Laina's Reviews > Gym Candy

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
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's review
Mar 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult-2012
Read from March 04 to 05, 2012

My rating: 4 out of 5

This novel explores the dark corners of the heart of a young football player as he struggles for success under the always glaring—and often unforgiving—stadium lights. It is a cautionary tale, told in first person, that serves as an accurate portrayal of the high-school athlete that is willing to do anything to gain an edge. It's a moral tale, too, as Mick realizes what he has lost for his gains.

A superb sports novel with no easy resolutions!

Plot summary:
“Look, Mick,” he said, “you’re going to find out from somebody in the gym, so you might as well find out from me. Those supplements you’re taking? They might get you a little bigger, but just a little. If you’re after serious results, there’s other stuff that produces better results much faster, stuff that a lot of guys in the gym use.” “What other stuff?” “You know what I’m talking about—gym candy.”

Runningback Mick Johnson has dreams: dreams of cutting back, finding the hole, breaking into the open, and running free with nothing but green grass ahead. He has dreams of winning and of being the best. But football is a cruel sport. It requires power, grace, speed, quickness, and knowledge of the game. It takes luck, too. One crazy bounce can turn a likely victory into sudden defeat. What elite athlete wouldn’t look for an edge? A way to make him bigger, stronger, faster?

Mick Johnson - a sophomore HS student

Key issues/phrases: family life, school sports & athletics, drug abuse, steroids

Recommended books:
On the Devil's Court by Carl Deuker
Payback Time by Carl Deuker
Raiders Night by Robert Lipsyte

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