Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blog Tour: Trapped by Michael Northrop Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

Today I am participating in the Trapped Blog Tour. Thank you to Evie @ Bookish and Scholastic for letting me take part in this. I have for you my review, a guest post from the author, and a giveaway for one paperback copy of the book. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour also.

December 1st - Giselle @
December 2nd - Tiffany @ 
December 3rd - Emily @
December 4th - Jessirae @
December 5th - Amy @ (+ guest post)
December 6th - Asheley @ (+guest post)
December 7th - Justin @ 

  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 232
  • Source: Copy provided by the publisher for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

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. . . .
 My Thoughts

I love survival stories so I was really excited for this one. I especially love survival stories when it's teenagers. There is just something so much more intense about it. They are kind of excited to not have adults telling them what to do, but they also need to learn not only to fend for themselves, but stay alive too. Seeing that I live in a place where the winters can be brutal, I can see this happening. Okay, maybe not to the extreme in this book, but who am I to doubt Mother Nature and her evil ways. I have gone without power in a blizzard before and I know how much it sucks, so I couldn't even imagine being stuck somewhere without knowing if your family is okay, in a horrible situation that looks like it has no end.

This book is told from Scotty's perspective. We start off the book and he lets us know that he is telling us what happened, so we obviously know he survived the situation. (Either that or it's his ghost telling the story.) I liked him enough I guess. He was a typical boy. Average student, not a trouble maker, but not a saint either. He is good a t basketball and has a few close friends. He handles the situation pretty well. He is worried about his mom, he is worried about all of them, but he knows that they need to survive so even when things seem wrong to him he still does them or lets other people. In the end I loved how he makes the decisions he does. He is in fear for their lives and knows that something has to be done and he does what he has to and I think it was great to see that. Instead of just sitting around, trying to survive and hoping someone will find him, he does take action. Unfortunately, I don't think he would have if it weren't for something else that had happened, but I still think it was brave.

There are seven of them stuck in the school and as the storm keeps pushing on, they get more and more desperate for food, warmth, and hope. They want to believe someone is coming for them, but the world outside those windows is very scary and it's not likely anyone is coming for them anytime soon. They listen to a battery powered radio which is their only connection to the world outside the walls of the buried school. Surprisingly they all kind of still group off, when you would think they would want to stay together more in such a tragic situation. I guess with them all being so different, and teenagers, they still just want to stick to their own groups. It's not to say they don't work together and interact with each other at times, but they never seemed like a group as a whole.

This was a quick read about a group of teenagers making the best they can out of a bad situation. My only issue I had was that since the book is told more as a reflection of what happened, I never really was able to connect with the characters. I wanted to care what happened to them and hope they all made it out alive, but in all honestly I wasn't invested in them and I didn't care what happened to them. I did enjoy the book and I liked reading it, but the characters just fell flat for me. Overall it was a great book on survival in a snowpocalypse that kept me interested until the end.

Guest Post - Essential Items to Have if Trapped Somewhere

Hello, I’m Michael Northrop, popping in for a guest post! The topic of this one is: essential items I’d need if I were trapped somewhere. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and not just because my book Trapped is out in paperback. I live in Brooklyn, NY, which means I was smack-dab in the middle of Superstorm Sandy when it hit.

I knew exactly how I wanted to prepare. I’d spent months thinking about my own, eerily similar superstorm while I was writing the book. As a result, I think I did a good job of stocking up. I got a battery-powered radio, a new flashlight, candles, water, and plenty of food that didn’t require refrigeration (or microwaving!).

But the interesting part wasn’t what I did right: It was what went wrong. I’ll leave aside the fact that, since the storm hit right before Halloween, I wound up eating more mini peppermint patties than anything else, and focus on that darn battery-powered radio. That so-called battery-powered radio.

It listed “battery power backup” right on the box, but that was somewhere between misleading and a bald-faced lie. As it turns out, the battery power backup was for the frickin’ clock, which is to say, if the power goes out, the clock will still display the correct time. When the power comes back on, that is. It will display a big fat nothing while the power is out, and more importantly, the radio won’t work.

I would’ve been much angrier about this, but I was lucky and my neighborhood didn’t lose power. Instead, I was mostly just fascinated by how easily things can go wrong in a survival situation, even if you’re prepared, even if you had months to think about it and were sure you’d done everything right.

