Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MEN in YA: Trapped by Michael Northrop (ARC Review)

Genre:Young Adult,Thriller
Publication.Date  January 1st 2011
Published By:  Scholastic Canada
WebsiteMichael Northrop
Trapped - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from the publisher
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high 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 at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

Please note:  Quotes are from an ARC and will be verified against a published copy.
We were the last seven kids waiting around to get picked up from Tattawa Regional High School. It sounds like an everyday thing, but this wasn't an ordinary day. It was one of those bull's-eyes in history, one of those points where everything comes together, if you were at that place at that time, you were part of something big. It meant that we weren't going to get picked up, not on that day and maybe not ever.
It was just the seven of us, the seven of us and the endless snow. 
He looked out at the snow pressed against the glass, literally tons of it. Then he looked back at me and made the same shoot-me-now gesture as Pete had the night before, but he made it with both hands. Then he dropped his thumbs, shooting himself in both temples. Good morning to you too.
Then I did something I hadn't done for a very long time, probably not since I was a little boy. I prayed. I  prayed for myself. I prayed for my mom. I prayed for all of us.

     Trapped by Michael Northrop was a very good read. Believable as well as compelling. It gripped me from the get-go. It's definitely a treat for readers who enjoy contemporary thrillers. Realistic and creepy, Trapped is a chilling reminder that the scariest scenarios are ones that could actually happen.

     The plot of Trapped could easily be described with one sentence: A powerful, merciless snowstorm hits the town of Tattawa, cutting people off from the rest of the world,  turning their homes and cars into icy death-traps. That's just the general idea of the book, now let's talk details...  The story starts with the first flakes of snow coming down on the remote town. The snowstorm warning has been issued and the kids at Tattawa  Regional High School are happy to learn that their classes were canceled. The majority of people manages to leave just before the severe weather conditions make it impossible to drive. A handful of kids and a teacher stay behind, still waiting to be picked up by their relatives. As the snowstorm worsens, it quickly becomes obvious that no one is coming to get them. They're stuck at school and their only option is to wait it out. Now, you may think it's not a big deal, after all what's so bad about being stranded at a high school for a few days? You're not out in the storm, you've got shelter, access to school's cafeteria (=food), a place to sleep and a bunch of people to keep you from feeling lonely. How bad can it possibly get? Well, pretty bad. First the power goes off. Then water freezes in the pipes. The food supplies won't last forever, either. And the snow keeps on falling... Day after day. The roof is so laden with snow that it threatens to collapse any second. You can't leave the school, but it's no longer safe to stay there, either. What you considered to be a safe shelter turns out to be a death trap...

      The setting of this book is simple yet powerful. Trapped prays on our most basic, instinctive fears. The idea of being buried under tons of snow is absolutely terrifying to me. I love snow. Where I grew up, we used to have very snowy Winters every year and it was fantastic. I always enjoyed playing in the snow, making a snowman, skiing and having snow fights. I just love Winter sceneries, with ice frosted trees and the world covered with a fluffy, white carpet.. so magical! The snow in Trapped, though, is nothing like the one from my Winter magic land. Northrop's snow is a deadly force of nature, ruthless and unstoppable. The situation described in this book - something you definitely wouldn't want to find yourself in.

      I found this story to be unrelentingly bleak. Sadly, although I really loved the premise, I didn't really connect with the characters. Don't get me wrong, they were really great - believable and very pleasant to read about (I especially liked Scotty's realistic and often very funny narrative voice and the back and forth between him and his friends). I just didn't get to know them well enough to actually care about them. Perhaps it's because the book was only 220 pages long and I didn't have enough time to get attached to anyone. But also, in my opinion, it's not a character-driven story. As far as I'm concerned, the kids stranded at Tattawa High could easily be replaced with a different bunch and it wouldn't make much difference to me. It's the situation that mattered, not necessarily the people. It's the WHAT, WHEN and WHERE, not really the WHO. That's not to say I didn't like the MC or I didn't care what will happen to him at all, I just wished I could get to know him a little bit better.

      Overall, Trapped is a great, fast paced and engaging read, that will keep you on the edge of your sit. I enjoyed reading it a lot. It's a well written YA thriller that sticks with you long after you put the book down. I recommend it for snowy Winter nights, when it's too cold to go out and all you want to do is curl up on your couch with a steaming cup of coffee and a good book.

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Thanks to the fabulous
I have one hardcover copy of Trapped up for grabs!
The giveaway will be posted tomorrow, together with the author interview with the fab Michael Northrop.
Don't forget to stop by and enter!!!

