The Long Weekend
by Savita Kalhan
Released on 10.02.2008 (U.K.)
Source: Book from Author via blog tour organized by Melissa @ i swim for oceans
REVIEW: If this book is ever made into a movie, they are going to have to bring Alfred Hitchcock back from dead. I don't know of single other director who could possibly do the freak-out, scare factor justice.
I usually am underwhelmed by any book publicized to be a 'thriller'; they typically fail to give me that oh-my-gaaawd-look-over-my-shoulder thrill. You can probably tell that I am leading up to this, but let me just declare that The Long Weekend delivers. Paranormal baddies can't compare to the true, entirely possible, everyday evil that drives down our streets and exists in this book.
First, you simply aren't ready for it. The opening reads like an MG book. It's thoroughly enjoyable, but its wording and the two 11-year old characters both are firmly in the junior high boys' world of sports, music and simply hanging out. Then, their parents are late picking them up one evening, and they are stuck waiting in the rain for one set or the other. And finally a car pulls up, and the both get in, each thinking it's the other's dad. I mean, would your 11-year old know better? You know he would, you think he would, and then you hope he would; but. . . does he?
What ensues is a parent's worse nightmare and one that kids may not know enough to have. Kalhan skillfully balances our horror at the boys' situation with the wonderful, rational, determined and loyal Sam. The story is told through a his third-person limited perspective, and his denial, terror, and assessment of the situation becomes your own. His fear and emotions are so en pointe that we never are bothered with checking behind our back for our safety; we are too busy worried about what is going to jump in front of Sam (and us). His entirely believable voice adds an additional level of fright because he sounds exactly like an 11-year old in an impossible situation - it adds an even more potent dose of realism, and the irony is that I don't think this is a book I would suggest for 11-year olds! It's that frighteningly real. It's that scary. Despite the younger tone and the age of the characters, this is a book I would suggest for YA audiences and older.
This is a wonderfully written, stand alone book. Kalhan makes sure that we leave this story with a resolution, and I was greatly impressed that she kept me guessing what would happen with the boys right until the end. If you are looking for a keep-you-up-all-night thriller with very real characters and a plot that can happen in everyday life, then The Long Weekend is for you.
**Unfortunately, this book currently is not available in the U.S. for purchase (although it can be ordered for Kindle and from Book Depository), but please read on to get the details on how you can win a SIGNED copy through my INTERNATIONAL giveaway!
FTC: I received this book from the author to read and give my honest opinion. In no way was I compensated for my review.
Scrapbook Time with the Author!
I am so excited to be hosting Savita Kalhan here today! In lieu of the traditional author interview, Savita has put together a wonderful scrapbook post of her widely traveled life! I hope you enjoy! Details on the INTERNATIONAL giveaway are at the end!
I’m doing a scrapbook of my life on your blog today, and as I’ve never done anything like this before, I’m really excited about it! Don’t worry, I’ll try and keep it short and sweet, so I’m choosing a few moments of my life to share with everyone.
You can probably all tell that I’m Indian. Well, I was born in India, in my grandparent’s house in a small village called Kartarpur, which is in the state of Punjab. I was only there for about 11 months before we uprooted and came to live in the UK. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but it was a huge move for my parents.
|Here’s a picture of me and my mum!|
Here’s an old photograph of me with my sisters when we were very young. Next to it, there is a picture of us about 35 years later! I’m the second from the left in both.
I got some space when I went to university. I chose Aberystwyth University, in Wales because on my open day visit it was a gorgeous day, blue sky, sun blazing, and the Halls of Residence, where I would live, were directly on the seafront. Little did I know that it wasn’t like that for most of the year! There were raging storms, days and nights when the wind and the rain battered the windows while the sea raged and hurled huge stones and rocks at the buildings. I still loved it there! Alexandra Hall, where I lived is the building right on the far side of the seafront.
I graduated in Politics and Philosophy, started a Masters in the Political Philosophy of John Paul Sartre, and stayed in Aberystwyth. That’s when I started dabbling in Batik. I taught myself and managed to turn it into a business. I had exhibitions and taught in schools, and even taught groups of Art teachers.
Here’s a stand that I had at the Ideal Home Exhibition.
Then, somehow or other, came several years of living in the Middle East where I taught English. It was a huge adjustment, and made me realise how hard it must have been for my parents when they left India. But gradually I got used to it, made friends, joined a beach club, because we were so close to the Red Sea, and started playing tennis.
|This is a picture of the original design for the world that an architect friend of mine drew up for me!|
This was also the time when I started writing. It was very hard to get books there, so I used to have to almost smuggle in large quantities! I was reading tons of crime and tons of epic fantasy then. Imagine how it felt when after all that effort, some of them weren’t worth the effort it took to get them there. My friend and I decided that we would write a fantasy epic together. The plan was that I would start it off, so I thought about it for a while, got a plan together in my head, and set pen to paper. I finished the first chapter, gave it to her to read, and waited for her to write the next. Of course, that never happened! I ended up writing the whole trilogy myself, but she did read every word!
By the late nineties I was back living in the UK with my husband and my baby boy, who was 11 months then! I carried on trying to write, but wasn’t really very focused until my son started school. That’s when I found myself turning back to the fantasy trilogy. I rewrote it, but left the last couple of chapters of the third book unfinished, fully intending to return to them. Instead I found myself writing lots of different things; from books for young readers, to middle grade, to more contemporary fiction, books with an edge to them, for teens and young adults
One day a flyer was sent round the local schools warning that a large flashy car had been seen cruising outside the schools and that the driver had tried to snatch children. I didn’t think that with all the talks and lectures that kids get at school that it could happen easily. Kids are pretty aware, but we all know that it does still happen. A scenario came to my mind where something like that could happen with terrifying ease. That’s when I wrote The Long Weekend.
As you can see, I’ve done lots of different things before I became a writer, and the journey was long and meandering. At times it was very difficult too. Now I actually feel like a writer, but for a long time, when I was unpublished, it was hard because of the struggle to carry on, to persevere come what may, and also because, in my experience, people never really took an unpublished writer seriously.
I try to keep my website up to date with all my news and events. So please have a look around, and say HI! on my message board. Let me what you think of The Long Weekend! You can also find me tweeting on random things over on Twitter or come and join me on Facebook.
Thanks so much for inviting me here today, Linds. I’ve had fun!
Thank you, Savita! It was great having you and learning more about the author behind The Long Weekend!
GIVEAWAY TIME with Savita!!
For the international GIVEAWAY competition for a SIGNED copy of The Long Weekend, I’d like your followers (and non-followers :) to answer a question:
"What book do you wish you had written and why?"
Answer in the comments section please! I’m looking forward to reading their responses.
Giveaway Rules with Linds:
****please answer Savita's question above in the comments section
****please leave a valid email address with your comment
****giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
****giveaway ends on Monday, April 4, 2011 at Midnight, E.S.T.
****Following is NOT required (but appreciated), and winner will be chosen by random.org