Who doesn t want to follow their dreams That s exactly what 16 year old Olivia is doing by joining a band as their drummer the only thing is she is lying about her age in order to get in Then there is the bad boy lead singer Lucas who has caught her eye but remember what is on the outside isn t always what s on the inside As for school she is falling asleep in class and coming in hungover which can only lead to disaster This is a book that is for the YA crowd with a lot of life lessons.I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley for a free given and honest review. I love the SideStreets series Designed for teens who don t have a lot of time, experience, or desire to read, they still manage to write great books with hard realities that many teens can relate to This type of book is particularly valuable to my library because we are also helping students learn English as a second language When a student gets to read one of these books, they don t feel self conscious about reading them So, I ll just start off with my little disclaimer of how much I love these books Trap Jam is centered around Olivia a gifted female drummer who is sixteen years old and eager to grab life and fame by the horns She scores a place with a local band and a few issues emerge right away 1 She had to lie about her age to get into the band 2 She has to lie to her father about the band and 3 She is attracted to the lead singer, Lucas Oh, young love Who isn t attracted to a bad boy, lead singer, or guitarist at some point With the band taking up so much of her time and her new experiences drinking with them, she is falling asleep in class, hungover, and not getting it done academically any But who has time to care about school when fame and fortune is surely just around the bend The book summary basically tells you everything else that happens so let me just throw a few things out there Olivia realizes that Lucas is dangerous over and over again but can t quite bring herself to break up with him This is a hard issue A lot of girls and boys have this problem I m glad a book is discussing dating violence and obsession and portrays it realistically If you re reading this and you re in a relationship like that, get out It will be hard, but you need to save yourself before something truly horrific happens Olivia also realizes that her dad isn t just a fuddy duddy He s looking out for her best interest and mortified when she disappears Olivia does manage to overcome her bad decision making Such an important part Bad decisions come with consequences but you can overcome that to achieve great things Another winner from SideStreets and Steve Barwin Those Lorimer books are hard to rate I understand, they are meant for poor readers, hoping to get them interested with stories touching their daily lives, and create new interest for books among middle school students or freshman or sophos in high school Does it work A little, I think, and every bit helps Here, Olivia wants to play drums, and to be in a band She cheats a bit about her age, the school she attends and s so happy to be the drummer that she does not much further When Lucas shows his instability, lack of control, and a lot of reports thinking he s a drunk first and a musician then, the girl, younger, innocent should runaway But she is young, and has to much to learn She cannot lean low, because she believes bad guys are after them Too young to go on a show without being protected, she needs her father to guide her The book ends as she realizes a music career may be for her, but she must grow up first I think everyone understands the books have to be rated differently as they are not meant for book lovers, they are supposed to drive young people to like books So, it must be worth 3 stars, it s readable without special efforts, not badly written, and though the subject is not my favorite one, it may interest teenagers What do you think This is about a 16 girl who wants to grow up a little too fast Being in a high school band isn t good enough, she wants something She auditions for a band and gets in, but lies about her age and pretends that she is actually a college student instead of in high school Next thing you know she is a 16 year old alcoholic that is failing school and in a seriously abusive relationship The story was well written, but it was just missing something for me. As a secondary teacher I am well aware that there is an increasing market for YA Fiction that caters to the needs of our reluctant readers, These readers tend to prefer shorter stories, usually Contemporary Fiction that focuses on themes and ideas directly related to the target audience Trap Jam along with other stories published in the Sidestreets imprint certainly reaches out to this audience The question as to whether or not this is successful remains to be seen I fear that sophisticated readers will find this book telly and simplistic Certainly the character and plot development is one dimensional, although to be fair the simple language is a barrier here Will reluctant readers find appeal in this story For a few reasons, while the themes are attractive and the language is accessible, I fear that it will fail to inspire I believe inauthentic character development will lead many readers to become quickly bored