Reality Check

Reality Check


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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—or 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 finds out that football isn't the only thing he's good at.

Reality Check is another edge-of-your-seat suspense novel by the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author of Down the Rabbit Hole.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440746413
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 07/10/2009
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Peter Abrahams is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five books, including the Edgar Award-winning Reality Check, Bullet Point, and the Echo Falls series for middle graders. Writing as Spencer Quinn, he is also the author of the Chet and Bernie series—Dog on It, Thereby Hangs a Tail, and To Fetch a Thief. He and his wife live in Massachusetts with their dog, Audrey.

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Reality Check

Chapter One

Except for football Fridays, Cody Laredo's favorite day of the school year was always the last. Now, May 30, final day of his sophomore year at County High, he sat in the back row of homeroom, waiting for the teacher—a sub he'd never seen before—to hand out the report cards. As long as there were no Fs—even one would make him ineligible for football in the fall, meaning summer school, an impossibility because he had to work—Cody didn't care what was in the report card. He just wanted out.

"One more thing," the sub was saying. "The principal sent this announcement." The sub unfolded a sheet of paper, stuck a pair of glasses on the tip of his nose. "'County High wishes everyone a safe summer. Please remember . . ." And then came blah blah blah about alcohol and drugs, tuned out by some mechanism in Cody's brain, overloaded from having heard the same thing too many times. The sub thumbed through the report cards, called out names in alphabetical order, mispronouncing several. Cody was the only L. A minute or two later he was outside, crossing the student parking lot, warm sun shining down and the sky big and blue. Somewhere close by a horse neighed.

His car—a ten-year-old beater with 137,432 miles on the odometer, an odometer disconnected by the previous owner, one of his dad's drinking buddies—sat at the back of the lot, open prairie behind it and Coach Huff leaning against the fender.

"Hey, coach," said Cody.

"Close shave, son," said Coach Huff.


"Ain't opened your report yet?"

Cody shook his head. The coach alreadyknew his grades? What was with that?

"Waitin' for what, exackly?" said Coach Huff, a tall guy with a huge upper body and stick legs, varsity football coach and also teacher of health and remedial English. "Sign from above?"

Cody slit open the envelope with his fingernail, slid out the report card. U.S. History—C–; Algebra 1—C–; Biology—D; English—D–; Shop—B. D minus: close shave, no doubt about it. He looked up, feeling pretty good.

"Good thing Miz Brennan's a football fan," the coach said.

"She is?" Ms. Brennan was the English teacher, bestower of the D minus. Cody actually liked her, especially when she forgot all about whatever the lesson was and started reciting poetry, right from memory, something she did maybe once every two weeks or so. Somehow Ms. Brennan, an old lady with twisted arthritic fingers and a scratchy voice, had all this poetry in her head. Poetry in the textbook was a complete mystery to Cody, but in a way he couldn't explain, the murkiness all cleared up during Ms. Brennan's recitations, or at least he thought it did. Like: Screw your courage to the sticking-place / And we'll not fail. Cody was pretty sure he got that one, just from how she'd spoken the words, made his mind picture courage fastened deep to something that would never break, like a huge boulder. But he'd never seen Ms. Brennan at a football game.

"Either that," said Coach Huff, "or we're lookin' at a legit D minus. That the story? It's legit?"

Cody didn't know what to say, felt his face turning red.

"Just razzin' you, son. Nothin' wrong with your football IQ, that's for sure. We're all countin' on you in the fall." He pushed away from the car. The shocks squeaked and the whole body rose an inch or two. "Stay in shape this summer."

"I will," Cody said, thinking: Is there something wrong with my other IQ? Does Coach Huff think I'm dumb?

The coach got a squinty look in his eye. "Workin' with your dad?"

"Maybe," Cody said. His dad did landscaping in the summer. Landscaping wasn't bad, and Cody loved being outdoors, but he was hoping to find some other job, almost anything.

