Book Review: "Trapped" by Michael Northrop

Summary from 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....

While reading this book, the movie THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW kept coming into my mind. I kept picturing the students huddled together as imminent and possible death is approaching in the form of snow and freezing temperatures. Survival is the name of the game and all preconceived notions must be put aside if you want to get through this. People have to come together and work to make it through another day.

The feeling of hopelessness is a big factor in this book. When the students realize that no one knows that they are in the school, it is a huge blow to them. So much for technology and other advancements as they have become completely useless in communication. Instead they have to rally in order to see what they can come up with to get through the long days and nights. I actually appreciated all the talk about the bathroom situation because that is always something that creeps into my mind in survival situations. Most stories tend to completely ignore it or just barely gloss over it but here we're given pretty good details because it was essential to the inhabitants' survival.

My one big complaint is the ending of the story. It honestly just felt like it abruptly ended and we are left completely hanging. I would have liked to have known what happened to the rest of the students, their parents, the town, even the rest of the country. I know the focus is just on the teens and I can understand that from their point of view the outside world is not really that big of a focus. I guess just for me, I would have liked an epilogue with some closure even if it wasn't happy because of the time I had invested in the story. I also am a bit confused as to why they didn't try to get into the other lockers in the building as well as teachers' desks, break room, or any other places to find food or extra clothing.

Overall this was an intense read. I definitely felt cold while reading this book. If I had been in the same situation, I would have done my best to help out, not try to freak out and then spend whatever spare time was left in the library reading. The book is told from Scotty's POV and though it feels like a limited POV at times, it's still quite effective. If you think that YA books are either fluff or vampires, give this book a read and you'll change your mind.

Trapped by Michael Northrop is published by Scholastic Press (2011)

This ARC was provided by the Amazon Vine program


  1. This sounds like a winner to me, even with the abrupt ending.


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