ARC Review: Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels

Hello Bookish Buddies! Welcome to my last review of the year, Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels.  I was granted access to this ARC via NetGalley, and since I’m so on top of these ARC reviews, it only came out nine days ago, so you can get it now, if you’re interested.  According to NetGalley, at least.  Goodreads says otherwise.  Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Bad Call, here is the NetGalley synopsis:

It was supposed to be epic.
During a late-night poker game, tennis teammates Colin, Ceo, Grahame, and Rhody make a pact to go on a camping trip in Yosemite National Park. And poker vows can’t be broken.
The first sign that they should ditch the plan is when Rhody backs out. The next is when Ceo replaces him with Ellie, a girl Grahame and Colin have never even heard of. And then there’s the forest fire at their intended campsite.But instead of bailing, they decide to take the treacherous Snow Creek Falls Trail to the top of Yosemite Valley. From there, the bad decisions really pile up.
A freak storm is threatening snow, their Craigslist tent is a piece of junk, and Grahame is pretty sure there’s a bear on the prowl. On top of that, the guys have some serious baggage (and that’s not including the ridiculously heavy ax that Grahame insisted on packing) and Ellie can’t figure out what their deal is.
And then one of them doesn’t make it back to the tent.
Desperate to survive while piecing together what happened, the remaining hikers must decide who to trust in this riveting, witty, and truly unforgettable psychological thriller that reveals how one small mistake can have chilling consequences.


What I enjoyed:
  • I loved how the characters had such distinct voices.  They didn’t blend together at all, and they all had their own unique and complex stories. + 1 star
  • The end gave me the creeps.  I read it right before I went to bed, and even though I’m not stranded in the middle of the woods during a snow storm with a bunch of moody teenagers, it took me a while to get to sleep. + 1 star
  • The foreshadowing for all of the events to come in the story were all totally there.  Some were super obvious, but other times you had that ah-ha moment that is super satisfying to a reader. + 1 star
  • And I’m just adding on another quarter of a star for the sassy guy that worked at the gas station.  If you pick up this book, you’ll know who I’m talking about. + 0.25 stars
What I disliked:
  • The love trapezoid.  Granted, three teenage guys and a girl going camping together might inflict a little romantic drama, but still.  They all barely know here and claim to have feelings for her. – 0.5 stars
  • Too much exposition.  Like honestly, I went into it wanting to be thrilled, and I got that, but not until way later in the story. – 1 star
  • There were a bunch of seemingly random jumps in the time frame.  I feel like it could’ve followed a linear pattern and been a lot better.  Though everything did come together in the end, which kind of makes up for it. – 0.5 stars
Overall, I give Bad Call 3.25/5 stars.  I would recommend it to you if you’re a fan of thrillers with a heavy contemporary influence. Advertisements Share this:
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