My Thoughts: I live in Eastern North Carolina, which is about halfway up/down the eastern coast of the United States in a place where IT NEVER SNOWS. Seriously. In this area, we are the crazy/embarrassing people on your television sets that are snapping pictures of the one tiny snowflake that may fall every other year and posting it to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds – just like everyone else on our Friends list. We go out and completely buy all of the milk, bread, and eggs at the grocery store when we get a “light dusting” of snow that almost never covers all of the grass completely, almost never ends school/work days early, and usually melts before mid-afternoon. I live among these people!
Sometimes I am that person too, you guys: the one snapping the picture.
Because I LOVE the snow. I really and truly do.
In all honesty, we really don’t use the word “blizzard” around here and I’m not completely 100% positive exactly what a “nor’easter” is. (although I did look it up while I was reading and now I feel a bit educated)
In Trapped, seven young people face days and days stuck inside of their high school in the worst snowstorm in the history of the continental United States. There is no hope for help until the storm ends at the very earliest. Cell phones are not getting any service at all. Power is out due to the storm. No one at all is driving by the school; there are no cars in sight anywhere. In fact, the roads aren’t even visible underneath all of the snow outside. Before long, the snow is almost as high as the windows that run from floor-to-ceiling. Things are not looking good for the guys and gals stuck on the inside of Tattawa High School.
Trapped is a short survival story that is both realistic YA and survival story. I’m calling it realistic to the young adult genre because the seven young people trapped inside of the school are all freshmen and sophomores, I believe, and they absolutely think and act like freshmen and sophomores typically do in terms of maturity and intellect. Throughout the story, this group has to band together and survive – I mean, they really have to work hard to survive. Things deteriorate rapidly in this abnormally horrific storm and this group is not one that would normally find themselves hanging out together, so tensions run high in a few instances. This just adds to the realism of the story, I think, and makes it seem even more imperative for this group to work together to keep one another both sane and alive.
Of course, this is also a survival story. None of the students has heard from any of their family members because they lost cell phone service pretty early in the storm. They have no idea if anyone even realizes that they are trapped at the high school. They end up having to do basic survival things: break into the school cafeteria for food, search rooms for a radio and blankets, things like that. When the water pipes freeze and they lose all of their water supply, the students become pretty inventive both for toileting needs and finding drinking water. There is a point at about halfway to two-thirds of the way through the book in which the story picks up tremendously in terms of the survival – people are stressed and they’re becoming weak and hungry. There are countless feet of snow on the ground. The group realizes that it is time to make a huge, huge decision and it could be pretty dangerous…
Trapped had me wide-eyed and holding my breath at times. I have no concept for a storm like the one Michael Northrop has written of in this book. This storm and the survival portion of this book had my stomach in knots and had me turning the pages pretty fast. I found it fascinating, absolutely fascinating. The characters are all very different – some are more fully developed than others, but they all brought something interesting to the group. I found Northrop’s style to be very easy to read and very much like a group of young freshmen/sophomore students, particularly those under the stress of being stuck together for several days under crisis circumstances.
And the ending! My heart was pounding for the last chunk of the book, and as I approached the end I was increasingly nervous for everyone AND for how the author would end his story. Out of every possible final-ending-situation, Northrop’s ending was abrupt but well-rounded, and I like that it was hopeful!
I recommend Trapped for fans of YA contemporary stories, particularly survival stories, and fans of stories that have male leading characters.