Book Review: “Ski Weekend” by Rektok Ross

As a teenager, I always surfed through cable channels to find something thrilling to watch. I usually settled on a show about someone surviving in the wilderness against all odds. Ski Weekend had a striking similarity to the shows I have always enjoyed, so I decided to check it out.

Our main character, Sam, is going on a senior ski weekend in the mountains with five other students, one being her younger brother, and a dog. The story begins with the group turning around on the main road due to the snowy conditions, and against Sam’s advice, deciding to find an alternate route. A series of events leads to their car sliding off the road and crashing into a snowy embankment.

The teens are immediately thrown into the wilderness with no way out, and I felt like I experienced the crash with them. Though the plot moves quickly to strand our characters, the abrupt change in pace that follows is jarring. I found it both frustrating and compelling that, in my opinion, the group does little to save themselves in the chapters that follow. I turned the pages not to see if they would find a way out but to see if they would try. The teens do not make a strong effort to save themselves until a major event occurs, after which the suspense and urgency immediately pick up. As the group’s situation worsens, they finally realize the severity of the situation and no longer rely on the notion that someone will eventually find them as they had been. As a result, I found that the final one-third of the book moves quickly and ends on an endearing note.

Several plot elements are introduced that, at best, pad for time, and I felt they were a distraction from the main story. There are numerous mentions of supernatural creatures that led me to believe a supernatural element would come into play, but this element never came. It was disappointing not to see it come to fruition, but these elements seem to tie into the ending more than I originally thought. A love triangle (maybe it’s a square) was introduced, but I was too wrapped up in waiting for the group to act to focus on it.

I also grew frustrated with how some characters were handled. Several characters are given stereotyped personalities with little development, which made it difficult to connect and empathize with them and their plights. As soon as I began to connect with the characters, the book was wrapping up and it was too late. Additionally, the author’s note states that Ross researched the ethnic backgrounds she included, but this does not seem to be the case when several characters are given lines that feed into common racial stereotypes.

Ski Weekend is almost a thrilling read. Even though it seems to represent the journey stranded teens would endure and the impact it could have on their lives and their relationships with other survivors, they are handled in a manner that is difficult to overlook. If you are someone who reads in hopes of connecting with the characters, as I am, I would not recommend this book. However, if you are willing to overlook the matters I’ve discussed here, it might be a worthwhile read for you.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, SparkPress, for review.

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