Saturday, December 17, 2011

REVIEW: Trapped by Michael Northrop

Trapped by Michael Northrop isn't a book I'd heard a great deal about before I picked it up to read. It's an interesting book to read as the weather is getting colder and the days are getting darker. I found it very atmospheric - as I turned the pages of Trapped I found myself getting colder and colder as well as feeling slightly claustrophobic to be outside and to be free. Unlike these seven teenagers, trapped in their high school during the worst snow storm of the century.

What helped along this feeling of unease and discomfort as I was reading is that each chapter shows a little picture of the snow falling, and as the chapters go along and the snow rises higher and higher, it really made me aware of how I'd feel in the same position. I've never been in a situation where there might be three foot of snow falling in one day, but I imagine it to be terrifying. Especially as a teenager, isolated from everyone.

Trapped tells the story of seven teenagers who have been left behind during a huge snow storm. Our main character is Scotty Weems, a sophomore basketball player, and we see all the events from his perspective. He's stayed behind with two best mates in order to work on this go-cart they're making for shop class. The other students left behind include two freshman girls, a trouble-maker and a loner Goth boy. And as the hours pass, and then the days pass, things within this small high school in the middle of nowhere began to get really desperate.

In some ways, I think I was expecting for the means of survival to be a little more extreme with this book. And if I'm honest, that's probably just because I'm used to the over-dramatisation of disaster movies that I wasn't expecting there to be blankets in the nurse's office or that (of course!) there'd be a huge supply of food in the cafeteria that could feed a handful of kids for a week. I kind of wanted more drama though. It is a high school though, and of course they would be there.

And while I did enjoy Scotty's observations of this weird collection of students and the way in which he began to see the other people in a different light, especially in regards to the Goth boy and the troublemaker, I also wanted more interactions between them. Because this book has been mentioned in the same sentence as The Breakfast Club (one of my favourite films!) I think I was expecting for these kids to open up a little more, share some secrets or to dance about in the library. But towards the end, it is mentioned that this book is more about survival than anything else.

And keeping that in mind, Trapped is subtly scary. The idea of the snow continuing to fall, no way to contact the outside world, having no idea of if somebody is coming for them. With the temperature dropping and no electricity and the roof beginning to cave in, things are looking pretty bad.


  1. I love the sound of it too, though I'd have been hoping for more Breakfast Club-style action too. Great review, Clover!

  2. Jenni - It's a pretty good idea, isn't it? Scary too.

    Luisa - Thanks! I was really hoping for some truth or dare or some group-bonding activities :( Still.

    Sophie - Hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

  3. Tis one sounds amazing, its on my wishlist. I'll try and get to it soon! :)

  4. Raimy - Perfect book to read as the weather grows colder! :)


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