"Just remember—landscapin' don't replace liftin', so hit the gym."


"Upper body's important—put some zip on the ball."

"Why, coach? We never throw."

Coach Huff gave Cody a long look, then laughed, a single eruption of sound, close to a bark. "Sense of humor—I like that," he said. "Just remember there's a time and place for everything."

Coach Huff gave Cody a pat on the shoulder, started walking away. He met Clea Weston coming from the other direction, report card in hand, and nodded to her, but she didn't seem to notice. Her eyes were on Cody. The sun lit golden sparkles in her hair, and Cody thought: The whole summer ahead of us! And what did he have at this very moment? A full tank of gas.

"Let's ride out to Black Rocks," he said. Black Rocks was an abandoned quarry near the bend in the river, the best swimming for miles around.

"I got a B in calc," Clea said.

"Wow," said Cody. There were two kids taking calc in the whole school, Clea—a sophomore like Cody—and some brain in the senior class. No one thought of Clea as a brain. She was just good at everything: striker on the varsity soccer team, class president, assistant editor of the lit mag; and the most beautiful girl in the school—in the whole state, in Cody's opinion.

But a real person, as he well knew, capable of annoyance, for example. When Clea got annoyed, her right eyebrow did this little fluttering thing, like now. "Wow?" she said.

"Yeah," he said. He himself wouldn't ever get as far as calc, not close. "Pretty awesome."

She shook her head. "I've never had a B."

For a second or two, Cody didn't quite get her meaning; he'd scored very few Bs himself. Then it hit him. "All As, every time?"

She nodded.

"You never told me."