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This review is posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Asheley T. said...

WOW. first of all, it never snows here in Eastern North Carolina. if it does snow, it is a quick but pretty dusting that falls and melts as soon as it hits the ground. so this sounds both fascinating and terrifying at the same time -- which kinda sorta makes me want to read it. eep! scary!

also, i've never read this author before but his name has just recently been suggested to me by a trusted blogger friend...so i'm excited to see northrop on your feature today! he comes highly recommended and i can't wait to read his work. :)

thanks evie! loved your thoughts on this one!

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Wow! This one sounds really good!

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

This book sounds amazing. This was always one of my fears with snowstorms. I hadn't heard about this one before. Thanks for the great review. Can't wait to check it out!!


Bonnie said...

Evie, as we are coming into snow season here this sounds like a book that might freak me out a bit when I hear a 30+cm snowfall warning! But it does sound like a good read, too bad about the characters though. I'm sure that really well developed characters could have pushed this book over the top! Lovely review hun! :)

Evie said...

Girls, you too nice! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting :) It's truly a book that chills and it's even more scary in the Winter time :)

Love ya! <3

Novella Vialli said...

Trapped sounds like the perfect winter read!

Louisa @ Words I Write Crazy said...

Well, I can understand snow being evil :) just started it's heavy duty snowing today, and it is FREEZING!! Sounds like a creepy, wonderful book!

FireStarBooks said...

Now I'm cold! :P

I just adore your book reviews!! They are so descriptive but it doesn't spoil anything! Love love love! Keep them coming!!

Ammy Belle said...

You make a good point vis-a-vis the setting - it's a terrifyign thing to be trappped in the snow ... "Storm of the Century" and "The Thing" come to mind.

Thanks for the review - this looks like a great book! Can't wait to read it! :)

Ammy Belle

LoriStrongin said...

Bummer that the characters didn't grab you all the way. Still, I think I'm gonna check this one out, since I remember being trapped in my house on really bad snow days, but can't imagine what it would have been like to be trapped at school.


Andra Lyn said...

mlehhhh...like I said on the interview...Trapped literally sounds like one of my worst nightmares! I hate Hate HATE the cold...and being locked up with people you don't trust...well, at least you will have less of a problem turning to cannibalism then wouldn't you?

Kathy said...

This sounds like a nightmare comes true. Scarily, it could happen. I 100% agree with you that real life scenarios that could happen are often the ones that scare us most and grab us the most.

It sounds like the story could have been made even better by getting to know the characters a little better, so that you're more invested in the outcome.

Great review, I am hoping to pick this one up this winter. If I am brave enough I might wait for a snow storm to do it! haha.

Unknown said...

This looks interesting, havent heard of it until reading your review! Need to check this out! thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

I've read this up to mid-book, but it wasn't too my taste. I agree that it's not very strong on the characters, but like you said, the situation did seem very real.

Enbrethiliel said...


Hi, Evie! =) I agree with you that the scariest worst case scenarios are those that could actually happen--or rather, those that seem highly plausible.

It's too bad that the characters didn't draw you emotionally. I get what you mean when you say they could have been replaced by a totally different bunch and not really hurt the story. That's not something I'm too crazy about, but I still care enough about their predicament at this point to want to read about how they survive it.

Thanks for the review! =) Have I told you lately how much I love your review style?

Unknown said...

Great review. Actually, suspense/thriller is always be one of my favorite genre ever. At first, I looked at the cover and loved it. I'm a cover lover though. The story sounds really interesting, I'll put it on my list.

Thanks for the review :)

Jaime Lester said...

Thanks for the great review. You made a book that I probably wouldn't have chosen seem interesting enough that I actually want to pick it up and see what happens. I can't imagine being caught in a situation like that.

Mary Preston said...

I love stories like TRAPPED. The do or die kind of survival stories. A great review thank you.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

Wow really nice cover!! :) Great review! :)

Wolf Draven said...

WOW! Sounds really great! I'm going to buy this book. It's definitely one I'd love!

Unknown said...

I'm not into thrillers 'cause I might have a heart attack. Kidding! The story seems interesting and engaging Great review! Love the cover!

Unknown said...

I've been wanting to read this for ages and your review made me put it on my to-buy-next list! I can't wait. ^-^ Sounds amazing.

Christine said...

This one sounds really different and interesting! Definitely not the kind of book I'd normally gravitate to, but I might have to check it out :)
Thanks for the review!

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