Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Publisher: Atom
Format: Paperback
Published: 15th December 2011
Number of Pages: 240
Book: For Review*
Genre: Realistic-Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Mild Violence, Death, Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Michael Northrop

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week.
Scott and his friends are among the last seven kids at their school waiting to get picked up that day and they soon realize that no one is coming for them.  Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night there, especially when Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall.
Then the power goes out.  Then the heat.  The pipes freeze.  The roof shudders.  As the days add up, the snow piles higher, the empty halls grow colder and darker and the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision…

When it starts to snow, the biggest worry Scotty Weems has is that his basketball match will be cancelled.  School is shut early, but Scott and his friends stay behind, knowing they have a ride coming.  But as the storm turns into a blizzard, they realise no one will come for them.  Spending the night at school isn’t a dream-come-true, but at least it’s safe and warm.  Only the power fails.  And still the snow falls.  It gets colder, darker…  The seven students remaining are trapped, and the choices they will be forced to make could destroy them all forever…
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Trapped.  All I knew was that the cover made me cold and the blurb made me want to read the book now now now!  And, boy, was I not let down!  The book was able to make me as freezing as the cover, and the story itself was totally gripping.  I sat down to read the first chapter and I was hooked.  It made me need to read on!  It grabbed my attention straight away and the rest of the book held it.  I had to find out what the terrible thing that Scotty hinted at was – I ended up reading half the book in a single sitting!
I liked Scotty Weems’ voice straight away: it was simple but descriptive, and was just really likable.  He was brilliantly snarky and witty, as well as being funny and ironic.  He really felt like a teenager: hormone ridden!  And he also had loads of random facts, but believable random knowledge, which somehow made him more believable.  He was also smart, practical, sort of a worrier, and really, really brave.
Scotty’s two long-time best friends, Pete Dubois and Jason Gillispie, were both great.  The three of them really stuck together, and their relationship felt really natural; though I liked how it also got strained during the trapped period (it made it more believable).  Pete was the “normal kid”: very much average in everything.  He was really nice: he didn’t do fake playing cool.  Jason was kinda twisted; he was fascinated by wars and weapons.  He was (sometimes) logical, a scary-good liar, and was always there for Scotty when he needed him.  Plus, he was really funny!
The other four “trapped” kids were all really unique and different.  Krista O’Rea was the “beautiful” one, the one who had all the guys drooling over her; she was also sweet and funny.  Her best friend, Julie, was always with her: they stuck together all the way through the book.  Elijah, the “weird” one, was sort of a loner; he was also clever, funny, and a realist.  My personal favourite was Less Goddard.  He was “bad news”; Scotty thought he was a psychopath.  Apparently he “radiated danger”.  But, he could be nice, and he was really clever.  I liked how he changed and evolved from being a total jerk in my eyes to me actually liking and admiring him.
The characters all felt so real to me, the relationships.  And the situation felt the most real of all.  It was a terrifying thought, but a believable one: it’s so easy to get trapped by natural forces.  And scariest of all: Kids in charge of a school!
I really liked the writing in this book: I totally believed Scott’s voice.  And the way he wasn’t sure about some things and some names made it so believable.  But: after a while I found there were too many “likes” and “you knows” for me.  It started to get annoying once I’d noticed it.  Nonetheless, the writing was still just so vivid.  I felt the cold, the claustrophobia, the panic.  I just loved how we were given snippets of information, little by little, until they slotted together so we could get a glimpse of what was happening… It made me desperate to read on.  I’ve really got to hand it to Michael Northrop: he’s a really vivid writer.  And, seriously: the worst ending ever!  I want a sequel; I want to know what happens next!  It all just felt too abrupt; it left me dangling without all of the answers!
About fear, death, being trapped and the willingness to do anything for survival, Trapped had me on the edge of my seat: I loved it.  It was full of suspense, fear, real-life-horror and huge national disasters, with a little bit of romance thrown in, and the occasional forced teen slang didn’t take away from all that.  What made Trapped really hit home for me was the realness of it all.  A little too much snow, wrong place, wrong time, and anyone could end up trapped.  Very, very scary.  I can’t wait for my next book by Northrop.

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Gone by Michael Grant
Envy by Gregg Olsen
Fracture by Megan Miranda

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from Atom in exchange for an honest review

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