Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.
This was actually pretty terrifying, considering it's a teeny-tiny novel about two eleven-year-olds. It's definitely not for middle-grade readers, despite the book's size and characters, though. Not unless your middle graders are seriously tough little so-and-sos, and this is used as a very violent cautionary tale of why you will never get into a car with a stranger.
This story follows Sam, the new kid at school, and his friend Lloyd as they wait for their parents to pick them up after school one Friday afternoon. Only problem is, they can't remember whose parents are supposed to pick them up. So when a car pulls up, and a man waves them inside, they both assume it's the others' father, and jump into the car without question. By the time Sam figures out that the man driving them isn't Lloyd's father, they're already out in the middle of nowhere.
Lloyd isn't worried, though. He's listening to all the man's stories--that their parents had arranged a special surprise for them--and believing them. But when nightfall comes and they still haven't heard from their parents, Sam knows there's something wrong. But then the boys are separated, and Sam begins a fight for his life.
This was a really intense read. It's not for everyone, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it for younger readers, but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was great. It was creepy and tense. Great horror without a touch of a paranormal element.