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. 

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