Review: The Body of Christopher Creed

in a sentence: A class reject mysteriously disappears and the while the whole town gossips about what
could have happened to him, a select few try to find out why.

This story is a very solid read for young adults. The plot is both strong and believable, as are the characters. The main character is the "typical teen" and allows for a "typical teen reader" to relate easily. However, Torey (the main character) is more caring than most, and we as the reader feel sympathetic towards that and his efforts. The high school drama and cliques are all too real, and the author does an outstanding job of character development while staying true to the reality of high schoolers - meaning there are no abounding epiphanies within the novel. The main character and a choice few progress, but the majority remain in their snobby rut. The reader is always drawn deeper into the dark mystery of what happened to Christopher Creed while being intrigued by the dirty little secrets of the town. Young Adult readers will be reluctantly drawn into the gossip, showing them how easy and sneakily that can happen to even the most conscious among us. The setting of the novel takes place in "Smalltown USA", with the amazingly vivid backdrop of thick woods and a spooky Indian burial ground which makes for an easy transport of the reader into the character's experience.

While this novel packs a lot of wonderful qualities, there are a few which I believe disqualify it from the level of the Printz award. While the author was pretty consistent with the characters and avoidance of stereotypes, I thought she did slip into some associated with the "boons" in the novel by associating verbal abuse, physical abuse, and neglect present in all the families from the other side of the tracks. The dialogue between the characters and the main character's thoughts are sometimes broken or trying to be too current or edgy, which might kick some Young Adults out of the story. While presenting the moral of the story - to treat others as we wish to be treated - in a new and very creative way is one that all readers should hear and will be able to relate to, it does come off as a bit preachy.

Title: The Body of Christopher Creed
Author: Carol Plum-Ucci
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Problem Novel, Printz Winner
Publisher: Graphia
Amazon | Goodreads

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

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