Ski Weekend: A Novel

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SparkPress, Oct 26, 2021 - Young Adult Fiction - 288 pages
2 Reviews
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*Named a Best Book of the Year by Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo!Life, ParadeBrit + Co., Book Riot, and more!

*Optioned for a major motion picture!

The Breakfast Club meets Lord of the Flies in this gripping tale of survival, impossible choices, and the harrowing balance between life and death that #1 New York Times best-selling author Lauren Kate praises as “a paced thriller with moments of great tenderness—and spine chilling horror.”

Six teens, one dog, a ski trip gone wrong . . .

Sam is dreading senior ski weekend and having to watch after her brother and his best friend, Gavin, to make sure they don’t do anything stupid. Again. Gavin may be gorgeous, but he and Sam have never gotten along. Now they’re crammed into an SUV with three other classmates and Gavin’s dog, heading on a road trip that can’t go by fast enough.

Then their SUV crashes into a snowbank, and Sam and her friends find themselves stranded in the mountains with cell phone coverage long gone and temperatures dropping. When the group gets sick of waiting for rescue, they venture outside to find help—only to have a wilderness accident leave Sam’s brother with a smashed leg and, soon, a raging fever. While the hours turn to days, Sam’s brother gets sicker and sicker, and their food and supplies dwindle until there isn’t enough for everyone. As the winter elements begin to claim members of the group one by one, Sam vows to keep her brother alive.

No matter what.

Filled with twists, secrets, and life-changing moments, Ski Weekend is a snow-packed survival thriller featuring a diverse cast of teens that will appeal to fans of One of Us is Lying and I Am Still Alive. Brace for impact, “. . . this YA thriller holds little back.” (Kirkus Reviews)

*Winner of the CIBA Dante Rossetti Book Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, the Readers' Favorite Book Awards, the Reader Views Literary Awards, IAN Book of the Year Awards Finalist, American Fiction Awards Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, WILLA Literary Awards Finalist, and an Independent Press Awards Distinguished Favorite.


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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (12/2021)
“Ski Weekend: A Novel” is a YA thriller that will have you biting your nails down to stubs. Life hangs in the balance, but so do friendships and
maybe even hope itself. This compelling story follows six teenagers on a weekend ski trip that turns incredibly wrong.
Sam resents having to supervise her brother and his best friend, Gavin, on a senior ski trip. Now, it’s true that Sam thinks Gavin is drop-dead gorgeous, but the two don’t see eye-to-eye all the time. So being cooped up with him in an SUV—with a handful of classmates and Gavin’s dog—isn’t exactly her idea of a swell time. She just wants it over with so she can get on with her own life. But when the SUV collides with a snowbank, they suddenly find themselves stranded. They wait for a rescue that never comes, and they have no cell service. With freezing temps on the way, they seek help on their own. What happens when Sam’s brother is seriously injured and their food supplies gradually deplete? Sister Sam becomes determined to save her sibling and find a way to make the nightmare end.
Ross has crafted an exciting, fast-paced novel that will please both YA and, what I like to call, OA, or older adults. (I believe I’ve just coined a new genre!) Well-crafted characters and intense story arcs make for a page-burner begging to be on the big screen. These are the kinds of situations that have you wondering what you would do if you were in the characters’ shoes. And these aren’t cardboard cutout characters; the author has made sure his characters are so diverse and realistic that they could walk off the page.
Hold on to your hat because it’s about to get wild. Your question, “What could possibly go wrong on this outing?” is completely satisfied in this book. The narrative is emotional, personal, and engaging. I like the fact that you can see how the trials shape the characters and how they grow. If you like action, suspense, and the horror real life can sometimes dish out, you can’t go wrong with “Ski Weekend.” Rektok Ross delivers!

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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Ski Weekend is a work of fiction in the thriller genre. It is aimed at young adults and was penned by Rektok Ross. The book follows a group of teenagers
who are on a ski trip that goes terribly wrong when their SUV crashes and strands them in the mountains with no hope of calling help and limited food supplies. The lead character Sam is forced to take extreme measures to care for her brother after an attempt to seek out help leaves him with a broken leg and a fever that only gets worse as the crisis stretches out into days.
This is a suspenseful book that had me thoroughly hooked from page one, with the relationship between Sam and the other members of her group being quickly established as the group gets ready for their journey. The harsh conditions of a freezing mountain make for a brilliant backdrop to the story and Rektok Ross’s excellent prose and descriptive writing leads the reader to imagine the danger in the cold and dark surroundings. As the story unfolds, the desperation begins to set in with the characters, and their slow descent into the darker aspects of survival necessity had me on the edge of my seat. The emotional journey of Ski Weekend is relentless as the events of the story force Sam and her companions to make life-changing realizations about themselves in the face of the constant need for life or death decision-making that will haunt them forever if they are able to survive. I’d recommend this book to any young adult readers.


Section 1
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Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28

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About the author (2021)

Rektok Ross is the pen name of Liani Kotcher, a trial attorney turned award-winning young adult author and book blogger. An avid reader since childhood, Liani writes exactly the kind of books she loves to escape into herself: exciting thrillers with strong female leads, swoon-worthy love interests, and life-changing moments. She graduated from the University of Florida School of Journalism and obtained her juris doctorate at the University of Miami School of Law. Originally from South Florida, she currently splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles with her husband, stepkids, and her dogs. You can find her online just about anywhere at @RektokRoss, as well as on her website,, where she blogs about books and writing.