Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Review: The Long Weekend - Savita Kalhan
They were trapped, then separated.
Now they are alone.
Will either of them get out alive?
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Sam has just started at a new school but has quickly made a new friend in Lloyd and settled in. They have arranged to spend the weekend together but as they are waiting for their parents to turn up it soon becomes clear that there has been a mix up over which house they should be staying in. When a car pulls up the each presume that it is the other's father who has come to collect them and don't think twice about getting in. However, as they drive further out of town they discover that neither of them know who is actually driving the car. It is only after arriving at a secluded mansion and being separated that they discover just how much trouble they are actually in but will either of them manage to escape and get help?
Despite being a young adult novel The Long Weekend actually scared the life out of me. I can deal with supernatural horror but when it comes to something more realistic like kidnap and child abuse I am much easier to scare. This story is very realistic, it is so easy to imagine 2 young boys in Sam and Lloyd's situation - at that age I could easily have got into the car right beside them. For that reason if nothing else I would recommend this to all young adults - I'm sure that after reading this book older children and teens would think twice before getting into a car without making sure the driver was known to them. If The Long Weekend had been a film I would have been watching from behind a cushion and while reading the book I found myself holding my breath as I waited to see what would happen. I only read this in 2 days because it was getting late and I thought I might have nightmares, otherwise I would easily have finished the book in one session. It is a compelling and gripping read that I would highly recommend.
Although the story covers a difficult situation and pulls no punches about what happens to Sam and Lloyd it does so without giving graphic details which I was grateful for. Although I'm sure my imagination did far too good a job of filling in the gaps and was one of the reasons I was so frightened! This really is a must read book with likable and realistic characters you'll be routing for the whole way through and the author did a fantastic job capturing the voice of 11 year old Sam. At 180 pages it is a short read but no less powerful for it's length. I would recommend starting it in the morning so you can read all the way through without stopping - I really didn't want to put it down without finding out what happened. I'm very impressed that this is a debut novel and can't wait to see what Savita Kalhan comes up with next - I know her next book will be included on my must read list.
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review
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