Cait (Paper Fury)'s Reviews > Trapped

Trapped by Michael Northrop
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's review
Jul 31, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary, survival, 3-star

I’ve read many books with unsatisfactory endings. Really, really unsatisfactory ending. But Trapped wins the prized gold star. I started getting a bad feeling when I reached those last, crucial pages… The book’s running out. Okay, come on, how’s this going to work… He wouldn’t just leave it like this. Would he? Answer: Yes. Yes, he would.

So apart from the awful, unsatisfactory, unfair ending, I really enjoyed reading Trapped. I found it on a list of “What-to-read-when-you’ve-finished-the-Hunger-Games.” Here. I'm not sure I’d quite agree. While it hinted on survival, had a whiff of romance, and involved some sad twists, it wasn’t exactly gripping. Halfway through, I found it a bit shallow. I was expecting some Lord of the Flies/Gone Series here. Power struggles. Danger. Desperate need for food. Freezing. Intoxicating fear. Terrible decisions. Betrayal. But not really… It brushed on many of those concepts but didn’t explore anything. While I say all this, being honest, I couldn't put it down. It just left me a little disappointed at the end. And the ending… Such an annoying ending.

We follow the story through the eyes of Scotty Weems, a fifteen-year-old, definitely-not-hero-material, high school kid. He’s trapped in the school when the worst snow storm in history hits their town. Seven kids. All alone. No one knows they’re there. The teacher walked out at the beginning into the blizzard and never came back. So we have a wonderful, diverse bunch of kids—Les (the slightly-scary-school-delinquent); Kirsta (very hot, very popular girl) and her best friend, Julie; Elisha, (scary-sort-of-goth-introvert); and Scotty and his two best friends, Jason (infatuated with anything military) and Pete (described as purely-normal). I really thought this book was going to end in utter chaos with these well-described, well-written kids fighting it out to survive. It didn’t.

The writing was refreshing, easy and fun to read. Written in first-person, by Scotty, we everything from his eyes. He’s a little obsessed with Kirsta, but that doesn’t eventuate into more than a few awkward conversations. You really feel like a teenager is writing this. There’s the spattering of “slang” words, some brief but crude references, a few swear words, though not over the top, which I admire the author for. These days, it seems like YA writers feel like their characters need to swear after every second sentence. Not only does that lower the standard of the writing, it makes the books feel cheap. Unprofessional. Detestable in most places. I admire the author for his writing style, if not the outcome of his story-line

Although far from perfect, Trapped was hooky and catchy and well written. But with a little more work, the plot could have been really impacting. Instead the whole story drifted on the mediocre line.

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02/06/2016 marked as: read

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