I'm not big into survivalist YA - I know I'm a literacy major, but Hatchet made me wish I had one & The Lord of the Flies just made me want to cry - so it's probably good that I opened this book without knowing what to expect. (This comes from getting 99.99% of my books through PaperbackSwap & BookMooch - by the time they come, I have no recollection why they were added to the wishlist in the first place, and then, by the time I get around to reading them, I have usually no notion - besides cover clues & blurbs - of even what genre I might be reading. It's all very exciting, grab bag-surprise! ish.) So going into this not having any idea what I was in for was probably a good thing all around, because I probably would've groaned at the thought of reading about a kid trying to be the youngest person to ever hike up Mt Everest, and I would've missed out on a strong & complex story. There's a lot going on here - Peak, who hasn't seen his dad in years, gets into some serious trouble and his father's version of riding to the 'rescue' seems to be taking the 14 year old to Mt Everest, leaving him with his sherpa friend, and plotting behind his back. There's a lot of plotting going on around, behind, and involving Peak, and discovering it along the way is what made this story so interesting to me. Even the action-y sequences, with all the climbing lingo and stuff that would ordinarily bore me to tears, was very well written & I found myself engaged in Peak's climb, in spite of myself. Thinking back, I'm sure this came through the "read this to see if it's something my 6th grader nephew might enjoy" track, because I'm always looking for stuff he could read and NOT complain about how boring it is. *that he does not love reading as well as I do is a constant sadness for me* Hopefully, this is something he'll find as gripping as I did, and he'll be climbing up Everest this summer in spite of himself.