Trapped by Michael Northrop

This YA novel is about 7 high school kids who get stuck at their school during a blizzard. A serious blizzard that lasts for seven days and dumps over 18 feet of snow. It’s a good, suspenseful read, keeping you wondering whether they’ll make it and how they’ll escape.

The group of students is a random assortment, which reminded me of The Breakfast Club, but the worst moments in the writing were when the author went out of his way to point that out, telling instead of showing. Otherwise, the sentence-level writing was pretty good. It did the job of relating the plot.

There’s a little teen crush love story here, but it’s one of the less interesting parts of the narrative. What I liked about it was how it humanized the narrator and showed you he was just a normal kid whose life got interrupted by this freak storm. It makes sense that a small part of a 15-year-old boy’s mind would consider being snowed in with a hot girl as a romantic opportunity he should seize. Not that he does a good job of it.

I was a little disappointed in the ending. Honestly, I expected things to get a good bit worse for the kids before the end, both physically and emotionally. There was a cliched white-light-you-think-is-death-but-really-rescue. And then the book ended without giving any details of the aftermath: Did anyone lose their parents or siblings in the blizzard? Did anyone lose a finger or toe to frostbite? Did they get in trouble for destroying school property? How did the students treat each other a few months later?

But despite those small disappointments, the experience of reading the book and not being able to put it down was pleasurable enough that I’d recommend it to any teen who likes adventure stories. It was a fun, quick read.

Trapped is a good, suspenseful survival story. Not amazing, but good.


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