Monday, January 31, 2011

The Long Weekend - Savita Kalhan - Blog Tour Review

Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with a man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. 
They were trapped, then separated.
Now they are alone.
Will either of them get out alive? 

Title: The Long Weekend
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: October 2, 2008
Format: Softcover
Source: Received from author. Many thanks goes to Savita Kalhan for sending me a copy of her book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is also part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour. You can follow along with the tour here
Look for it: Amazon (Kindle Edition), Book Depository
My rating: 5/5

Sam has spent his entire lifetime moving from one place to another, and he doesn't make friends easily. When he is befriended by Lloyd, he could not have been happier. When a vehicle shows up at school late that fateful Friday afternoon, Sam and Lloyd think that it is taking them to a surprise destination courtesy of Lloyd's father. Little do they know that that one car ride and weekend will change them for the rest of their lives. 
The Long Weekend is a harrowing and chilling tale of the dangers that surround us. Particularly the danger that is ever present to those who are most vulnerable, and most trusting--children.  Kalhan deftly weaves a tale that both horrifies and entices the reader to delve further into the book. Sam and Lloyd are two boys. They could be anyone really, and they showcase the needs of any and every child. They aren't "children" per say, but they aren't adults or teenagers either. They are in transition, and their lives, their identities are still being defined. 
Kalhan knows that less is more, and she uses it to her advantage. She gives the reader a glimpse of what is happening in Sam and Lloyd's world, without being overly detailed. That, to me, is more chilling than if she had recounted the trauma received by the boys in explicit detail. 
Sam is such a strong character, and he immediately wormed his way into my heart. He is so courageous and such a good friend to Lloyd, even though they have been friends for such a short time. His trials and thoughts are heartbreakingly believable and the reader will identify with him and want to protect him. 
Lloyd may not have a large role in the novel, but the role he plays is vital, and no less important than Sam's.  His portrayal and characterization is also hauntingly believable. He is such a sweet and happy-go-lucky character at the start of the book, so much so that it hurts to see how he and Sam are treated. Kalhan is a master at creating characters that bring out the most powerful and primal emotions in the reader. 
The villain brings about an overall sense of foreboding once he first enters the scenario. He is sharply defined, and with his characterization, I found that less definitely was more. With his identity and personality largely left up to the imagination at the beginning of the book, it fed into the fears that Sam and Lloyd had, though they may not have had misgivings right away. 
Overall, I found this a haunting, chilling, and realistic portrayal of the dangers that are ever present in our world. Though this read isn't suitable for younger readers, I highly recommend that older teens, as well as adults, read The Long Weekend as it tackles a subject that doesn't get a lot of attention in literature. Kalhan weaves the lives of Sam and Lloyd so tightly together, that readers will want to know what happens to them, all the while hoping that the outcome will be favourable. 

No comments: