Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reality Check by Peter Abrahams

I had just finished a bunch of girl books, so I knew I needed to read something different.  I had been wanting to read this book forever - and finally got it in paperback.  It was awesome.  I really think my students will like it.

Reality check is a suspenseful mystery about a missing girl.  Cody Laredo is a high school kid who is awesome at football but not as awesome in school, though he does pass his classes.  As summer approaches, he is excited to spend time with his super-smart, super-beautiful, and super-rich girlfriend, Clea Weston.  Clea lives in the biggest house in town.  She's taking calculus as a sophomore and her dad has big plans for her future. Needless to say, her dad isn't thrilled that she's dating Cody - an underachiever in his eyes.

Clea loves Cody though, but their summer plans are shot when Clea's dad sends her to spend the summer with her uncle in Hong Kong.   They keep in touch and all seems well when Clea returns until she drops even more news on Cody - her dad is sending her away to a boarding school in Vermont.  Cody decides to break up with her - not really because he wants to, but because he knows there's just no way a guy like him can keep her from that far away.

He is torn up one day, though, when he sees in the local paper that Clea has gone missing from her Vermont school.  After receiving a letter from Clea - his only clue and hope to try to find her - he sets off to try to do something about it.  From this point, Cody finds out more than he ever thought he would about the small town in which Clea has been living.  Cody might not be in school, but he's smart and he uses his wits to try to figure out where his girlfriend is.  The only question is - will he be too late?

This book was really fun to read.  Once I started it, I really wanted to keep on going.  Each chapter brought new information to light in the investigation, and I really liked reading the book from Cody's point of view.  He has no reason to trust anyone, just like the reader, so I felt like we were right there together trying to piece together the mystery.  Abrahams did a good job of planting seeds of suspicion.  Just like Clea said in her letter, it's hard to know who to trust.  The mystery keeps building until the final chapter, so that will keep readers interested and guessing.  There is some cursing in the book which I don't think will bother most readers - but just have to let you know.  Overall a good, fast-paced read. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Forgive My Fins

I am a total fan of Tera Lynn Childs.  I didn't get into Forgive My Fins quite as fast as the Goddess books, but once I had some time to sit and read - this book was just too much fun.

That is what I love about Childs - her books are just plain fun.  Fun characters and fun mythical situations - it doesn't get better.  In this book (and series) Lily Sanderson is a high school student but also a mermaid.  No one else knows her secret.  She's patiently counting the days until she can ask out her long time love and crush, Brody.  Once she and Brody go out, they can of course fall in love and he can become her mermate and all will be well in her world.

But of course things don't go as planned - they never do, do they?  Her annoying (though good-looking) neighbor, Quince Fletcher, gets in the way.  He's always bothering Lily and getting the way.  He ends up taking a bit of an interest in her situation with Brody, though...which is weird.  His plan to get Lily and Brody some time together doesn't really work out as planned and from this point on in the book - the adventures begin - at high school and in the ocean kingdom of Thalassinia.

I enjoyed this book a lot.  I was just as annoyed with Lily sometimes as she was with Quince.  She is a stubborn character who, like Quince says, doesn't always "see" things the way she should.  A great read.  If you like Childs' other books, you'll definitely like this one.