Bad Call

by Stephen Wallenfels | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9781484768136 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/19/2022
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, November 19, 2022
I found this hardcover in this Little Free Library in Hudson NH while dropping off some books of my own, and thought it looked interesting. It's about four teens who go on a hike in Yosemite National Park and get stranded in a sudden snowstorm - with the opening scene suggesting bloody mayhem of some kind...

Turns out the title is amazingly apt, as all of the characters make a number of bad choices, some on an epic scale. Indeed, the book could be a tutorial in things NOT to do when attempting an overnight hike in the wilderness, from failing to provide details of their route to ignoring the weather to not having enough suitable clothing and gear for everyone. And that's leaving out the personal stressors...

The story unfolds from the viewpoints of Colin and Ellie, who haven't met before. Colin's attending college on a tennis scholarship that he has just lost due to the fact that his best friend (and the instigator of the trip) Ceo argued a (correct) call in their last match, throwing Colin off his game. [Yes, yes, a competitive player should not be that susceptible to having a single point called wrongly; Colin has issues, and Ceo is charismatic.] Ellie is a soccer star at a different school, met Ceo at a recent event, and has been lured into joining the trip by him - despite her own awareness that ditching her planned visit to a prospective college to trek into the wilds of Yosemite with three guys, two of them total strangers and one nearly so, is a very bad idea indeed. [She does text her best friend - who's helping her cover her tracks re not visiting the college; kids, do not do this thing! - but doesn't give her details about who she's with and where they're going. Sigh.]

Ceo - whose viewpoint we do not get directly - is handsome, talented, and from a very wealthy family, and seems to specialize in manipulating everyone around him. Sometimes he tries to do this for their benefit (or so he claims); sometimes he seems to be messing with people for the hell of it. And most of the time he does this without telling anyone what's going on, leading to all sorts of non-consensual situations. (Yes, the others should know better - especially Colin, who knows Ceo best - yet they fall for it every time.)

The fourth member of the party is Grahame, also a tennis player, and the largest and strongest of the four - but also the most carefree, though he has a personal phobia that may be a key factor in what happens on the trails.

The story unfolds in flashbacks and those alternating viewpoints, and while I did get frustrated at the sheer number and scope of the Really Bad Decisions, I have to admit that - thinking back to my own late-teen days - I might have made those choices myself. And the characters certainly come to recognize just how badly they've messed up, though some of the events are so extreme that nobody could have expected them.

Whether one finds the ending satisfactory or infuriating (or something in between) may depend on one's tolerance for manipulative people and those who enable them {wry grin}. But it was an involving read, and overall I enjoyed it.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Marshall St in Billerica, Massachusetts USA on Monday, November 28, 2022

Released 2 mos ago (11/28/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, Marshall St in Billerica, Massachusetts USA


I left this book in this colorful Little Free Library on this lovely day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2022 e-less challenge. ***

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