Title: The Long Weekend
Author: Savita Kalhan
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Horror, Teen/YA
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Sam has never been the most popular kid at school, so his new friendship with Lloyd is really exciting for him. While waiting for a ride home from Lloyd’s father, someone pulls up and offers them a ride home. Because Sam thinks it’s Lloyd’s dad, he climbs into the car. But before long, Sam realizes that they are in a car with a stranger with ill intentions.
The circumstances around The Long Weekend are the makings of a parent’s worst nightmare. Two children climb into a car and are whisked away by a stranger. Once Sam realizes what is happening, he knows he must do everything he can in order to escape. His voice rings true for an eleven year old – he is smart and capable, but not overly precocious. His fear radiates through every word and thought, be he doesn’t let it control him.
The fear and horror are really what surround this book. As Sam tries to escape with Lloyd, he is haunted by the presence of the man who took them. Everywhere he turns, there he is, whether in the flesh or in Sam’s head. It’s very creepy; Kalhan does a wonderful job making the fear and dread tangible. The reader shares what Sam is feeling because the emotions are so well written.
There are hints around physical and sexual abuse in this book (though, because it’s aimed at a middle grade audience, it’s never explicitly stated). It’s difficult to read at times, but Kalhan makes the material appropriate for readers of multiple ages. It’s one I would definitely read before handing it off to a younger child, but the author does a great job making the novel appeal to a wide range of audiences.
The Long Weekend is a quick read, but a well-written one. Though it’s only available in print from the UK, Kindle readers can find the electronic version at Amazon.com. If you’re a fan of creepy books, I definitely recommend picking up The Long Weekend.