Ski Weekend

SparkPress. Oct. 2021. 256p. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781684631094.
Gr 9 Up–Sam didn’t really want to go on the senior ski trip, but decides she needs to keep an eye on her brother Stu. A sophomore, he’s tagging along with this group because they’re staying at his best friend Gavin’s vacation home. Sam and Gavin have a history, but he’s with Britney now, the most popular cheerleader in school who is also in the car. When an approaching snow storm closes roads, Hunter, the good-looking class flirt, says he knows a shortcut and they decide to take their chances. It doesn’t take long for them to crash the car into a snowbank, leaving Lily (Stu’s girlfriend and Sam’s best friend) with a dangerous head injury. There’s nowhere to go and no cell service, and the car is hopelessly stuck. There is real tension as their survival seems less and less likely, and the author isn’t afraid to make hard choices about their fates. The backstory of the romance between Sam and Gavin can’t decide if it wants to play second fiddle to the survival tale or be the star, but does provide welcome relief from the mounting tension. The group features a diverse cast of characters. Lily is of Chinese heritage, Stu struggles with painful scoliosis, Hunter is Black with roots in Texas cattle ranching, and Britney is a passionate evangelical Christian.
VERDICT A nail-biter with some surprising moments. Recommended for high school and YA collections.

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