Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
I almost abandoned this book after about 40 pages, and I’m so glad I picked it up again the next day. This mystery novel has high school junior Cody Laredo at its center. He used to be an amazing quarterback until he got benched for the season after a serious knee injury and the ensuing surgery. Then his amazing girlfriend Clea is coerced by her rich father into going to a boarding school in Vermont, allegedly to increase her chances of getting into a school like Harvard. Cody knows for sure that she’s brilliant enough to follow that path, but can’t help feeling like their relationship is the real reason her father wants her across the country from their small hometown of Little Bend, Colorado. So with no football practice and no girlfriend (he broke up with her before she left), Cody completely loses interest in school and actually drops out.
Nothing means much to him until he sees the newspaper headline, “Local Girl Missing.” Clea had just sent him a cryptic letter just the day before, and with that as he only clue, he head out to the Dover Academy in Vermont to try to find Clea. The part of the letter that felt like some type of clue was:
“…Some of the kids are cool, some are snobby, some make me feel kind of hickish. One or two I don’t like at all. It’s hard to know who to trust sometimes. Like rolling the dice–a cliche’ that turns out to have real meaning. But that’s true everywhere–right?”
This book is the edge-of-your-seat thriller; I could not put it down until I finished it. With lots of twists and turns, I guarantee it will keep you in suspense until the surprising conclusion.