Published: October 2nd 2008, Anderson Press
Pages: 180 pages, paperback
Acquired: Purchased myself
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
My review: Wow. The Long Weekend is probably the biggest shock of any book I've read this year. I will admit I bought it because it wasn't too pricey and the cover worried me that it was similar to my work in progress - luckily, that wasn't the case at all. It's an absolutely thrilling story that will have you on the edge of your seat from page one. Honestly, it's terrifying.
I've read a few reviews from younger readers (early teens) who didn't find this book particularly scary but older readers definitely seem to be more freaked out by it. For me it really did freak me out. I imagine for parents it's absolutely horrific so, be warned, if you have kids of your own this one will definitely scare me.
Both Lloyd and Sam are brilliant characters. Their contrasting personalities complement each other perfectly, with Lloyd as the popular, confident boy and Sam being a little more reserved at the beginning of the novel. However, when they're placed in their nightmare situation their true personalities really come out - we see a complete role reversal, with previously quiet Sam taking charge and doing everything in his power to help himself and his best friend escape. Do they escape, though? Well, that's something you'll have to find out for yourself.
I would exercise a little caution before picking this one up if you're easily unsettled, or if you're a younger reader. This book is fantastic, I loved every page and it completely shocked me - I definitely didn't have particularly high expectations and it really blew me away. Some of the subject matter is quite dark and some seriously disturbing things are alluded to - it's all very, very subtle and cleverly done, I almost didn't pick up on it.
This is one of the best horror books I've read this year - while it isn't necessarily marketed as a horror I would count it as one. There's nothing supernatural going on here, just a good old-fashioned scary story. Brilliant stuff.
First line: 'It's tough being the new kid, but when you're not the only one it's not so bad.'
Total: 18/20 (A)