Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reality Check

Reality Check

by Peter Abrahams
HarperTeen, 2009
ISBN 9780061227660
330 pages

3 (out of 5) STARS

Plot Summary

After a knee injury destroys sixteen-year-old Cody's college hopes, he drops out of high school and gets a job in his small Montana town, but when his ex-girlfriend disappears from her Vermont boarding school, Cody travels cross-country to join the search.


Critical Evaluation

This book is just okay. I gave it a 3 star rating because reading it was not unpleasant but it does not really have any redeeming qualities that makes me think about it, remember it or want to read it again. I did not really like any of the characters. Cody has no direction or goals in his life. At the end of the book Clea goes home with Cody. But to what end? What is their future together? I am glad she was found and is safe, but now what? I guess the book did not really move me or interest me. The mystery part was interesting though. And teens may quite easily enjoy the suspense and mystery.

Reader’s Annotation

When Cody's girlfriend goes missing from college, he travels cross country to join in the search to find her.

Information about the author

"As a boy, I read voraciously, almost anything I could get my hands on, but I enjoyed adventure stories the most. I wasn't one of those unhappy kids who loses himself in books. I was a pretty happy kid who did it. We had a summer cottage in Quebec. My grandmother would come up on weekends, bringing me a kind of popcorn I liked and a stack of books. There would be famous ones, like Treasure Island, and not-so-famous ones, like Red Pete the Ruthless. I can still recall the last scene of that one--Red Pete, buried up to the neck between the high and low tide lines, surrounded by his stolen gold, waves lapping closer. Can't you just hear the hiss of the bubbles? I could, even if the writer hadn't bothered to imagine that part. I loved a powerful story.

And still do, but I became much more demanding in my reading. Besides all the usual things - depth of characterization, atmosphere, the telling details--I grew to want that extra something that's so hard to pin down, related to the voice of the writer and the resonance of the story, which I think of as the spirit of the book. So many novels have none at all, but the great ones--Pale Fire, The Comedians, Crime and Punishment to name a few that affected me--glow with it.

Closer to my own field, I've been influenced by Graham Greene. I refer especially to what he called his entertainments. They are crime novels as far as I'm concerned(A Gun for Sale, Stamboul Train, Brighton Rock), and that's what I do. One of the problems in crime fiction is the evanescence of the reading experience, how light these stories--no matter how crammed with noir--really are. Greene's are weighty, and what momentum he establishes when they get going! With Greene, there's also the voice, so sympathetic at times, at other times off-putting, often both at once. I love how he does that.

But that's just another of the wonderful things about reading, this intimate and changing relationship between the book and the reader. No other form of entertainment--not movies, not TV, not the Internet--comes close for me. I feel very lucky that I've been able to add a few new stories to the collective body of written work." (http://www.peterabrahams.com/bio.html)



Curriculum Ties

psychology. peer relations.

Booktalking Ideas

*To what extent would you go to find a loved one that was missing?

Reading Level

age 12 and up

Challenge Issues


Why Included?

I found a great list of young adult books at the Austin public library. This was a book on the mystery list.

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