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Trapped Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
Sevens teens are stuck in the high school in the worst blizzard in a century, and no one knows that they're there. At first, it's not too bad--they have access to plenty of food and they can wait it out. But then the power and the heat go out, and the snow continues to pile higher and higher, compromising the building . The snow has them trapped inside, but even the building isn't safe anymore--will it be too late for Scotty and his friends?
Trapped is one of those gripping and chilling reads that will make you question just how likely you would be able to survive if thrust into the same situation. It's quite a spectacular story of survival, but it's very well-described, showing that Northrop really thought this situation through inside and out. His writing also shows that he really understands teens; the attitudes, the feelings, and the interactions are all done very well, and the emotions and tensions that everyone feels due to their entrapment and despair are all very realistic. Northrop also makes really good use of foreshadowing as Scotty alludes to some fatal consequences of the storm at the beginning of the story, making the book seem a bit foreboding before the snow even really begins to fall. The ending was powerful and abrupt, but it does leave you wondering about the fate of so many people, most of which aren't revealed, or are left up to the reader's imagination. This is a quick, unsettling read that will be easy to get into, but not so easy to leave once you've finished.
Trapped is a engrossing adventure novel that teens will enjoy. It is a very fast read that even reluctant readers will feel compelled to finish. The author does a fantastic job creating realistic characters that will speak to teen readers (epically the boys).
Appropriateness: This isn't a book that parents will find upsetting. While there are some gross jokes and gross topics the book is sex and drug free. The romances that do develop are short and uneventful. I would gauge the interest level at 12 and up. The lexile score is 740 putting it at a sixth or seventh grade reading level.
Characters. What characters? In all 170 pages the kids in this story don't make me care about them at all. They are flat, uninteresting stereotypes, and the main character seems more interested in getting into the pants of one of the 'hotties' than, you know, surviving this deadly winter storm. Speaking of, is it even possible to get twenty feet of snow in America? Ten feet I have heard of, albeit in Canada, and if the plot was at all strong I would have been able to suspend my disbelief on the weather conditions.
Oh, and lets continue. At the very beginning the main character talks about how people die. One person dies. Twenty pages from the end. For no conceivable reason, plot or other wise. It was pure stupidity. And you know what? I didn't even care. The ending its self was a poorly executed Deus Ex Machina. I was led to believe this would be a survival horror, but honestly if the kids involved weren't idiots and perhaps actual characters there wouldn't have been much issue. Ditto, the single teacher mentioned at the beginning who left to get hope and then vanished from the plot and essentially the characters minds.
Please, do not waste your time or money on this. If you're looking for other much better books with a similar premise (surviving a natural disaster) go for Life as We Knew It and the other books in the series.