Two girls have recently disappeared near the town where Stephanie lives. She is concerned but is sure that it could never happen to her. But then it does. Tied up and alone far from home, she manages to escape her captor and run for her life. But she is in the middle of nowhere, with no food, no shelter and no way home. And worst of all, she has run away before, so she is sure that the police will not take her disappearance seriously. She will need to save herself, calling on lessons learned from her grandfather and an inner strength she never thought she had.
Just a few pages into McClintock's (Dooley Takes the Fall) fast-moving thriller, teenage narrator Stephanie becomes the third girl in two months to be abducted near her rural town, as she crosses through a vacant field. Awakening in a deserted cabin, Stephanie is both terrified and level-headed, managing to free herself and venture into the forest ("They say that when you're lost in the woods and don't know where you are, the smartest thing you can do is to stay put.... But staying put wouldn't help me"). Luckily, Stephanie has a wealth of survivalist information at the ready her "hermit" grandfather taught her everything from "how to use the sun as a compass" to how to find food (such as grubs and the inner bark of birch trees). While Stephanie's preexisting wilderness knowledge feels convenient, it doesn't detract from her emotional turmoil nor does it guarantee an easy escape. McClintock's dialogue feels genuine, though readers spend the majority of the novel in Stephanie's head, as she uses clear thinking and a substantial reserve of inner strength to find her way home. Ages 12 up.
This is book is absolutely amazing with a twist of deceit.