Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Trapped in Paris - Evelyne Holingue

A copy was provided by the Author
in exchange for
an honest review.
Trapped in Paris by Evelyne Holingue
Genre: YA, suspense, thriller
Published on June 1, 2013
Published by Burel Press
Pages: 184
Read From: 10.5.13 - 10.5.13

Sixteen-year-old Cameron and Framboise have nothing in common and no reason to meet. But when a volcano eruption in Iceland interrupts all air traffic, the two teenagers find themselves trapped in Paris. When they witness a murder on the River Seine and are kidnapped by a mysterious dangerous man, they become unlikely partners in a fast spine-chilling four-
day adventure through the Parisian suburbs. Confronted with exceptional events, Cameron and Framboise must rely on each other. When they get separated, after a disagreement, Cameron will trust his survival instinct, brave danger, and act with unexpected courage. Ultimately Cameron and Framboise will also overcome their personal grief and open their hearts to the possibility of change and love.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I like the old weathered look of it, and of course the Eiffel Tower, because it indicates that the book will more than likely have to do with Paris. ;-) It's a simplistic cover, but I like it.

Characters: I didn't dislike Cameron or Framboise; they were both good kids. Cameron was polite and nice, and Framboise had spunk. I can see how Readers would like them - Readers, that is, that aren't me. I don't know what it was about them, but I just didn't emotionally connect. With Framboise, it was because she was such a socialist little hippie girl, and I really can't stand characters like that. But with Cameron, there was nothing specific about him that made me lukewarm in my feelings for him. He wasn't flat, and he was a very believable sixteen-year-old. I just didn't connect. The other secondary characters were all very realistic, and the villains were pretty creepy thugs, but I didn't attach to anyone in particular - with the exception of Inspector Damoulin. I like police officer characters who are very intelligent, very helpful, and essentially family guys. Damoulin was that type, so I had a soft spot for him.

The Romance: Cameron's romantic inclinations towards Framboise is fast. Which is rather realistic for a guy character. And while the Reader knows that romance will bud between them, it takes back seat to everything else, of which I was immensely glad.

Plot: When Cameron's flight from Paris to home is canceled because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland, he's stuck in France for an undetermined amount of time. Then he meets Framboise - a French girl who has traveled all over the world and who has a thoroughly engaging personality. Together, they decide to wait for the volcanic crisis to end in Paris itself, rather than loitering around the airport. That night, they become witness to a murder on the banks of the Seine, and when they're kidnapped, they become involved in the exposure of one of the biggest human trafficking circles in France. I didn't know if this book would spend more time on personal emotions or more time on the kidnapping and human trafficking. I hoped it would be the latter, because personal emotion stories just don't interest me all that much. And while there is certainly plenty of character growth in this relatively short novel, the action was much more prominent than I initially thought it would be. Kidnappings, escape, untrustworthy police, nightclub infiltration - it's all there. Trapped in Paris has a few moments of lagging, but because it is so short, it spends a good amount of time on the exciting stuff. It's a surprising little read.

Believability: Nothing to complain about. The Author lived in Paris most of her life, and I know nothing about Paris, so I will trust her knowledge over mine. :-)

Writing Style: Third person, past tense. There was a smattering of French words and a few short sentences, but there's either in-text translation or the context gives a pretty clear indication of what the French means. There aren't huge swathes of dialogue in French, so it isn't disruptive to the narration at all.

Content: 1 s-word.

Conclusion: When circumstances force Framboise to don a disguise and set up a potentially disastrous meeting with a stranger at a nightclub, Cameron must infiltrate the joint to make sure it all goes according to plan. It doesn't. The climax was the most exciting part, and also a tiny bit convoluted. At one point, the police arrive and crash the nightclub, and then Cameron steals a car, and then the police are just gone when he gets back to the nightclub. And then he goes back to the apartment he and Framboise were held captive earlier on, and then the police are there again and there's a somewhat strange revelation involving theatre people. It wasn't terribly convoluted - I sorted it all out by the end of it - but just a tiny bit. Trapped in Paris was a fun, short suspense read - ideal for a weekend. I didn't attach to any of the characters, but I think other Readers will. The Author's love for Paris is very evident in her writing, and while I didn't fall in love with the city, I saw some of its beauty through her writing.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of suspense and crime stories, like Harlan Coben's Shelter novel.

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