Peak by Roland Smith, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ YA, adventure
Publisher~ HMH Books for Young Readers 
Published~ May 1st 2007 

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below. – Peak Marcello

After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit--and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life.

Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk. The story of Peak’s dangerous ascent—told in his own words—is suspenseful, immediate, and impossible to put down.

My Thoughts
The blurb is intriguing, but does not do justice to the amazingness (yes it's a word) of this story.  It's a story about a story of a story..and none of the backgrounds of any of the stories are based in something boring.  A years academic grade based off of a story because the school is for those gifted in some form of art.  Telling your mother you are climbing Everest via a notebook of your thoughts.  Climbing Everest, getting to know your absentee father and then making that final decision because you were arrested for climbing and putting graffiti on a New York Sky Scraper.  I don't even know how to articulate how much I enjoyed this story and the lessons that it shares.

This way of using just Peak's POV shows us his thoughts, confusions, joy and concerns.  His complete adoration of the twins just makes me smile.  The way he worked through his relationship with his father I found realistic and stretched at the heart strings.  I wasn't sure what to think about his mother, but her speech about what it would take to get to Everest..oh I didn't have dry eyes after that (or when Peak read the note from his step-father). I think my favorite scene is the near the end and it is either 1)where Peak says his final goodbye to Zopa or 2)when the twins say they knew they would see him in time.  

That does not mean I did not have problems with this story.  I can't say much without giving spoilers, but I don't see that main event as probable in the long run.  I mean wouldn't people ask who took the pictures, wouldn't his father or someone notice the flag (like the twins did), wouldn't eventually the truth be known?  I thought it was beyond sweet and noble, but with potential problems.  Additionally, I wish that Sun-jo was a bit more deserving.  Perhaps he was, but from the reading I just felt like he was an arbitrary kid and puppet of Zopa and politics.  I loved the fight and spirit in so many of the characters and just did not have that connection with Sun-jo.  In fact, my favorite characters were actually Zopa, Peak and the reporter!

I loved the action, emotion, life lessons and political bits of this story.  I can't wait to read more from RS and hope to do so soon!

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book
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Disclaimer~ I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next ya'll!!


  1. Now you need to read The Edge because it only gets better!!

    1. Alisha~ I am so excited to read The Edge! When I finished reading Peak I was looking up information and the next book sounds amazing:) Thanks for commenting!


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