Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Review: The Long Weekend, by Savita Kalhan

Oh wow!  The Long Weekend was a heart-pounding, gut-wrenching thriller.

Two boys, Sam and Lloyd, through a misunderstanding, end up locked in a car and eventually in a house with a crazy man. They are brand new friends, so when a car pulls up at school and someone says “get in,” they both think it’s the other one’s father. Creepy, huh? Mostly because it seems really plausible!  These kids weren’t stupid. They didn’t take candy from a stranger. They thought they were safe.  And then they weren’t.

They try to convince each other that this is surprise from one of their dads. There’s a game room, and the guy is really nice – except – why does he lock the doors? I loved how it slowly becomes apparent, at least to Sam, that they are in trouble.

So begins Sam’s determination to escape. He’s one feisty, brave kid. Not to say he isn’t afraid. I thought Kalhan got that part right. Sam had to do things to escape and to save his friend. He was terrified, but he did them anyway. I agree with some other reviews that said Sam seemed older than 11 years at times, but maybe that’s what has to happen to prevail in a situation like this. I hope I never have to find this out for real.

My heart was literally pounding for the last thirty pages. It really doesn’t seem like the boys have much chance to come out on top. But, do they? Well, I’m not going to tell you that part. There is a nice epilogue, but everything isn’t perfect. How could it be after going through this experience? But it is a hopeful and believable ending.

I want to give this to middle schoolers – especially boys – but I’m afraid. I think I would be selective. If my son had read this book when he was in middle school, he would not have been able to sleep for weeks. It is realistic and scary. Just keep that in mind when you recommend this book.

Note: I’m really happy I got my hands on this book. It isn’t available in the US as far as I know. I won a copy from Sarah @ That Bookish Girl, and received the autographed copy in the mail from the author in the UK!

Published by Anderson Press, London, 2009
My own copy, won as described above
180 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. That definitely sounds like one some of the older boys in my school would love. As I'm in the UK, I'll have to look this one up.

  2. Too bad this isn't available in the US! I see so many books being released in the UK and Australia which I would love to get ahold of. This one sounds like such a creepy thriller-- even the cover is creepy. Great review! :)

  3. Fantastic review and thanks for the heads up. I think it might just be too scary for me :)


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