Monday, May 4, 2015

Escape Through the Wilderness

Title: Escape Through the Wilderness Author: Gary Rodriguez Publisher: Tate Publishing Pages: 254 Genre: Teens/Children Format: Paperback/Kindle

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.
When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.
A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the
 larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.  

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.  

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.  

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

When I read the back of this book I knew straight away that this was one of those books  I was either going to love or hate. Luckily for me I adored it. It started off a little slow for the first few chapters, but quickly gained momentum and kept on going all the way for a strong finish that left me wanting more from this author. I really enjoyed getting to know and grow with Savi, Connor, Jade and Rico. The characters had great development and the author did a wonderful job breathing emotions and traits into them that made you have strong feelings either for or against them. 

I love survivor type of books, especially with characters who start off at conflict and have to learn to work together to survive. Each of these characters had their own personal baggage to deal with and each one brought an element that both helped and hindered their survival. This is one of those great books of self discovery and seeing what you are really made of while coming to terms with who you are and your past. 

This book has several strong themes running through it: faith in God as our ever present help in times of need, true friendship, and strength in numbers. Each of these characters are so different that I think there is someone that everyone can relate to. Plus, this book has an amazing adventures in it  that will leave you gripped till the end. Although this is a young adult book, I greatly enjoyed it as did my 19, 15 and 8 year old! It is one of those unique books that cross age barriers and has something for everyone. 

My name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I’m the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.  
Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.  Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season.

As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone. 

Over the past few years, I’ve written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, Escape Through The Wilderness.

**I received a free copy of this book from Pump Up Your Books in exchange for my honest opinion and review, which I have given***
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