Reality Check. Copyright © by Peter Abrahams. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Reality Check 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cody is the quarterback of the football team, and he is dating the smartest and most attractive girl in the school, Clea. Football scouts are keeping an eye on him, and although his grades are quite low, he looks forward to one day playing college football. Things aren't great for long, though - Clea's father decides to ship her off to boarding school in Vermont. Cody injures his knee and can no longer play football. His grades are slipping, and Cody decides to just drop out of school and work. One day Cody notices a newspaper article about a missing girl. Clea is missing from her boarding school! Cody embarks on quest to find Clea and is determined to stop at nothing until he finds her. I don’t read a lot of YA mysteries, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not. It turned out to be a fast-paced and engaging read. I liked how the author used letters and poems to give Cody clues as to what happened to Clea. I think it went a little too quickly at the end, though, and it felt a little rushed to me.  Cody was a likable character, and I couldn't help rooting for him. He learned some lessons about trust and love along his journey to find Clea, and I was left wondering what would happen to him after the story was over.  Overall it was an entertaining read, and I can see reluctant readers enjoying it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, i dont get the hype about this book. The characyers are underdeveloped,nthe plot is all over the place and it never ties together, its way to predctable and the language is juvinile. Overall, bad book. I dont recomend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a really great book. I enjoyed reading and wasn¿t able to put it down. The thrill always keeps you intrested. The writer worked very well with keeping a balance between a sporty book at the begininng and a thriller at the end. I would recommend this book to teens looking for an easy read for a project in an english class.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
This book was insanely slow. Nothing really happened until almost a 1/3 of the way through the book. In addition, I didn't find any of the characters likeable at all. I wanted to smack Cody upside his head throughout the vast majority of the book and Clea wasn't much better. The only redeeming quality was that the writing was fairly good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great booo. Really good and a great thrill. But a little heavy on the curse words though.
Jose Daniel Manrique More than 1 year ago
Very good book,keeps you on the edge of your seat! A must read book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day. I couldn't wait for something good to happen to the main character. I won't ruin the ending by telling you if it happened or not.
jenrocks28 More than 1 year ago
i love the whole style of writting in this book its worth the time to spend to read this book i enjoy reading so iv've read alot of books and this one is good
Marshahawkins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entertaining mystery features Cody, a believable character that I couldn¿t help but to fall in love with. Some elements of this ¿detective¿ story can seem a little trite at times, but I still couldn¿t put it down, so I decided it would be a great beach read or a fun book to pick up when you need a little bit of a ¿brain break¿. Cody is likable by any gender reader ¿ boys will easily relate to his thoughts on school, sports, and emerging manhood. Girls will enjoy Cody¿s unwavering determination to find his ex-girlfriend and sincerity of his personality.
ErDe0113 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is really good. The way Peter Abrahams tells how Cody goes and finds his ex girlfriend is really cool. It's really cool to see how Cody can be such a good detective that he could find out it was a bunch of men that even the police couldn't figure out.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cody is a high school student for whom things are going pretty well until his girlfriend, Clea, gets sent to a boarding school far from Cody. Then, they break up, and months later he finds out, by seeing a headline, that she's missing. He never really stopped loving her, so of course, he's now determined to find her, and rescue her from whatever trouble she's in.
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After Cody's girlfriend is sent to boarding school and he suffers a football season ending knee injury, he drops out of school. When Clea goes missing, he makes the cross country trip to Vermont to try to help find her. Soon he is deep into his investigation. A quick, engaging read. Although I preferred the Echo Falls series by Abrahams, I think this might prove a popular choice for this year's Caudill/Abe program.
Rigfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There were a lot of positive reviews for this book, stating it to be an action thriller. As a fan of YA reads, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to read Reality Check. The book did not live up to my expectations. The first few chapters I found snail paced and mundane. I kept waiting for it to get better and it never did. I gave up about a third of the way through and moved on to something else. Pity - it seemed to have such potential.
heathersblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great mystery. It has all the elements...lovers torn apart, a wounded hero, and a missing girl. Fantastic read.
TigerLMS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cody lives in Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains, and seems to have everything going for him: he's the star quaterback and big schools-- Div I schools-- are talking about him playing college ball, he's passing all his classes, if barely, and he's got the hottest and smartest (and richest) girl on campus, Clea Weston, as his girlfriend. Then things change, and fast. Clea's dad packs her off to a small boarding school in Vermont. A late hit in a football game ends Cody's season, and possibly his football career. And then the worst: a local headline in the newspaper that reads, "Local Girl Missing." Cody, with nothing but time on his hands, heads to North Dover, Vermont to help with the search-- and winds up getting more than he bargained for. There is a quote on the book cover from Stephen King saying that Peter Abrahams is, "My favorite suspense novelist." Perhaps Stephen King said that before reading this novel, or perhaps this was written with young adults in mind and Abrahams felt the need to pull a few punches. The book is slow to develop if you don't know what's coming, and the investigation and Cody's involvement is fairly predictable. However, much of that predictibility comes from having read a great deal of suspense fiction-- and high school boys who haven't read much of this genre might (and I stress might) be hooked. It's not a bad story, and the twists and turns might keep readers guessing. It just happens that I guessed early on, and it never changed. I hate it when I'm right when reading a suspense novel. Cody as a character remains fairly flat throughout the novel, and his dad is practically a copy-and-paste stereotype.I'm going to hand it off to a couple specific teenage boys to get their reaction to it; that reaction will really guide how much I push the book with other teen readers. It's not a bad recommendation for active readers looking for something new.
