by Michael Northrop
If you thought about it, a high school might be an okay place to get stranded for a few days. It’s big, enclosed and has a large cafeteria full of food. There are bathrooms and things to do. But when it’s snow that’s trapping you in and it keeps accumulating, the power goes. Which means no heat and no electricity. Cell phones are useless. And the snow – tons of it – weighs into every nook and cranny, pressing down. Soon, a would-be interesting story of spending the night in school becomes a struggle of life and death for Scotty and his friends.
Talk about a book that gets under your skin. I thought for sure that if I looked out my window when I finished this book, I would find snow up to its second-story sills.
Trapped is a slow-thriller, with the terror amping up slowly, until it was uncomfortably freaky and you’re afraid of breathing too hard because something bad might happen. I loved Scotty’s voice – his narration is both chatty and poignant. I loved that he not only seemed to be telling you the story, but also that he was trying to justify actions made to himself.
He comes right out and says at the beginning that all eight trapped inside the school were not going to make it out alive. An excellent device to make the worsening conditions even more tense because you’re just waiting for the other shoe to fall. You even get some hope in the middle that maybe he was lying. Maybe they all do make it out alive. So well done on that front.
I also loved this line from Scotty, referring to the girl he liked being trapped with him:
“I think you’ve figured out by now that this isn’t about boy-gets-girl. It’s about survival.”
Because someone else could have turned this premise into The Breakfast Club meets snow storm. Hilarity and love ensue. And let’s be honest, I would probably read and like that book. But Trapped is not that book (although there is a touch of Breakfast Club-like bonding).
An excellent novel to read with a warm fire next to you, reminding you that you’re warm and safe. I thoroughly recommend it.
I also want to send a note of You are Awesome to the designers of the jacket and the layout of the book over at Scholastic. The cover is awesome. The back jacket and inside flaps are awesome. But even cooler? The start of each chapter has more and more snow piling up as the book continues, until the page is just white with text. Such a small touch, but so cool.
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Reason for Reading: Contemps Challenge (and loved Northrop’s previous book, Gentlemen)
Where this book came from: library got it in early! (One of the many perks of being a librarian!)