cover image Reality Check

Reality Check

Peter Abrahams, . . HarperTeen, $16.99 (330pp) ISBN 978-0-06-122766-0

In the latest engrossing crime novel from Abrahams (Nerve Damage ), Colorado football star Cody Laredo's junior year has gotten off to a dreadful start. After his girlfriend, Clea, is sent to a boarding school across the country (triggering a fight and a breakup), he tears his ACL during a football game and quickly spirals into a depression that leads to him dropping out of school. When he learns that Clea has gone missing, he decides to travel across the country to investigate. When he gets to Vermont, Cody meets Clea's new boyfriend, encounters a friendly cop and has run-ins with locals from the town and rich kids from the boarding school. Although clues often come too easily and coincidentally to Cody—Abrahams pushes hard to explain away the flaws surrounding the pivotal piece of evidence—and the “whodunit” is hardly surprising, Abrahams tells an exciting, fast-paced story. Cody and most of the teens he encounters—both out west and in Vermont—are complex characters with believable motivations and faults, plot issues aside. Ages 12–up. (May)