Book Reviews Essay

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Trapped by Michael Northrop When school closes early because of the snow coming down, Scott and his friends decide to take advantage of the extra time to work on a go-kart they've been building in shop class. But with nearly everyone else having left the school, and the snow coming down faster and faster, they realise they may have made a terrible mistake. So begins a chilling (sorry!) tale, which sees seven students struggle to hold on as the weather gets ever worse. I normally don't comment on the presentation of novels, but have to make an exception here because Trapped really is superb in that respect. Each chapter opens with a simple black and white drawing showing the snow falling and the pile on the ground getting higher and higher. It's incredibly simple, but really adds to the tension and the claustrophobia created by the character's situation - big thumbs up from me, really creative! Other than that, there are some other very strong points of the book. It features a likeable narrator in Scott, a premise which is realistic enough to be truly scary, and Northrop has a very easy to read writing style - I got through this in a couple of hours, I was so keen to see what happened next. That said, there are a couple of drawbacks - notably, the rest of the cast surrounding Scott seem a bit on the clichéd side. There's a 'mean kid' who isn't really that mean, a pair of girls who provide romantic interest for some of the boys, and not that much character development taking place. The other thing which bothered me a little was the speed of the novel's climax; the events of the last couple of chapters seemed to deserve considerably more time. All in all, though, this is an enjoyable read which I'd happily recommend. One word of warning before reading - given the weather forecast as I write this and the way in which Northrop makes the characters' fate seem so

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