Friday, October 29, 2021

Feature Friday ARC Review: Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review YA books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher SparkPress
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Pages: 280 
Source: ARC 

THE STORY:

Six teens, one dog, a ski trip gone wrong . . .

Sam is dreading senior ski weekend and having to watch after her brother and his best friend, Gavin, to make sure they don’t do anything stupid. Again. Gavin may be gorgeous, but he and Sam have never gotten along. Now they’re crammed into an SUV with three other classmates and Gavin’s dog, heading on a road trip that can’t go by fast enough.

Then their SUV crashes into a snowbank, and Sam and her friends find themselves stranded in the mountains with cell phone coverage long gone and temperatures dropping. When the group gets sick of waiting for rescue, they venture outside to find help—only to have a wilderness accident leave Sam’s brother with a smashed leg and, soon, a raging fever. While the hours turn to days, Sam’s brother gets sicker and sicker, and their food and supplies dwindle until there isn’t enough for everyone. As the winter elements begin to claim members of the group one by one, Sam vows to keep her brother alive.

No matter what.

Filled with twists, secrets, and life-changing moments, Ski Weekend is a snow-packed survival thriller featuring a diverse cast of teens that will appeal to fans of One of Us is Lying and I Am Still Alive. 
LINK: Goodreads


RATING:

ONE-WORD REVIEW: CHILLING

TAG LINE:


Six teens, one dog, a ski trip gone wrong . . .

OPENING LINE:

We're almost to the foothills when the trouble begins



REVIEW:

I was lucky enough to be contacted by Doris BranfordRektok's publicity coordinator, for a chance to review last month. And I am glad I accepted.

SKI WEEKEND is the Breakfast Club meets Frozen—and, no, I don’t mean the animated princess musical. The mix-matched group of teens drive up for a class ski trip but get stranded in a blizzard instead. As the blizzard grows worse, dwindling food supplies and exposure to the elements aren’t the only axes hovering over their necks. Unforeseen physical accidents that further jeopardize some characters, secrets unfold, and true colors are shown. The group is pushed to the limits. But how far will they go before turning on each other to survive? 

The cast of characters is the strongest element of the book. They are diverse and thoroughly fleshed out which really makes an impression on the page. Their authenticity really shines. Because of that, I will deviate from my usual template of doing character summaries at the end of my review.

The Outcast: I found it interesting that the MC, Sam, was stuck in a life-or-death situation but kept agonizing over her secret crush who ghosted her. On one hand, I was annoyed because girl you and your baby brother are about to die in a snow blizzard but you’re swooning over this guy who was supposed to be your friend but ghosted you. On the other hand, I’m like they are teenagers and, honestly, was just like that during those years. As adults, we look back on our teen years and instinctively groan and roll our eyes over how terrible over priorities were. 

The Golden Boy: Gavin who ghosted Sam truly grated on my nerves to be perfectly honest. In all honestly, he is my least favorite character. He was not well acquainted with accepting responsibility for his actions. I’ll not spoil all of the ways this plays out in the story, However, his redeeming quality was his loyalty to his best friend, Stuart.

The Innocent: Stuart is Sam's younger brother who you cannot help but like. He’s a gamer and storyteller who has an innocence you—and especially Sam— want to protect at all cost. Even though he’s hardheaded and always getting into stitches.

The “Slut”: Hunt is the promiscuous jokester whose surprising serious side keeps the group alive.

“I'm getting laid for sure." Hunter flashes the grin of someone who is super attractive and knows it. With his rich, blemish-free dark skin and gorgeous brown eyes, he looks like a young Denzel Washingtonmaybe betterand has no problem getting girls at school, even with his rodeo cowboy schtick.
"You're gross, Hunt!" Britney wrinkles her nose prettily. "Our bodies are a gift from God. We're supposed to save sex for someone special."
He winks at her. "They're all special, trust me."

The Princess: Britney is the shallow princess who has more layers than you think.

The Nerd: Lily is the hardcore nerd who is more cutthroat than imaginable. 

SKI WEEKEND is a suspenseful story, that surprisingly sends you down nostalgia lane—reminding you of what it was like being a teen, and how great YA 80s movies were. The beats of SKI WEEKEND were well-paced for the thrilling survival plot and kept me on my toes wondering what terrible thing was going to happen next and if the group would ever get rescued. It takes a special talent to keep a wait-and-see survival plot from dragging. Overall, SKI WEEKEND is an enjoyable, fast read. I’d recommend it to those seeking a quick, winter thriller.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rektok Ross is the pen name of Liani Kotcher, a trial attorney turned young adult author and book blogger. An avid reader since childhood, Liani writes exactly the kind of books she loves to escape into herself: exciting thrillers with strong female leads, swoonworthy love interests, and life-changing moments. She graduated from the University of Florida School of Journalism and obtained her juris doctorate at the University of Miami School of Law. Originally from South Florida, she currently splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles with her husband, stepkids, and her dogs.

You can find her online just about anywhere at @RektokRoss, as well as on her website, www.RektokRoss.com, where she blogs about books and writing. 

Happy Reading!

 

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