Author: Peter Abrahams
Genre: YA mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): QB of the varsity football team. Passing grades in all his classes. Dating the hottest--and smartest--girl at school. Summer job paying more than minimum wage. Things in Cody's world seem to be going pretty well. Until, that is, his girlfriend, Clea, is sent off to boarding school across the country, and a torn ACL ends his high school football career. But bad things come in threes--in Cody's case, sixes and twelves--and the worst is yet to come. While limping through town one day, Cody sees a newspaper heading: "Local Girl Missing." Clea, now his ex, has disappeared from her boarding school in Vermont, and the only clue is a letter she sent to Cody the morning of her disappearance. With that as his guide, Cody sets out to find out what happened. Once in Vermont, he unearths the town's secrets--and find out that football isn't the only thing he's good at. This book won the Edgar Award for 2010.
Review: This was the perfect book for the mood I was in this weekend: YA and mystery! I enjoyed it from the first page. The characters are real and believable, the situation is one that is very possible, and the descriptions of the setting made it easy to picture where Cody was during his adventure.
I do like a good mystery and this one ranks right up there. What I liked is that it is told from a regular character's point of view, not a detective or police officer's. We see more that way and get a different outlook on the events as they take place. I also cared about the characters and what happened to them. I wanted Cody to find Clea and for her to be safe. I wanted him to figure out that school is important (not just football), and I wanted the bad guys to get caught. Sometimes when I read mysteries I feel like it all gets wrapped up too easily and quickly, but I didn't feel that way with Reality Check. The story unfolded at a good speed and the flow felt just right.