School and life have been hard for seventeen-year-old Willa Raedl since her brother Ray died. Jean is never around and Bud ignores her whenever he shows up; they were better parents when Ray was alive. When Uncle Jordy's drinking threatens the delivery of important cargo, Willa decides to fly her uncle's cold, Canadian route alone. A storm hits Willa's solo flight and she crash-lands in the wintry wilderness. This visceral survival story pits Willa against both arctic temperatures and her own self-doubt. She can't decide: It is the cold, the hunger, or the wolves that will kill her? In the end, she'll need more than snow boots and her pilot's training to live through this winter.
I love survival stories - they can be exciting and make the reader squirm in their seat during certain situations. But this one was . . . well, boring. Willa could have been a whole lot stupider in her situation, but the areas in which she was stupid were just irritating. Her plane is full of medical supplies and she doesn't take any of them with her when she decides to hike out!! None of them! That's downright stupidity. I don't care if you are able to make snowshoes, a toboggan, or a fish trap. If you are stranded with medical supplies and don't take them with you, you're just plain stupid. I was just hoping she would get injured bad so I could smugly taunt "Told you so!" at the pages.
However, that was the least annoying element in this book. Willa herself is just an aggravating girl in every respect. On top of that, is dialogue - this story takes place in Canada, therefore the characters are Canadian. I have read other books that take place in Canada with Canadian characters. Never has the author - thank God - found it necessary to put "eh" at the end or beginning of dialogue. Well, Terry Hokenson did find it necessary. Thankfully there isn't actually much dialogue because, well, Willa is stranded alone and the story doesn't deviate from her situation at all to say what's going on elsewhere. But Terry Hokenson made it up by putting "eh" in regular sentences! Plus there were Willa's thought processes, which ended or began with "eh." It drove me up a wall! One should never be accurate about how Canadians talk, unless you're making fun of them. Aside from the "eh" problem, the dialogue in general was random, annoying, and unnecessary. Willa would just all of a sudden say something for no particular reason at all.
The Winter Road by Terry Hokenson won't end up on my shelf.
Star Rating: 1/5 (didn't like it)