michael northrope

Another YA by Michael Northrope, GENTLEMEN


I’ve been on this YA kick all month and I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve loved the books I’ve read. It’s not really my genre, but I do have eclectic taste…at times.

The latest YA, GENTLEMEN, by Michael Northrope, was just as good as the others. I don’t like to review books here but I do like to mention them when I really enjoy them. And this book, trust me, has a surprise twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. And that doesn’t happen often. Nine times out of ten I can predict the ending of a book and that really doesn’t bother me. But when I’m floored, as I was with GENTLEMEN, and have to go back and read certain parts twice to make sure I didn’t get it wrong, I’m always thrilled.

But no spoilers. You’ll have to trust me on this.

"Trapped," by Michael Northrope


I hate to do book reviews, mainly because I don’t want this blog turning into that kind of a blog. But when I read something I think other people will love, I post about it.

I just finished TRAPPED, by Michael Northrope, and loved it. If you’re not into YA and you’re curious about the genre, this is the book that might get you hooked. If you’re into YA and you know the genre well, you’ll like it just as much.

My only complaint has to do with the publisher, not the author or the book. And please don’t take this out on the author because authors have nothing to do with pricing books (people have done this with me and I know how it feels: helpless). I read the e-book version of TRAPPED. I bought it on Kobo where I buy most of my digital books. And I paid something like ten dollars. This time, I can say with complete honestly that TRAPPED was worth the money and I have no complaints whatsoever. I even bought this author’s other novel, GENTLEMEN, last night and paid something like nine dollars.

So I hope the way the publisher priced the book doesn’t deter anyone. Publishers still aren’t getting that we who love to read digital books don’t like the prices they are charging. We buy often and we read fast…it’s about volume nowadays. And sometimes authors suffer for publishers mistakes. I have, indeed, passed on many books just because of the prices. But I’m glad I didn’t pass on TRAPPED. Like it said, it was well worth the money.

Why I Like Reading YA Fiction

I’m in the middle of a great YA right now titled, TRAPPED, by Michael Northrope. I heard about the book through a friend who knows the author and when I read the book description on Kobo it had all the elements that I love…

A serious snowstorm, where kids are trapped in a remote New England school with no hope of getting out for days. Dynamics between characters that are as simple as they are complicated…especially because they are in high school where emotions rule. I’m one of those people who didn’t hate high school. I didn’t love it all the time, but most of my memories are pretty good. And I love reading about kids in high school today, and realizing that not all that much has changed since the l980’s (I’m 40). Other than technology, like cell phones and computers, the basic dynamics aren’t that different.

But another reason why I like reading YA books is because it helps me keep up with what’s happening. Youth rules and there’s no escape. Right now I’m finishing up a book of my own that has a main character who meets someone who is a sophomore in college. This character is only twenty and he’s one of the star basketball players on his team. By coincidence, when I started reading TRAPPED, I noticed that there’s a character that loves basketball, too. And when I read a few of the generic terms and phrases this character uses in the book…a small example would be he says hoops instead of saying basketball…it helped me gain a better knowledge of how my young character might behave and react and speak with his peers.

Those of you who have teenagers know what I’m talking about. I have teenage nephews and nieces and I’m cautious about everything I say in front of them. In other words, if you’re an author and you’re over thirty and you’re not willing to keep up with what’s trending, you might want to stick with characters who are over thirty. Because there’s nothing worse than coming off as lame and old and tired when you’re writing young characters. Whenever I see it, I cringe. And reading YA books helps more than most writers realize.