Friday, March 25, 2011

Savita Kalhan's The Long Weekend (Review, Interview, and Giveaway!)

Summary/Cover Image from Amazon:
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...

Review:

Reading Savita Kalhan’s The Long Weekend is like watching the latest chilling and mystifying thriller movie, as not only is it a freighting read, but it’s one that will keep nearly any reader- from middle-grade to adult- clinging to the page, waiting to know what will happen next, while these two boys land themselves in one colossal mess.

Sam knows his newest friend Lloyd and he should never have gotten into the black shinny car that Friday afternon, but it was raining, cold, and chilly waiting there by the school. In addition, there were so many cool things in the car- movies, CDs, as much junk food as any young boy could eat. However, now he is in the scariest position he has ever been in. Locked in a big mansion with Lloyd and a petrifying man in black, he knows he has to get them out of there if he ever wants to the light of day. Will he be able to? Will he come out unharmed, or will everything lead to the worst death imaginable?

In The Long Weekend, Savita introduces a duo of two unique yet stereotypical tween boys. Sam and Lloyd are both easy to like and root for, and I feel many teen boys will be able to root for Sam’s desire to be strong, and Lloyd’s fight to keep hope in the most dangerous of situations. More importantly, their friendship is fully fleshed out in a way that it not only plays an important part in the book, but also leads to yet another part of the book I adored.

As mentioned before, the premise of this is frightening to no end. However, what it makes it even more so is how situations like these do happen to kids all the time in real life- they make the wrong decision, get in the car with the wrong person, and end up fighting for their life. Better yet, Savita does not sugar coat the situation. Instead she makes it realistic to the point that it leaves an impact on the reader as well as an important message.

In addition, Savita’s writing was also quite good. I thought she did an excellent job of fleshing the plot lines as well as the characters and there feeling out given the book’s short length. Lastly, I really liked how realistic the ending was- it was happy but it still taught a lesson so to say to Lloyd, Sam, and hopefully the reader, and that is all I will say about that.

The Long Weekend is perfect for readers- avid and reluctant alike- looking for a fast-paced book to get lost in- one that while contains not only shock and intrigue but a great underlying lying message as well.

Grade: B+

The Long Weekend is now out!

Source: Author- thanks Savita!

