I thought that Trapped by Michael Northrup, with its snow-covered cover, would be a perfect mid-winter read, and I was right. I read this suspenseful teen/YA novel in just two days and could scarcely set it down.
Trapped is an apt name for this story about seven high school kids trapped inside their school for days during a blizzard. A winter storm of historic proportions, even for New England, covers the area with over 10 feet of snow, piling up faster than the plows can clear it, until it is so deep that even plows can’t get through. Oh, and did I mention the power went out?
This novel works on two levels: as a fast-paced adventure story and as a character study. The adventure comes in, of course, simply from trying to survive. The kids are left without adult supervision and must fend for themselves to provide food, water, and heat. Their challenges grow and become more extreme as the storm worsens and continues far longer than any of them thought it could. The suspense builds as the snow piles up outside. Eventually, they realize if they are going to be saved, they need to save themselves. Their deteriorating situation provides ample suspense and makes this book a page-turner.
But this is also a fascinating story of seven very different people trying to get along with each other under extreme circumstances. The high school setting adds another layer of intrigue, since these seven kids are not ones who would normally hang out together (or even acknowledge each other) in the normal school atmosphere. There are three guys who are good friends (though very different people), a gorgeous and popular female athlete and her BFF, a chronic troublemaker, and a social outcast. At first, they stick to their own kind, but as their situation becomes more dire, they need to work together – and even rely on each other – in order to survive.
I really enjoyed this fast-paced novel. It was the kind of story that completely pulled me in, so I was thinking about it all the time. I felt like I was there, in that cold, dark school in the midst of a blizzard, with them. I love novels that so completely capture my imagination. Just writing about it makes me want to read it again!