Quick review for a quick read. I’ll admit I’m disappointed with this read for more reasons than one, but to start this review on a positive note, at least I see where Beverley Kendall’s overall writing style has improved over time. This had a much better narrative flow to it than a few of the other contemporaries I’ve read from her in the past, and I see that as a good thing.

But beg my pardon on the pun, “The Trap” felt like a trap in itself. I think that’s probably the best way I can sum it up in so many words. From the beautiful blissful cover (there was no such scene anywhere in this book) to the rather formulaic baby plot (cue in Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach”) to the warped female-centered pregnancy blaming – I don’t understand why this book chose to go in the directions it did. I really don’t, even considering there were some ideas in the book that suggested Mitch knew what he was thinking was wrong. It wasn’t enough to give any of the problems in this book weight.

Mitch kept blaming Paige constantly for her own pregnancy, like he had very little to do with it. It made me think of a line from the early 2000s movie “Save the Last Dance,” and one of the guys in the movie said something to the effect of “I didn’t ask for this!” when he was charged with taking care of his and his girlfriend’s baby. (To which Kerry Washington’s character promptly replied “What? And I did? I climbed on top of myself and got myself pregnant?” Did I mention I love Kerry Washington?) And it puts a dangerous burden on females to be responsible for birth control. There was one point where Mitch said he recognized that Paige was on the pill, but he forgot the condom, and somehow it was *her* fault she got pregnant, just because SHE was responsible for that?

And then there was the matter of him actually finding out the truth…which didn’t help the blame game at all. If anything, it made it worse.

And Mitch’s best friend Josh wasn’t much better. He fed into this whole sort of drama from the very beginning only to do a 180 and suddenly become the reasonable one in saying “Dude, there’s a likely chance the baby is yours.”

REALLY? After all the conspiracy theories he kept saying about females “trapping” guys by getting pregnant?

No thank you. I’m fairly vexed at this insinuation to say the least.

I think the way this book treated the whole matter was juvenile and unfulfilling. This isn’t the first time I’ve read about a teen pregnancy with tough moments between the father and mother of a baby, and likely far from being the last. There are narratives out there that actually go through the contentious stages and present the matter, emotions, and contentions in a realistic light. This is NOT one of them. I almost feel like “The Trap” could’ve gone in a completely different direction than the formulaic and denouncement, and have been a better lead in to the novel “Trapped” than what it was. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I’m on the fence as to whether or not to follow the ongoing story, since at least Paige showed some moments of promise, but it’s a hard sell.

Overall score: 1/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Season Publishing.

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