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Recently I received the chance to ask Savita, the author of The Long Weekend, a few questions about the book, her writing, and a variety of other things. Without a further ado...

~~~

Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for inviting me here today! I’m looking forward to answering your questions.

In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens (or even adults)should consider picking up The Long Weekend the next time they see it in stores or online?

Well, because everyone says it’s a heart-stopping read, which I’m so chuffed about! Yes, it’s dark, and scary, and some people have problems reading it at night – adults more so than teens! But it’s a good read, full of suspense and danger, and very moving, too.

I hope teens pick it up because it does inadvertently carry a specific message for them – be aware! It’s a message that applies to everyone really, but school assemblies doesn’t have quite the same impact as reading my book. After reading The Long Weekend you’ll almost certainly never ever allow yourself that moment of being a little distracted or unaware when you’re out.

There is also another element to the story that I think is very important. It doesn’t usually appear in many teen or YA stories, but it’s definitely one that should be talked about – between kids as much as adults, parents and grandparents. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the book.

The Long Weekend tells the story of Lloyd and Sam so would you mind sharing a little about each? In addition, if you could offer them any advice, what would you say?

Sam and Lloyd are both pretty average kids. They’re both eleven, naive, and all their worlds revolve around football and Play Station. The nightmare that happens to them can happen to anyone at all, and that’s the frightening part.

It’s probably a bit late to give them advice. I’d like to scream - NO! - at them before they get in the car, but it’s too late for that. They might have some for all of us - I think they would want to make sure that no one had to go through what they did. They would want to tell people to just stop and think for a moment before doing anything. That’s all: a moment’s thought.

How did the title The Long Weekend come to be? Was it always the title or did it come later on in the game?

As soon as I started writing the title came to me. I kept it as my working title when I submitted the book to the publishers. They did look at several different titles, but in the end they came back to The Long Weekend.

Do you have a favorite scene or line from The Long Weekend? If would you mind sharing it, or a bit about it to get readers excited to read the book?

My favourite scene is definitely the end of the last chapter – it was really moving to write. (Yes, it makes me cry!) For the reader, the only way to really appreciate it and get the full impact of it, is to read the rest of the book! I hope they trust me when I say I know they won’t regret it! And they’ll definitely want to make sure every single teen they know reads the book too!

Name three things that your readers would be surprised to know about you. Also, is there anything else you would like to add?

I used to study the martial art of Ju Jitsu and stick-fighting! It’s a great self-defence system and there are basic elements to it that I wish had been part of the school curriculum. It’s great for fitness, for building core strength and stamina. I still do boxing, but not as much as I would like!

I used to run a wine bar when I was a struggling student at Uni in Wales! My employers were a pair of completely mad guys from Liverpool who loved having fun and weren’t into the day-to-day running of the wine bar, so I ended up managing the restaurant and bar! It was fun for a while.

I think my readers might also be surprised to know is that the first thing I ever wrote was a very long epic fantasy trilogy – it couldn’t have been more different to The Long Weekend!

You can find out more about me at my website, www.savitakalhan.com Have a look around and please leave me a message on my message board and tell me what you all think of The Long Weekend!

I’m also on twitter and on Facebook.

If your followers are interested in the international GIVEAWAY competition, all they have to do is answer this question – is there something that most people who know you would be surprised to find out about you? It doesn’t have to be your deep, dark secret! (Sidenote: To enter, please just leave a comment below along with your email address. Savita and I cannot wait to see what you say! The giveaway will close on April 1, 2011!)

It was great to be here today. Many thanks, Lauren.

~~

No, thank you Savita! It's wonderful to have you as a guest here today. To find out more about Savita and her books, be sure to visit her website here and follow the rest of the blog tour here. To find out more about buying your own copy of The Long Weekend, head on over here.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

23 comments:

  1. I think most people would be surprised to know that I still sometimes get scared of the dark I know how horrible. Especially after reading a creepy movie.

    kristen_babygurl@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think people would be surprised to know how many shows I watch on a regular basis. I think it's 10 or maybe more. It's tough to keep up with but I enjoy it!

    megan1430@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think people would be surprised about how loud I am at home, the people at school see the one side.

    korra_950(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think most people would be surprised to learn that I'm not just a science nerd and that I love creative writing too!

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think most people are surprised when I say I quilt because I have always been a career girl! somehow quilting and sewing seem to sound cozy and homely!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think most people would be surprised that I got a tatoo on my back. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think most people would be surprised to know that I'm a thrift store junkie.

    ReplyDelete
  8. People don't know that I am terrified of water, because I had 3 near drowning incidents when I was young.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love American Idol.

    lovealwaysliana[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would say most people are surprised to learn that I hate stuffed crust pizza!

    stephanie- thegirlonfire
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would say, most people would be surprised to know that I wish I could be the singer/screamer for a metal band. lol

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Most people wouldn't expect this of me, but I'm in the process of learning my fourth language! Go linguistics! :)

    tripisu@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Most people would be surprised to learn that I would love to write a book.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. People would be surprised to know that I have a deep and passionate obsession with the most recent Star Trek movie...I can recite the entire thing line for line, When listening to the soundtrack, I know exactly what is happening at that point in the movie, and I bought a sweater/dress that resembles a crew uniform :D no one really knows that ahahah

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't have an artistic bone in my body !

    What most people don't know is that I would love to be able to play a musical instrument well or be able to paint and sculpt.

    Don't tell anyone please!

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Something people wouldn't know about me is that I want to open up a dog rescue...
    mf060784 (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hmmmm nobody but person knows that i have stolen books for stores. So i guess im a book theif? i know its bad :(
    tirnanog77@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm a closet writer. so most would be surprised to find out how much I write and post on websites.

    kallosmango123 @ hotmail . com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't know that there is anything about me that people who know me would be surprised to learn. I'm pretty open and up front about my eccentricities, flaws and quirks, and I can't think of anything that people who know me would be surprised to learn.

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know what, maybe the fact that I'm crazy about shakespeare.

    katie_tp(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. People would be surprised to know that I am painfully shy...I hide it pretty well

    mk261274 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Most people don't know that my ex-stepmom is in jail. Of all my dad's previous girlfriends, she was my favorite.

    crazypplrok at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think most people would be surprised that I have started to write a story and I am not even the best writer ever. lol We'll see how it goes.


    dsym_06 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

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