me? It’s the new millennium,’ she taunted. He’d better not search me. ‘We have this thing called the internet. Your files are already in my inbox.'” – Sherri from The Lewton Experiment by Rachel Sa, page 173