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Reality Check + Into the Dark (Echo Falls Mystery) + Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227684
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Set in Little Bend, CO, and North Dover, VT, Abrahams's novel follows Cody, 16, who sustains a serious knee injury that leaves him on the bench during the most important recruiting year in his high school career. With no college scholarship in sight, he drops out of school. When his rich girlfriend, Clea, is reported missing from her Vermont boarding school, he drives East to find her and endangers himself in the process. Though not as complicated as Abrahams's adult novels, Reality Check is a solid mystery reminiscent of Carol Plum-Ucci's The Body of Christopher Creed (Harcourt, 2000) or Nancy Werlin's The Killer's Cousin (Delacorte, 1998). That Cody is a country boy and a dropout both complicate and inform his detective persona; the realization that "with the exception of football" he was wasting his time in school sends him "some message about a whole different way for him to look at things, to live." It is this "whole different way" that allows Cody—a fish out of water among wealthy Dover Academy students—to solve the mystery, though not before a red herring is revealed and a surprise villain is unmasked.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A solid mystery.” (School Library Journal)

“The latest engrossing crime novel from Abrahams...an exciting, fast-paced story.” (Publishers Weekly)

“The climax is unexpected….readers will be frantically turning pages.” (Kirkus Reviews)

A fine thriller that is pitched to attract everyone from reluctant readers to sports fans to romantic idealists. (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))

More About the Author

Peter Abrahams - "criminally gifted" according to the New York Times Book Review - is the author of 27 novels. These include the New York Times bestselling Echo Falls mystery series for middle-graders (DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INTO THE DARK) and REALITY CHECK (2009) for teens. Among his adult books are OBLIVION (Shamus prize finalist), THE FAN (made into a movie with Robert DeNiro) and LIGHTS OUT (Edgar award finalist). DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE was a finalist for the Edgar best young adult mystery award and won the Agatha in the same category. BEHIND THE CURTAIN and INTO THE DARK were Agatha finalists. In her Cleveland Plain Dealer review of NERVE DAMAGE (2007), Michelle Ross wrote: "I swear, if one more literary person says in that oh-so-condescendng tone, 'Oh, I don't read ... mysteries,' I'm going to take a novel by Peter Abrahams and smack him on his smug little head." REALITY CHECK won the best young adult mystery Edgar award in 2010. ROBBIE FORESTER AND THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD STREET, January 2012, is first in a new middle-grade series about a twelve-year-old Robin Hood in contemporary Brooklyn.
As Spencer Quinn, Abrahams also writes the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series: DOG ON it, THEREBY HANGS A TAIL, TO FETCH A THIEF, and THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. He has a website - peterabrahams.com; and so does Chet - chetthedog.com.

Customer Reviews

Reality Check has a mystery, love story, and violence all rolled up into one suspenseful book that's a great read.
Reading3502
If your looking for a book that will not only keep you interested but a book to keep you on your toes at all times this is the book for you.
Kevin F.
There were enough plot twist and turns to keep my interest, but I didn't feel connected to the characters in a deep way.
EmmaL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Peter Abrahams established his reputation as a skillful writer of mystery novels for adults, gaining popularity and critical acclaim for his realistic, multifaceted mysteries that often feature unusual characters. A few years back, he widened his scope by starting the award-winning series of Echo Falls mysteries for younger readers, starring a 13-year-old soccer-playing aspiring actress and amateur sleuth. Now, he bridges the gap between his dedicated audiences with REALITY CHECK, a young adult mystery that combines the intensity of football, the struggles of growing up and the fear of losing a loved one.

Cody Laredo is finishing his sophomore year of high school on top of the world. He has passed all his classes, which means he'll be able to QB the varsity football team in the fall. And he's looking forward to a long, lazy summer, working at his dad's landscaping business and spending all his spare time with his girlfriend, Clea Weston, the smartest, most beautiful girl in school. When Clea's wealthy father abruptly whisks her away to the other side of the world for the summer, however, Cody starts to rethink his luck. Things go from bad to worse when Clea unwillingly transfers to an elite private school in Vermont for her junior year --- worlds away from Cody's working-class background. And when Cody suffers a torn ACL following a hard hit in a fall football game, he feels like the whole world has been yanked out from under his feet.

Cody had been counting on his football talent --- it was his ticket to a Division I football scholarship, to a future away from his small Colorado town, to a life with Clea. But when he's no longer Cody the quarterback, who is Cody, exactly?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen VINE VOICE on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Life is good for Cody Laredo. He's just finished his sophomore year of high school - his first as the starting varsity quarterback - and he eked out passing grades in all of his classes, so he'll be academically eligible to play next season. And next season is the key, as far as getting recruited by a D-1 college football program is concerned. For the summer, Cody's lined up a good job, one that pays better than minimum wage. Best of all, of course, is Clea - his smart, funny, beautiful girlfriend.

So there's Cody on the top of the world and then suddenly, he's not. Angry because she received her first `B' on a report card ever, Clea's father sends her to Hong Kong for the summer and then off to boarding school in the fall, leaving Cody alone and feeling as if he's been gut-punched. Then, at the very beginning of the football season, Cody takes a late hit and suffers a torn ACL. End of season, maybe end of football career, definitely end of chances for a good scholarship.

Now Cody's life seems fairly pointless. All of the things that used to matter most are gone. Just when he's feeling his lowest, Cody sees a newspaper headline that jolts him out of his lethargy. Clea, his ex-girlfriend, has gone missing from her boarding school in Vermont. Driven by an impulse he can't explain, Cody gets in his car and drives from Colorado to Vermont. He's determined to find Clea, or at the very least, get to the bottom of her disappearance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Lee on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sixteen yr old Cody has hit hard times. His girlfriend is sent away to a private school, he gets injured during a game and can't play football, his grades are a mess, and he's in trouble at work.

When he think things can't get worse, his girlfriend turns up missing from her school; it's all over the news, and the authorities aren't finding any leads. Cody decides to go look for her himself, and discovers that things are not always as they appear.

If you are looking for a well-written page turner, Peter Abrahams delivers with 'Reality Check' - it's a twisty, exciting read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reading3502 on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes reality is too hard to handle. When your girlfriend is leaving, you have a knee injury school falls in last. Grades start to drop when nobody is on your back about them. When your knee injury is your first priority, what would happen if you girlfriend is kidnapped? Will she become your first priority? Reality Check by Peter Abrahams is an exciting love story with to high school kids.
Cody Laredo has passing grades in all his classes, going out with the smartest and prettiest girl in the school. Cody has it going for him with a high paying summer job. That is until his girlfriend, Clea is sent off to boarding school and Cody gets a torn ACL, so he can't play football for the rest of the year. Cody's grades start to drop and he just gives up, dropping out of school and stays home or goes to his job, walking down the street Cody notices a heading on the news paper "Local Girl goes Missing." Clea who is now Cody's ex- girlfriend went missing from her boarding school in Vermont and the only clue that he has is the letter she sent him the day she went missing. Cody sets out on an adventure he would have never saw coming, and soon figures out that football is not the only thing he is good at.
Reality check is a teenage to early twenties kind of book. Reality Check has some strong language and a bit of violence, but this does not go away during the story. Reality Check has a mystery, love story, and violence all rolled up into one suspenseful book that's a great read.
Reality Check is difficult to make connections to because it is different then most books. I have never read a book that has a love story in the beginning and a mystery/kidnapping at the end, nor have I watched a movie like it.
Since Reality Check is so different then most it keeps you reading more.
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