Thursday 1 September 2011

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

Pages - 180
Published by Anderson Press in 2008, republished in 2009

It's tough being the new kids, but when you're not the only one it's not so bad. The problem was Sam was always the new kid and always the only one. He'd moved schools four times and moved countries three times - and he was only eleven. That had to be a bit of a record. He should write to the Guinness Book Of World Records and get them to enter it as a new category. He'd be famous. Not that he wanted to be famous., but it would have been a pretty cool thing to tell people.

Goodreads Summary
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 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? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.

This is one of those books that I wish I had known more about before I decided to read it. I had no idea what the main storyline was so I wasn't prepared for the way it opened up my emotions and left me shocked and stunned. 

The author has written an extremely powerful, intense psychological  thriller which rips your heart out and bleeds you dry. This is one of those books that will stay in your thoughts long after you have read it. She has taken a rather distressing plot line and handled it with  maturity  and grace. She has  made a taboo subject accessible and open for discussion between adults and children. After finishing the book, I actually sat my children down and talked about what I had read, reiterating the points of safety I constantly repeat to them.

The plot of this story deals with child abduction and other sensitive subjects, which are areas I struggle to read about. For me as a mother, it is just too real for my oversensitive maternal nature.  I actually had to skim over certain parts as they just distressed me too much. Yet the author has been very diplomatic with her use of language, so there is only the hint of what actually happened in the house.  I am so pleased that the author wasn't too graphic with the events of the weekend. 

The plot is gripping and you find yourself glued to the book, as you desperately hope the boys will get out alive. Lloyd and Sam will play heavily on your heart strings. Sam was an amazing character who showed such strength of character. He was not going to give up, he was determined to escape. Not many eleven year olds would show such determination and I felt proud of him. 

This is not an easy book to read but  one that I feel teenagers should read.  This book could save lives. Unless a child is extremely street wise, they often trust the wrong people and this book shows how easily a simple mistake can turn in a disaster. 

I really do think this is a powerful book that should be read, but if you are like me, and cry when you see children fall over or get upset, or you are an over sensitive mother who wears her heart on her sleeve, then you might want to let someone else read it. However, this book was not written for over sensitive mothers, it was written for teenagers, so pass it on to one to raise awareness and discussion of a difficult yet topical subject. 


  1. I appreciate your honesty, Vivienne. As a mother, and a very emotional one, I think I'll pass on this one. It sounds like an important book but I'm not the right reader for it.

  2. I must say, I've seen this around the blogosphere before and truly think I'd be traumatised by reading it, it's just not something I think I can handle reading! If the protagonists were adults I could go there, but children? No way!

  3. Thanks for the warning and a really honest review. I'm afraid I'm another reader who will probably give this one a miss.

  4. Excellent review and not one for me. Glad you were honest. x

  5. This sounds like an important book even if it is somewhat disturbing. I like that it opened dialogue between you and your girls.

  6. What a great, honest review. I agree it was very clever how the author only hints at what happened enough to let the reader know without going into horrific detail I don't think I could have handled that.

    Agree that its a very important book but that it isn't the easiest of books to read!

  7. This is such a brilliant book, isn't it? I went in completely blind and it really shocked me but I loved it. I completely agree, the writer being so subtle about what took place made the whole thing even more disturbing. Totally recommend this one.x

  8. Ever since becoming a mom I have a hard time with this kind of book too. My kids are too young for this book, but this review was a good reminder to talk to them about this sort of thing again.

  9. I can't recommend Savita's book highly enough. She has taken a subject which all children are very aware of - 'someone might steal me' - and written about it with honesty and clarity. A book which should be read by kids from 10 years upwards and one that I know has been appreciated by many young readers.

  10. I am having one of those nothing suits me days. So not for me, but I am glad it was thrilling :)

  11. brilliant review Viv, this one sounds like something every teen should read, and one im very interested to try myself... I always worry about how un-street-wise L is. he could get lost walking to the shop over the road I swear!


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