Personally, I know many reluctant readers who have been drawn to books solely on the basis of a carefully constructed character, It explains the widespread success of JK Rowlings Harry Potter series However, the biggest concern I have for this story is that it leans towards being preachy I can almost hear the author shaking his head with disdain and muttering, see, this is what happens if you drink underage, this is what happens if you go to underage clubsblah, blah, blah To be fair, I don t think the author had an easy brief to follow It is tricky to write a simple story that will appeal to reluctant and often struggling readers without coming off as being moralistic Barwin simply didn t have the word count and free reign with vocabulary to authentically paint a picture for the reader that didn t sound like a tutting adult. NetGalley provided a copy of the ePub in exchange for an honest review.Sixteen year old Olivia becomes trapped as she tries to explore her passion music She lies about her age to potential band mates and her dangerous journey begins Her life begins to unravel as one lie leads to another in order to conceal her secret life from her caring and concerned father.Trap Jam by Steven Barwin would be perfect for the reluctant young adult reader The author explores many issues including but not limited to underage drinking, at risk behavior, racism, peer pressure, lying to name a few The short fast moving chapters make this a quick read This original novel would lend itself to small or large group discussions Olivia discovers that lies have short tails. This book went into a completely different direction than I thought it would and that was a nice surprise I liked the fact that the author chose to incorporate music as a background for what would quickly become a scary and horrific scenario kind of feels as though I was lured into the whole thing and I loved it.Yes, this book is hard to read, unfortunately, it also portrays a reality that is all too wellll real and Olivia falls into the whole thing I am not sure why, because I would have liked to know about her and her life although I get that she is a teenager that is too anxious to grow up I admit, while there was a father figure in this story, the guy bugged me He felt too cliche and appeared to only be superficial I have to say, the way Olivia just seems to naturally slip into the role of victim was so scary and I found myself frantic to get from page to page to see what would happen to her I am glad she find some kind of inner strength, but wow it took a lot for her to get there.This book was engrossing and scary. 16 year old Olivia wants to follow her dreams in music by joining a band and begins lying about her age and then continues to weave a bunch of lies until it all finally catches up with her.Trap Jam is good for what it s intended for, to attract reluctant teens and young adults to read, and maybe even enjoy it For a quick read, Steven Barwin delves into many different teenage issues such as underage drinking, relationships, etc and does so successfully view spoiler It was great to see that in the end, Olivia was able to stand up for herself and not become a victim, like I was afraid was going to happen The whole time I disliked Lucas character but managed to get a little sympathy from me hide spoiler Olivia Is Living A Double Life High School Student By Day, Drummer By Night Olivia Doesn T Know When Hanging Out In Clubs And Drinking To Appear Older And Enjoy The Music Scene Became A Habit, But She Finds Herself Hungover At School And Sneaking Alcohol At Home Her Bandmates Eddie And Lucas Think She Is Older, And Olivia Keeps Up The Pretence Even As Her Real Life Starts To Fall ApartWhen Lucas Catches Olivia Talking To Her Friend Raymond In The Women S Washroom, He Beats Up Raymond In A Jealous Rage With Raymond Unconscious And Seriously Hurt, Lucas Tells Olivia That Raymond S Criminal Brother Is Looking For Them For Payback They Go On The Run, Sleeping In A Borrowed Van And Stealing To Get By Lucas Keeps Olivia Drunk And Off Balance, Telling Her He Loves Her And Pressuring Her To Have Sex With Him Even When She Reveals She S Only Sixteen Still, Through An Alcoholic Haze, Olivia Sees That Lucas Is Delusional And Dangerous When She Finally Discovers That The Story About Raymond S Brother Is A Lie, She Realizes She Has To Get Out Of Lucas S Obsessional Trap Initially, I was pulled into the story, but then it sort of started fizzling away and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the scenes While it was evident that Olivia had problems, particularly having to do with drinking, the other stuff like pretending to be in college so she could stay in the band and putting up with Lucas s nonsense was too unrealistic to me One thing I did love about Trap Jam is the diversity, and the fact that the main character was a musician Aside from that, it was an okay story, but I feel like it could ve been deeper.
STEVEN BARWIN is a writer and a teacher who lives in Toronto He has written for television shows as well as DVD interactive games His previous Sports Stories novels, Slam Dunk and Roller Hockey Blues, were both Canadian Children s Book Centre Our Choice selections.
- 192 pages
- Trap Jam
- Steven Barwin
- 08 March 2017 Steven Barwin