Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review: The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci

The Body of Christopher Creed
Becky reviewed this a couple of weeks ago and I ordered it immediately. I'm so glad I did.

This is what happens when a kid suffers a personal tragedy. Nobody wants to take responsibility. Nobody wants to admit they had a part in it. So, they spend a lot of time pointing a finger and things just get worse and worse.

Let me tell you what kind of compulsive reading this book was for me. I had to stop reading for a little bit to eat and I put on an episode of Supernatural while I was eating. But I ate really fast and turned off Supernatural so I could get back to the book. Yeah. It was like I couldn't stand to be away from the story for a few minutes!!!!

The town of Steepleton is a great place to send your kids to school and live. It's got that warm smalltown environment where everyone should be happy. At least that is what Torey thinks until the day Chris Creed disappears. What happened to Chris Creed? All that is left behind is a suicide note sent via email. Did Chris really send it? Did he commit suicide or did he run away?

His disappearance really unsettles Torey, a sensitive kid, who is unable to deal with it in the casual manner many of his friends do. And the more he finds out about Chris's life, the more his eyes open to what's really going on in the town of Steepleton. Tensions are rising, secrets are coming out in the open, and Torey finds himself in the middle of it all.

In many ways this book reminded me of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. There is the same exploration of how our behavior affects other people and to what degree we can be held responsible for how they react. But I just liked it about ten thousand times more and I really liked 13 Reasons Why so that's saying something. I think the themes were more deeply explored. Additionally, the fact that we don't really know what happened to Creed lends this whole mystery element that has you tearing through the pages with both hope and the driving need to know. Additionally, there's a real sense of who the adults are in the kids lives. While not always the best examples or role models, you know what role the parents play. (unlike 13 Reasons Why where the lack of adults was just puzzling)

Another theme richly explored is how we judge other people and simply can't know what's really going on in their lives. As Torey gets to know some of the town's outcasts so to say, he sees that for all their brutality or stupid decisions, there are often unseen reasons behind them. About one of them, he remarks how much courage it takes just for the kid to live his life.

If there was one thing for me to say I didn't like about this book, it's very minor...I didn't like that Torey used the word "like" so much! It seemed especially strong in the beginning, I may have gotten used to it by the end.

Really, I can't recommend this one enough. I really don't think you'll be able to put it down once you pick it up and it will take you on a roller coaster of a ride. I've already ordered two more books by this author, I can't wait to read more of her stuff. And if you don't believe me, than just know it's a Printz Honor Book. Enough said, right? You can buy
The Body of Christopher Creed now.

Rating: 5/5
Things You Might Want to Know: There's some strong language in parts.



Sheila DeChantal said...

Amy - great review! This sounds good. Adding it to my list of books to be on the look out for! Have a great day! :)

bermudaonion said...

Wow, that sounds wonderful! I love books that totally engross me in the story like that.

Melanie said...

It sounds intriguing! I'm definitely adding this one to my wishlist. Thanks for the review!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Wow, this sounds really good. Great review - makes you want to run out to B&N right now!!!

Becky said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one. :)

Jennsbookshelf said...

Definitely adding this to my wish list. If it pulls you away from Supernatural, then it has to be good!!

Jen Robinson said...

Thanks, Amy! I actually have this book, and have been meaning to read it. Your comments just pushed it up on the stack. I did read the author's Streams of Babel recently, and found that excellent. I think you would like it.

Chris said...

Ok...weird. So I just started reading this last night! I reviewed Hard Love and Becky told me she thought I'd really like this one, so I bought it to read on my iPhone with the Kindle app :) It is really good!

Julie J. said...

This sounds like a great one!

When you get a chance, hop on over to to claim your award. :)

Jenny Girl said...

What a great review Amy! You make me try and think more critically about my reading. (?grammer)
You know what I mean :)

Nymeth said...

This sounds so so good! I have a feeling I'll be getting my hands on it soon. And yep, Printz Honor - say no more!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Okay, I think you convinced me!

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