Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gym Candy” as Want to Read:
Gym Candy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gym Candy

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  6,677 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews
“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 ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 3rd 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gym Candy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Carl At some gyms, steroids are called "Gym Candy." This was actually brought to my attention by a reader while I was in the process of writing the book. I…moreAt some gyms, steroids are called "Gym Candy." This was actually brought to my attention by a reader while I was in the process of writing the book. It immediately became the title.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,677 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Gym Candy
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sports lovers ( preferably Football lovers)
Recommended to Anderson by: No one i found it one day just looking around
Nick Anderson

Mrs. Baltz

Pre-AP English 10

5 December 2008

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

All his life Mick Johnson has lived and breathed football. He has dreams of one day being like his dad and being the superstar. His dad has been workin with him since he was four, taking him to all the best camps, teaching him the best moves, and teaching him the most important thing; there is no crying in football.

Mick starts his career playing pop warner football when he is little. He goes through his early life
Noah Carpenter
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is very good, as at the very end of the book i liked how the author used very descripted evidence on how the character felt. "When he was sitting in a strangers room and he heard screaming down the hall he wanted to scream too. " ...more
Reading Relish
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, sports
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bryce C
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gym candy is a great book. This book starts with Mick Johnson (the main character) as a 4 year old playing football in the back yard with his Dad. He was trying to get pass his dad and score. After a few try's Mick got passed his dad and his dada was so happy. In Pop warner the league before middle school. Mick was going to be a running back, but there was a new player(Drew and a new coach. Drew was beating Mick in everything. The coach takes to him and asked if tat was all you got. Then Mick sa ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Finally! I finished this book. Finally!

I have so much to say about this book. At first, I thought the plot was interesting. I wanted to see how a football player goes through their up's and down's. How he wants to go to the extremes for his love for football. But as the book progressed, the story bored me. The plot was really slow when coming to the climax. And there was not much hype throughout the book. Not only that, there was a lot of football talk. And if you know me, I don't have a clue a
Claude's Bookzone
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trailer Geeks
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this book as part of the Battle of the Book list in 2016. I normally do not lean toward sports books, but hoped this would surprise me. Unfortunately, it did not. "Gym Candy" follows a boy, Mick, throughout his football career. His dad was an ex-football player who pushed the sport onto Mick since he was a baby. Mick's father is so insistent on Mick being a football star that he even goes as far as to hold him back a year from school. He plays football for years, and in high school, begi ...more
May 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book intrigued me and I anticipated being drawn in to a high-interest and provocative plot (high school athlete takes steroids to remain competitive). That plot point was there, but was not well developed. The bulk of the book is detailed play-by-play recounting of the athlete's football practices (!) and games. Even a sports fan like me cannot maintain a high level of interest in the minutiae of practices. So much more could have been done with developing the relationship between father an ...more
Mitchell W.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the Best Books I’ve Ever Read
Gym Candy, by Carl Deuker was one of the best books that I have ever read. I grabbed this book because of its cover and how the book related to football, but after I read it, I realized that this book is more about just a football game.
The story starts out where a football player, Mick Johnson, was a star running back for all of his teams he played on. In any game he played, he scored a touchdown. On any play in his games, he ran the ball. Mick Johnson was a
Javier G.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response
This book has taught me many dangers in lifting and many struggles I can relate to. As a lifter and football player, it is easy for me to relate to many of the things Mick has faced. I want to get big fast, but I have to watch out for many people selling me stuff, and I think it is completely wrong for a person to use steroids.

The main problem in this book is that Mick has been pushed all his life to play football by his dad. His dad was a football athlete back in the day,
Harry Costea
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2018 added it
Shelves: young-adult
I wanted to read this book because it was recommended to me by a student. I could have done without the football game play-by-plays (and I did eventually just skim over those), but the actual story of the young man and his struggle to live up to his dad's legacy was a good one. I'll be recommending this one to my sport-fanatic reluctant readers. ...more
Lauren Herzog
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Boys will enjoy ALL of the sports jargon and references, and I like how it teaches about side effects of steroid use.
Levi Erdmann
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My personal response to this book is that it was amazing! I really liked this book because I could put myself in his shoes somewhat. The author really made me feel a connection with this book and I felt he did a very good job describing almost every detail. He told the story in a way that you felt you were there right alongside Mick.

