The Long Weekend By Savita Kalhan

The Long WeekendThe Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan was one of those books where I really didn’t know what to expect. In the beginning I was a little nervous about how I would like this one because it seemed to be a middle grade read with younger protagonists but I wanted to give it a try because Melissa had said such good things about it and I thought the premise was pretty creepy.

The Long Weekend is frightening. Not in a jumpy slasher film type of way but in the kind of way you get frightened when you sit down and watch the news for a few minutes. It’s totally plausible, makes you fear for the children in your life and makes you thoroughly disgusted with the capability of the human race. This book may be short but doesn’t lack in intensity. Two eleven year old boys, unsure of who is picking them up from school, get into the car of who they both assume to be the others parent. They are both horribly wrong….and they realize that as the weekend begins to unfold.

Through the beginning of this book I kept thinking it was definitely for middle grade students but as I kept reading I realized that the content would definitely not be appropriate for a younger reader. It’s not inappropriate or anything…it’s just frightening and deals with some more mature content as the story goes on. I would definitely take caution and read this before giving it to younger readers. I was SO impressed with the way that the author carefully and tactfully dealt with a certain situation in the book. It wasn’t explicit but you could very much deduce what had happened…and that’s all you needed. Anything more and you would be sick to your stomach. This book is thrilling and definitely horrifying..but not so much that you can’t stomach it. As I said, I’m really impressed with how carefully crafted this story was.

The most shining aspect of this book– Sam –the eyes through which we see this incredibly scary event. I felt that Savita nailed it with him. He felt genuine and very much like an 11 year old. He wasn’t too smart for his age, his feelings and fears were that of what you’d expect an 11 year old to have and he was just absolutely endearing. You find yourself rooting for the best possibly outcome for him and feel as though you want to just hug him if he makes it out of this ordeal.

My final thought: Don’t be fooled by the fact that the protagonists are young — this book is thrilling and deals with some mature and terrifying subject matter that will make your skin crawl because you KNOW it could happen.

Savita is awesome and is going to give one of you lovelies a chance to win a copy for yourself! Just leave me a comment and tell me either something that makes you cringe when you watch the news OR tell me, as Savita did below, a book that you think would be great for reluctant readers!


This blog tour is hosted by Melissa at I Swim For Oceans. Go check out the rest of the blogs on the tour! I have Savita Kalhan here to participate in a special top ten list as you all know my love for top tens (a la Top Ten Tuesday)…and today is Tuesday! Because I’d consider The Long Weekend to be a good pick for reluctant readers (especially teen boys)…Savita is going to share her list of Top Ten Books For Reluctant Readers!

Hi Jamie! Thanks so much for inviting me here today.
The blog tour for my book The Long Weekend has just kicked off and it’s a really exciting time! You asked me for a list of my top ten books for reluctant readers, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with the books below. Generally I think easy-to-read thrillers, short stories, books that combine action and adventure, whether they’re straight fiction or fantasy, are great starting points for reluctant readers. Once you find the right books for you, the right genre and style, the rest is easy!
I will just say that I do find doing a top ten list pretty hard as I hate to think that I might have missed out something really important! But here goes…
Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers – boys and girls
The Cherub Series – Robert Muchamore
The Cherub series combines action and adventure, both essential ingredients in enticing reluctant readers to become committed readers. They feature a group of difficult or orphaned kids who are invited to join a secret organisation called CHERUB, which trains them to go on missions where kids can go more easily than adults. The series is highly addictive and easy to read, the characters are great, and the stories are full of danger and suspense and appeal to both boys and girls.
Thirteen Treasures, Thirteen Secrets and now Thirteen Curses – Michelle Harrison
If you like a bit of a fairy story then look no further than this series by Michelle Harrison. The books are suitable for age 9 upwards. I don’t think you’re ever too old for a fairy story! I’ve read them all and thoroughly enjoyed them!
Diana Wynne-Jones’ The Enchanted Glass is very good too, as is the brilliant Troll Trilogy by Katherine Langrish, which is about an orphaned boy called Peer.
Anthony Horowitz – collection of short stories
Short stories are a great way to encourage reluctant readers who are often put off by the size and length of a book. Horowitz’s collections are entertaining and very readable. His longer books in the Alex Rider series and the Power of Five are good fun too.
Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman
This series is excellent. The books are well written, and easy to read, moving and challenging in their storyline. I highly recommend them. Blackman’s other works including, The Stuff of Nightmares and her new book Boys Don’t Cry, are great for reluctant readers too. They are easy to read and combine great stories and great writing – all with a thought-provoking edge, but maybe not suitable for younger readers.
Flush – Carl Hiiasen
So easy to read and get into, all his books for kids also have an ecological or environmental aspect to them. I’ve read three of them – Flush, Hoot and Scat, and they are great for reluctant younger readers for boys and girls.
The Demonata – Darren Shan
Darren Shan is the master of horror writing, so if you’re into demons and monsters and are looking for a good read then look no further. He has written a couple of series, and all the books are easy reads – unless you’re a scaredy-cat like me! Alexander Gordon Smith’s Lockdown series is another series that’s very good and so easy to read and be absorbed by.
Chronicles of an Ancient Darkness – Michelle Paver
This is a great series for younger reluctant readers, boys and girls. It’s set in an ancient time when people lived in clans, hunted for their food, and when faced with evil spirits, were forced to fight to preserve their way of life. The books hook the reader very quickly, they are not long, and they are easy to read.
The Road of the Dead – Kevin Brooks
Kevin Brooks writes for teens and this book in particular is easily accessible to reluctant readers. It’s essentially a thriller set in England about two brothers whose father has died, but behind his death lies a mystery that involves a group of travellers and a strange secluded village. His new book iBoy, is also very accessible – fast paced and full of action.
Boy in the Burning House – Tim Wynne-Jones
This is another thriller. It’s set in Australia about a boy whose father has gone missing and is presumed dead, who befriends a girl that everyone thinks is a little mad. It’s a great mystery and very easy to read.
Hidden – Miriam Halahmy
Hidden is hot off the press with a release date of 30th March. I have been lucky to get an advance copy – and it’s very good and very readable! Set on Hayling Island, an island off the south coast of England, it’s the story of a girl and a boy who save a drowning man and gets embroiled in a story of high drama involving an illegal refugee. The themes are topical, the dilemmas facing the character are well drawn out, and the books fast pace keeps you hooked. It’s the first in a cycle of three books.

