Reviewing: Trapped by Sally Bryan

Content warnings: Homophobia, claustrophobia, slut shaming. 

My rating: 2 books out of 5

Highlights: 

  • Love a bit of forced proximity
  • And there was ONLY ONE BED (gasp)
  • Potentially the worst sex scenes I have ever read. But in a kind of funny way?
  • Very Gay Person Does Not Realise They Are Gay Despite Obsession With Teammate’s Breasts (™)
  • It was free on Kindle Unlimited

Ooooooh boy do I have a review for you today. As you know, I took part last year in the Heaving Bosoms Reading Embrace wherein I read ALL THE ROMANCE. One of the prompts was ‘Sportsball’ so when I found a book with a lesbian storyline involving some of my favourite things – forced proximity and the one bed conundrum – alongside the fact that the two main character were on a volleyball team together I put it straight on the list. Besides, girl is jealous of her ex’s new girlfriend and then they FALL IN LOVE? Sounds right up my alley right?

Right?

Well. A summary to start us off? Jessica has lost both her boyfriend and her role in the volleyball team to rival Katelyn. Avoiding her seems to be going just fine until they’re forced to be roommates on the volleyball team skiing trip and disaster strikes. 

I’ve been trying to avoid jamming my reviews full of quotes lately – I never know when a quote is a spoiler, and hunting for them detracts from the experience of actually reading the book – but you’re going to get quotes today. Primarily because there were lines in this book that made me question whether or not it was meant to be ironic, or funny in tone. I mean it deals with two people being snowed in and having to survive, that’s not the funny bit. The funny bit is the endless boob analogies. I have saved a few gems for you all, just because I felt the need to inflict this reading experience on others. Please enjoy. 

It was only a split second, but in these confrontational moments I find my brain slows time down and heightens my senses. Maybe it’s the masochist in me that made me stare, that made me want to compare, just so I could understand, why James had chosen her over me. And as, for a flash, her two large, perfectly symmetrical, firm breasts lay exposed to my eyes, I knew she was far superior to me in that area. 

Her breasts barely moved from the loss of support and I gazed down on them with a hunger, craving them, her beautiful globes noticeably larger and fuller than my own.

Amanda, straightened in her seat at the first sight of ‘Marco.’ She was sure gifted with a fine pair of breasts, which she now pushed out as the waiter took her order.

Now, there’s only so many times you can look at the word breast, so I’ll end it there. But you get the picture. The boobs in this story are their own characters – and the girl describing them has absolutely no idea that she seems to be looking at other people’s boobs a lot for a girl not interested in other girls. Saying that, I’m a lesbian and I do not pay half this much attention to them. Please rest assured that if you are flirting with a waiter and thrusting your fine pair of breasts at them, I will not notice. I will be focusing on my own food order, and how many orders of breaded cheese it is socially acceptable and/or physically possible for one person to eat. As an aside, it makes me highly uncomfortable when a relationship between two people of the same gender is turned into some sort of body comparison competition. If two people happen to have boobs, they don’t just sit there comparing themselves to each other all day long – I imagine it’s much the same for people without them. Yes appearances and aesthetics might be important to couples out there, who am I to judge? But the idea that same sex relationships are somehow physically performative like this is a thing I hate very much. Also, if anybody ever referred to my boobs as globes, I think I might die laughing. Do they spin? Can you use them for orienteering exercises? 

It’s not a competition, and the presence of another’s beauty does not equal the attractiveness of your own. 

Moving on from the barrage of boobs, there’s the slut shaming. For context, Jessica admits that she never did the deed with former boyfriend and thinks this is why he left her. So of course his new girlfriend must do it ALL THE TIME EVERYWHERE. Case in point: 

We never had sex! And doubtless they do it all the time– Fucking slut! And my inadequacies were not just on the volleyball court or in the changing rooms, but in other places too.

Ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

Right, positives. Believe it or not, there were positives. This book got a whole 2 stars out of me. Why?

The survival stuff was pretty neat. I loved the concept, and the actual avalanche and how the girls dealt with it was very interesting to me. Because if I was snowed into a cabin I’d probably just wrap myself in blankets and await death, I have very few usable survival skills. The Girl Guides taught me to make fire using sticks a few times, and put up a tent, and toast a marshmallow. In the absence of tents and snacks, I’d probably end up straight up setting fire to the cabin itself. I liked how the situation forced the girls to cooperate and communicate, how there were actually some pretty smart things in there – I mean I’m not sure how accurate they were but they sounded about right – as well as the actual danger of being surrounded by ice. You need to stay warm, or you will die. 

And thus the life saving cuddling begins. 

Make no mistake, I didn’t totally hate this book. Overall it was amusing, and in areas I did really enjoy reading it, I just feel that overall it fell a bit flat or strayed into too many of my ‘nope’ areas to be amazing. I read a lot of romance for the Embrace, and some of it was just absolutely fantastic which threw into sharper focus the ones that weren’t. I have yet to find a f/f contemporary that I will rave about, but damn it I will keep trying!

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