Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{April 2, 2011}   The Drop, by Jeff Ross

Orca Book Publishers have been extremely gracious to allow me to review The Drop prior to its release date of May 1, 2011.  The synopsis is as follows: “Alex’s goal in life is simple: to snowboard all day, every day. His ultimate dream is to be part of the Backcountry Patrol, an elite group of snowboarders who patrol the ungroomed slopes of British Columbia. But first, he and three other young hopefuls (Dave, Bryce and Hope) must endure a series of tests, which takes them to remote and dangerous terrain. When Bryce disappears, the teens are left with Sam, their dubiously qualified instructor, and no links to the outside world. As Alex and Hope scramble to find out what happened to Bryce, they must confront their own fears of the whiteout conditions and the ominous, mysterious drop.”


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.  The Drop 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.

I really enjoyed this novel.  I used to be a snowboarder, before I busted my tailbone and my muscles atrophied, and in the winter I find myself still yearning to get back out there, although that will likely never happen.  Reading Ross’ book transported me to the slopes once again and I was able to live vicariously through the characters, something I can’t do simply watching snowboarding on the television.  Ross is a very talented writer and he knows his sport well.  Reading about the characters as they switch back and forth from toe side to heel side, crouching for more speed, etc., was phenomenal.  The imagery is beautiful, though I wonder if non-snowboarders will be able to appreciate the novel as I do.  Had I not been familiar with the terminology, some of the suspense and imagery may have been lost on me, but certainly not enough to ruin the book.  Ross does a great job creating suspense throughout the novel as one of the characters mysteriously disappears in the great mountains during a blizzard; this is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it, especially to snowboarders!  Four stars. 

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


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