 I’m going to sneak my book, The Long Weekend, in here, Jamie, as you said you would be recommending it to reluctant readers you know – thank you. It’s a thriller, it’s not too long, and it’s very hard to put down! Check out Jamie’s review and look near the end of this blog post for a chance to win a copy.
I wish anyone who has found reading hard to get into lots of luck. It simply is a matter of finding what you like and then giving it a good chance.
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. My husband is a reluctant reader, but I was able to talk him into reading Harry Potter. He fell in love and finished the series. So I'll go with that 🙂

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  2. Kate Evangelista says:


    I'm Kate Evangelista, author of Taste, and I just wanted to take this time to introduce myself. If you have the time, please stop by The Coffee Bar by using the link below:

    I hope to see you there.


  3. Great list! 🙂 My sister was a reluctant reader. Like Vivien, I introduced her to Harry Potter and ever since, she has been a book lover.

  4. When I watch local news, stories about child/animal abuse make me cringe.

    I've been wanting to read this book — thanks.

  5. Mama Zen says:

    Just about any news story about child abduction scares me to death!

  6. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) says:

    I love that you incorporated TTT into your blog tour post! Savita can definitely write a hell of a thriller and I think that all parents need to read this book. Heck, EVERYONE needs to read this book.

    (Don't enter me 🙂 I already have the book!)

  7. I love to enter for the chance to win. As for reluctant readers, well, I've discussed this with many people before, but the Twilight Saga certainly made many people turn to reading again. Even people who had never finished a book before couldn't put it down.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    missie at

  8. My biggest fear is facing child abduction. My heart just aches when I hear this on the news.

  9. I used to be really bad at reading when I was a child but Harry Potter improved it a lot! But for reluctant readers, I would suggest – Anthony Horowitz's books- The Alex Rider series- which has a lot of action and adventure and The Diamond Brothers series- which is action/adventure and so hilarious!:)

  10. Shooting Stars Mag says:

    I'd love to read this. It sounds very interesting. As for something that makes me cringle while watching the news? anything related to kids being hurt

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  11. Aanchal @ Book Flame says:

    when it comes to the news what makes me cringe is anything to do with kids being victims of's horrible

    thanks for the giveaway

  12. Something that me cringe is watching someone put out the wring information on the news and knowing that people might believe it and also kids being hurt (i wanted to do something different)


  13. christina says:

    This book sounds amazing, but I also dig that the author listed other books for reluctant readers (as a teacher, hearing thoughts on this is good for me!)

    As far as what freaks me out on the news? Uhhh, EVERYTHING! Where is the warm fuzzy news? Murder, robberies, gangs, earthquakes. I want some warm fuzzies man! 🙂

    readingthruthenight (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. No need to enter me, but I definitely am interested in this book, so thank you for the review!

    I hope it's okay if I add a link to your review to the South Asian Review Database.

  15. linda2060 says:

    The Hunger Games, of course. It was voted the best book int school and freshmen and seniors alike loved it.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  16. It was when I accidentally watched the criminal or even disaster news. I would directly change it to the other channel when I found any news like that. at gmail dot com