On some level, I must have known that already, because it is a major part of my book, a central irony that drives the narrative forward. The one thing you really need to prepare for in a situation like that is the one thing you really can’t. You need to prepare for things to go wrong.

Awesome guest post! Thank you so much for such a thoughtful post. You make such a great point!

About the author
Michael Northrop is the author of two YA novels—Gentlemen, one of the American Library Association's "Best Books for Young Adults" for 2010, and Trapped, a Spring 2011 Indie Next List selection—and the new middle grade novel Plunked. He spent 12 years chasing stories at Sports Illustrated Kids, the last five as baseball editor. His articles and stories have been published widely.
Connect with Michael Northrop:

I also have a giveaway for one paperback copy of Trapped by Michael Northrop provided by Scholastic. 
And yes, it is international. 

Must be 13 years or older to enter or have parent or guardian permission
Winner will have 48 hours to contact me after being notified or a new winner will be chosen
Please do not enter using multiple accounts. If you are caught doing it all entries will be deleted.
I am not responsible for lost or damaged items. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really like survival stories, too, Amy. I'm glad you liked this. Great review!

    1. I only wish that maybe it had been told as they were going through it instead of us being told the story after it happened. I think it would have made me feel more invested in the story.

  2. I like survival stories too. My favorite is On The Island. :) This sounds interesting!

    1. On the Island is one of my favorite books!! Loved that one.

  3. I love survival stories! And hey sometimes this stuff happens because I've watched a lot of true stories where people get snowed in places. So scary because I hate the snow! I would think a school would have enough water, food, and medical supplies to keep them safe but I guess not. I do love watching the group dynamics too when people try to survive. Teenagers are excited at first to have no parents but then someone finally has to take responsibility and try to organize work to gather food and blankets. Kind of reminds me of Monument 14 which was also good about being stuck in a mall during a disaster.

    1. Well yeah, I know it does, but this gets like majorly extreme! I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but if there is the possibility of a Nor'Easter or Blizzard, schools are usually cancelled ahead of time. I think the scariest thing was the fact that this really could happen though. I liked Monument 14 too, but I had the same issue with how that one was told too. I just felt disconnected. I am still looking forward to the next one though.

  4. Replies
    1. It was an interesting book. Last year we got a freak Nor'Easter that buried us in like 3 feet of snow, but nothing like this. I couldn't even imagine snow being over the second story of buildings.

  5. Survival stories are always very interesting, but they are at the same time very scary. I really like the idea behind this book and like you mentioned, survival stories involving teenagers are much more intense. I'm glad to hear this book worked for you!
    Lovely review, Amy! :)

    1. I only wish I had gotten to know the characters a bit better. It was good though.

  6. I think it would be good to have a weather radio to know when the storm will let up.

    1. Great idea. I would want a super big warm waterproof sleeping bag. (Just in case the snow started leaking in, I would have a dry place.)

  7. I like survival stories! :) And I honestly can't think of any good, maybe blanket?
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    1. That's what I would want too. A warm, dry place is important.

  8. Hiii! Thanks for the giveaway. I love survival stories. Lord of the flies is one of my all-time favorites. It's interesting what people would do in order to survive, what extent they'd go to.
    And to answer your question, I guess I would like anything that could keep me warm, so a blanket would be good.:)

  9. THis sounds awesome!

    I'd make sure to have plenty of firewood and food:)

    Thank you:)

  10. LOL! If I was stuck in a snowstorm, I'd be doing lots of crazy, adult things! Cause who knows if you will getting out anytime soon, right? LOL! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was a really quick read and I'm a sucker for survival stories too. Great post from Michael. I'd probably die if a storm hit right now because I'm in no way prepared. Thankfully I live in Florida, all I need to worry about are hurricanes.

  12. Food! Lol! A lamp!

  13. Normally I don't go for survivor-type stories but I'm a big fan of the Day After Tomorrow which Trapped reminds me off. I'm glad you were still able to enjoy this one regardless of the lack of character connection. It seems like the other great parts made up for it.

  14. I'd want a heavy-duty blanket/sleeping bag.

  15. I would want something warm :) It sounds really interesting, I haven't read any other book about survival.
    Thank you for the international giveaway!

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