Friday, February 25, 2011

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Might I start by saying I really liked the packaging for this book? Why not, eh? Ok, so I really liked the packaging. The cover was plain without being boring, was indicative of the title and the story. And I loved how each chapter started with the picture of snow falling which mirrored the cover. Really set the mood.

I found the story to be compelling and realistic and thought that the author made interesting choices. This was a disaster story, but with the kids being in a relatively good place. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the plot it is about several high school students who get stuck at school during a blizzard that turns out to be of epic disastrous proportions.

But all in all they’re pretty well off, they’ve got food, they’ve got shelter, they aren’t locked in with a axe-murderer (which if to be honest I was sort of expecting. I have absolutely no idea why, but I was).

It is sort of slow building, but you can feel their frustration and fear growing as their reality sets in. They were believably uninformed about some things. I was frustrated they didn’t go shovel the snow off the roof, but I understood that none of them would have worried about the weight of it collapsing the roof.

They also got up to relatively few hijinx. No breaking into the office to change files, no raiding the girl’s locker room. They were kind of rule followers scared of getting into trouble. Nothing wrong with that, but I was expecting otherwise so it did surprise me. I guess I've been conditioned by endless teen horror flicks to expect shenanigans.

There were a few things that confused me. The quickness of the snow was a major plot point, but how fast was it really coming down? If people were driving up to an hour or so before why did the teacher disappear and not come back? Surely the snow wasn’t that deep already? And if it was, why did they not get a rope and attach it to the door so he could follow it back? Is it not common knowledge to do that in a white-out? Why was it so cold if it was snowing so heavily?

I also didn’t quite understand why they didn’t scavenger up a supply of candles, since when I was growing up everyone I knew carried candles in their car and had a supply at home to keep them alive in case of emergency (a candle in a small room or car will keep you warm and alive y’all). I gave them a pass because maybe that is a peculiarity of Winnipeg or something.

An enjoyable book!

Book Source = Committee Review Copy

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