Trapped: Caught In A Lie

Monday, June 4, 2012

My heart feels like it might jump right out of my chest and my stomach feels like it’s twister upside down and sideways. I know, without a doubt, this is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But it’s like I have no choice. Like my back is against the bell curve wall, and this is the only way out.

Book: Trapped: Caught In A Lie by Melody Carlson, NavPress, 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 15-19
Subjects: Pride, Stress, Grades, Cheating, Lies, Relationship with parents
Summary: Expectations. There are the expectations she places on herself, the expectations her parents put on her and the expectations her friends put on her. And it just keeps compounding until finally GraceAnn’s grades start to slip. But this isn’t ok. With the bell curve in place, missing a number of the problems results in an F. And GraceAnn, future valedictorian, future Stanford student, future medical doctor, example to all, can NOT get an F. So she enters the cheating ring. But cheating one time on one test isn’t enough to bring her grades back up. And the costs for buying answers are high. But there’s no way out, is there?
Notes: This is an intense book, looking at a teen girl’s feeling of desperation to succeed in school. Everyone expects her to be the best and academically successful so when her grades slip, she feels she has no choice but to cheat. She even tries to rationalize it with the logic that when the teachers grade on high curves they are forcing their students to cheat. As for spiritual content, this one has a lot. GraceAnn finds answers in her faith. When she’s at the end of her rope, she turns back to God, begging for His help and finds strength from Him to do what is right. When she gets challenged to not turn herself in and reminded of the negative consequences that will come from it, she says she would rather put her pride to death and still have God than the other way around. There is also a short discussion about missionary dating when GraceAnn and her friend go to a dance with boys that have a bad reputation. They joke that they will have them saved by the next night. This isn’t encouraged in any way in the book, although in the end the boys wind up already being believers, just ones who ignored their relationship with God for years and the boys wind up being good characters in the story. There is also a couple of discussions between GraceAnn and an elderly lady she assists about following God.
Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Proverbs 16:18 –Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 11:1 – The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.


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