DrApple on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It became obvious to the reader long before it did to the protagonist who the bad guy really was. Despite that, impending peril to the main character kept me reading. The resolution was a bit disappointing.
DF5b_aniysat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cody is a well put together character. The fact that he is on the lower end of the social ladder in Little Bend, where you know everybody, and puts everything to a halt just to go across the country to find his ex-girlfriend is amazing. Peter Abrahams wrote a wonderful suspense/mystery novel. Once Clea went missing it made me anxious to turn the page to see what would happen. Abrahams made turned the suspesion on everyone but the actual person that committed the crime.
womansheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stayed up late to finish the bright and compelling Young Adult fiction book, Reality Check by Peter Abrahams.This book has a fresh and wonderful plot driven by an appealing and believable young man who travels across the USA from his home in Colorado, to Vermont, where his sweetheart has gone missing from her boarding school.The girlfriend and the other characters portrayed in the story are interesting and believable. They also bring tension, or occasionally, the comic relief needed to lighten the story. There are socioeconomic and educational differences that add interest to the young people's relationship(s), and the presence of horses and competition riding offer their usual appeal. We are carried along on the twists and turns of the spiraling horns of the mystery, knowing that the hero will not back down and give up on finding his friend or coming to a resolution of the fact of her unexplained disappearance. (I loved Cody!)Earns absolutely every one of the Five Stars I can give it!Both Josh Berk, another writer of YA fiction, and Peter Abraham are worthy of the notice of those in the publishing, reviewing, book world and the world of readers seeking substance and reward in their reading lives.
alynred on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reality Check, by Peter Abrahams, is a great mystery for Young Adults. Cody, a football star in his Colorado high school, is dating the wealthy and beautiful Clea. When Clea's father sends her to a boarding school in Vermont, Cody decides to break up with her. Cody's football dreams are shattered when he tears his ACL, and he drops out of high school. One day, he sees on the news that Clea has gone missing from her boarding school in Vermont and decides to help find her. Driving from Colorado to Vermont, Cody pretends he is someone else as he assists in the investigation. Soon, Cody begins to conduct his own search. Cody quickly learns that no one is who they seem.This book is a fast read that will hook you once you start it! I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes adventure and mystery.
ShellyPYA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cody, QB of the high school football team, and Clea, daughter of wealthy parents, have been inseperable since they started dating. When Clea's parents ship her off to boarding school in new Jersey, Cody thinks it's best to break things off. And when Cody hurts his knee during a game, any plans for getting a football scholarship near Clea go out the window. But when Clea mysteriously disappears, Cody decides to drive out to the boarding school to find her. What looks like a simple case of Clea getting thrown off her horse while riding the trails turns into something more complicated and sinister.
Gexy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Living in a small town in Colorado, 16 year old Cody and his girl friend Clea are as different as can be. She is from a wealthy family and his family is anything but. She has a perfect report card and he only stays in school for the chance to play football. Then Clea's father sends her to Vermont to boarding school and Cody hurts his knee and drops out of high school. But when Clea disappears, Cody makes the trip to Vermont to help in the search. Great character development, a wonderful sense of place and a strong ending.
KClaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Take a summer plunge in to mystery writer Peter Abraham's Reality Check. Meet 16 year olds: Cody; blue collar, high school quarterback, and Clea; wealthy, class president, assistant editor, as they jump off a Colorado cliff into a river, re-emerging in Vermont. It is the end of the school year and Cody and Clea are anticipating a summer together. However, Clea's father, who is not happy with their relationship, sends her off to Hong Kong for the summer, and then to a boarding school in Vermont where she goes missing. Cody receives a letter sent the morning that Clea disappeared. Cody packs up his car and drives to Vermont to try to find Clea. Though Cody is not much of a scholar (one has to wonder if maybe he might be dyslexic), his instincts and intuition are sharp. This suspenseful, love story won the 2010 Young Adult Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
stonelaura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Football is all that matters to high school quarterback Cody. Football and his beautiful and smart girlfriend Clea, of course. So it¿s no surprise that Cody heads into a depression when his ACL is viciously torn by an opposing player and Clea is sent away to prep school in Vermont when her father thinks their relationship is getting too hot. Cody¿s dropped out of school by the time he sees the newspaper headline announcing that Clea has gone missing while riding her beloved horse outside the school grounds. With nothing to hold him back Cody drives from Colorado to Vermont in an attempt to find Clea. Hiding his identity Cody now has to decide who is trustworthy: the snooty prep school students, the helpful local cop, the seemingly deranged stable boy or the suspicious agent from the DA¿s office? With twists and turns right up until the final pages ¿Reality Check¿ will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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