Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{March 30, 2011}   Gravity Check, by Alex Van Tol

Orca Book Publishers have been extremely gracious to allow me to review Gravity Check prior to its release date of May 1, 2011.  The synopsis is as follows: “Jamie is determined that nothing—not even his annoyingly popular younger brother Seth—is going to spoil his fun at a mountain biking camp in the backcountry.  Nothing but stumbling on a giant grow-op in the woods, that is.  And watching their fellow campers get captured by violent drug dealers.  And working with Seth to figure out a way to save them without getting caught themselves.”


Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade.  Gravity Check comes from the Orca Sports series, which is for readers 10+.  This series encompasses short fictional books that combine “mystery and adventure with team sports,” in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand. 

Van Tol does it again with her newest novel, enticing the reader through mystery and suspense as the plot unfolds!  While the beginning of the novel explores the joys of mountain biking and enhances characterization, the novel quickly advances into a suspenseful thriller as Jamie and his friends’ camping trip becomes a life and death situation.  Jamie is a well thought out, quick thinking, teen that reacts to his situations with caution and gumption; all of the characters are balanced very well, adding to the chilling reality and believability of the story at hand.  Like Knifepoint, another one of Van Tol’s novels, I found myself breathless with my heart beat accelerating as I turned the pages.  Concern and trepidation for the characters seized me as I read, and I highly recommend this novel for all readers 10+, regardless of reading level or interest in mountain biking.  This phenomenal novel is a testament to Van Tol’s sheer writing genius.  Five stars!

Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!


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