CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 35. . . .May 13, 2016
Olivia, 16, has been offered what she believes to be the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to be part of a band with two college students. She could not be happier to be able to pursue her passion—playing drums and writing and performing original music. Along with the gig comes the privilege of hanging out in clubs to perform and the free drinks that come along with it. It sounds like all her dreams are coming true. The problem is, Olivia is still in high school and has to lie to her bandmates and her dad to keep up the charade.
Everything seems to be going great until Olivia begins pursuing a romantic relationship with her bandmate, Lucas. She soon discovers that Lucas’ passion for both the music and the relationship are a bit too much for her. Things spiral out of control when Lucas attacks Olivia’s friend Raymond after seeing them talking, leaving Raymond unconscious and critically injured. Blindsided, shocked, and confused, Olivia goes along with Lucas’ plan to go on the run from both the police and Raymond’s brother who is looking for revenge. By the time Olivia realizes that she is in over her head, it may be be too late for her to escape Lucas’ abusive, obsessive grasp.
Trap Jam is part of Lorimer’s “SideStreets” series. “SideStreets” is a high interest, low reading level collection of teen fiction. The books are relatively short in length and are written with the intent of engaging even the most reluctant readers with their real-life topics and authentic characters. The books in the series consist of short chapters, a fast-paced plot, large print, and straightforward vocabulary with the intention of grabbing and maintaining readers’ attention.
This book engages readers with some serious themes that are relevant to teens’ lives. Trap Jam explores the ideas of identity, growing up, family, and healthy dating relationships. It provides teens with a cautionary tale showing some of the dangers of trying to grow up too fast and keeping secrets from your family. It also gives readers a glimpse of what a very unhealthy dating relationship looks like and will help them recognize some of the warning signs. Although some of the topics are quite serious, it also covers the light-hearted themes of the love of music and pursuing your dreams.
Trap Jam reveals itself as a fast-paced read right from the beginning. The plot takes off in the first few pages as Olivia auditions for the band and is likely to continually hold readers’ attention as suspense builds. Olivia is a character that readers will see as both realistic and relatable. It is likely that readers will find themselves connecting with Olivia’s pursuit of her dreams and her desire to fit in with the older crowd.
I think this book will appeal to a wide audience of young adult readers. The realistic and engaging content, relatable characters, and fast-moving plot will be of interest to both reluctant readers and strong readers looking for an interesting read. The book is likely to encourage readers to think critically about the unhealthy relationship that Olivia finds herself in and develop empathy for her situation. Trap Jam is an engaging and realistic read that is sure to grab readers’ attention and hold it throughout.
Chasity Findlay is a high school English teacher in Winnipeg, MB, and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.