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Reviewed by Paul W. West for Readers' Favorite
Resthaven by Erik Therme begins when Kaylee, a new girl in town, is forced by her mother to attend a classmate's birthday. She doesn't want to be there, and it's rather obvious the other girls don't want her there either. Jamie, a spoiled brat of a teenager, has her own issues, expecting everyone to love her while she treats all her "friends," if you could call them that, like dirt. Jamie organizes a treasure hunt in an old abandoned rest home known as Resthaven. No one wants to go into the old building, but through the use of peer pressure, Jamie gets everyone to participate, but everyone has to be alone.
Mr. Therme then follows Kaylee's experiences which quickly go bad. Every room is like a computer game, some are more or less empty, some have items that could help in the case of an emergency, and still others have clear danger. Then, someone shuts the main doors and locks them so no one can get out. As Kaylee struggles to find a way out, she is met by a cur dog, an old man who appears to want to kill her, and a little deaf boy. With some masterful writing, Mr. Therme weaves these issues through twists that threaten Kaylee's efforts to find a way out of the old abandoned building safely.
Mr. Therme is a talented writer. Honestly, I had a difficult time putting this book down. It had me gripped from the first page to the end. I truly enjoyed reading Resthaven. It kept me glued and I couldn't put it down until I found out what happened to everyone. Mr. Therme has a good handle on the English language and his prose and dialogs read true. I won't give a spoiler, but the end is anything but what you would expect. Well done, in my estimation.