Cody is not much of a student, but is a hell of a football player. At least he was until a knee injury takes him out of playing in his Junior Year. His girlfriend, Clea, left town at the beginning of the school year to attend an exclusive boarding school. In his opinion, there’s nothing left to stay in school for and so he drops out, gets a job, just plain gets on with it. Then he hears Clea is missing. Without a second thought he jumps in his car and takes off to find her involving himself in a high stakes game that he might not make it out of alive.
Our hero Cody is pretty average. A working class kid who loves football who has secretly harbored hopes that he’d make it to the NFL. He’d never share these dreams with anyone of course. Certainly not with his father, a semi-violent drunk who’s goal in life seems to be to make sure Cody doesn’t set his dreams too high. Although part of this, as strange as it seems, probably stemmed from a misplaced desire to protect his son from a broken heart.
I really liked the juxtaposition of Cody, a regular working class kid against the very privileged kids at the boarding school. I liked that no one was a stock character, that everyone was nuanced. In fact, the author made it a point to show that no one is who you think they’ll be. Certainly not Cody, a dropout who is nowhere near as dumb as he thinks he is.
The suspense was great. I really enjoyed how Cody put together the pieces and how I suspected each person in turn. Cody wasn’t sure who to trust and the reader isn’t either. It makes for really thrilling page-turning reading. I love it when I come across a well written book for older teen boys.