The plot of this story is simple. Mick was an 8th grader who got asked to play some spring football with the high school team. His friends Drew and Deshawn were also
Apr 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cameron Casey
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gym Candy by Carl Dueker is a Realistic fiction novel about a high schooler named Mick who has a problem with steroid use. Mick has been the star of the football team from when he was a pee-wee. But he wanted to keep on getting better. His freshman year he was on the varsity team. He only played a little but, he did see the field unlike some of his teammates. But he wasn’t satisfied with just a little playing time, so he started going to a gym called popeyes, there he worked out super hard with ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read Gym Candy and the main character in the book is all about football, he loves it. It was inherited by his dad who played pro football. Mick is the main character and he has to face lots of challenges with new coaching, finding more information on his dad, and being pressured to take steroids.
I loved the start of the book because right away the story was on. It talked about the first time he scored a touchdown with his dad. I loved how when he took steroids it went to a personal standpoin
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good read on a topic I feel is overlooked in high schools today. The ending (epilogue)through me a curve I didn't expect. It makes you think.

Used this as a read-aloud for a class that didn't think they would like it because it involves football. What they didn't realize at first was that it contained so much more. They begged to read it when we had extra time.
Michael McCarty
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was about a boy whose dad was a superstar in his high school and college years in football. He always wanted to be that good to. However he was stopped short of scoring a touchdown in the last game of the season. Then to become the best he then started taking steroids. As he started taking them he started to lose relationships and the steroids started to take over his entire life.
Cole Hudziak
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response: I read the book called Gym Candy. I thought it was a very good book. It was one of my favorite sports books I have ever read. It was very interesting, and it gave me some good life lessons that I can use from this book.

Plot: In the book, there was this kid named Mick. Mick was a son of Mike Johnson who used to be a professional football player. Mike lived and breathed football. He was always talking about football. Mike pushed his son to live and breathe football, and all he k
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read the book Gym Candy by Carl Deuker and the story follows a teenage boy and his friends and they are wanting to become pro football players one day. There are in the middle school right now there names are Mick Johnson, Drew, and then Deshawn they are all on the same football team and one is a wide receiver and one is a quarterback and the other is a linebacker. But Mick johnson was running a touchdown and he is not big at all and some really big boy was coming after him and he got tackled. ...more
Mason Soerens

This book is incredible. It shows the struggle and hardship of playing football. It really describes how challenging it is to get good at it, and become a star athlete. Once someone is there, it is easy to do stupid things to stay there.

Mick Johnson was an excellent football player, and so was his father. His father started practicing with Mick when he was really young. Going from pee wee football to high school football, Mick found challenges, but still loved the g
Rob Baker
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid, slow-building, YA "issue du jour" story of a talented, enthusiastic high school football player who, due to pressures real and imagined feels he needs to be even better and so, when the opportunity arises, gets easily drawn into steroid usage.

The steroid-ingesting world is not one I am familiar with except for occasional Lance Armstrong-type scandals that show up in the news, but the way it is portrayed in this book feels realistic, both in terms of the benefits it offers (thus its attra
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gym Candy
Gym Candy is a book about a kid named Mick that wants to play football for the NFL like his dad. But he ends of finding out that his dad really made it to the NFL. So, that's when he begins to question what his dad told the truth about. He ends up looking up his dad on the internet and finds out that his dad had issues coming to practices and he partied to much. He got drafted my the Charges but never played because he didn't go to practices and he loved drinking and parting. He wanted
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book starts with the main character Mick Johnson playing football in the back yard with his dad. He was trying to beat his dad and score a touchdown. After a couple of time Mick passed his dad and scored. One day Mick was giving up on one of his teammates Drew, and Drew was beating him in everything he did. If Mick wanted to play he was going to need to show more effort, in order to be on varsity team offense and defense. After a couple practices and lifts Drew became more intense and more ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book Gym Candy by Carl Deuker is a story about the rise and fall of a star football player Mick Johnson. Mick didn't realize he was gonna be that good at football until he became the star running back. He knows his team isn't very good so his dad suggests that he starts to hit the weight room and carry his team to victory. Mick got introduced to steroids by one of the trainers he had and he fell into a depression and started to take them more and even started injections to be the star footba ...more
McClain Meyer
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
There is some books that you do not remember that much, but this one was special. I will remember this one for the rest of my life. This book keeps you interested with action that make you want to keep reading. I give Gym Candy a five star because of the characters personality, it teaches a lesson, and it keeps the reader on their toes.
In Gym Candy the characters personality is amazing and very interesting. The main character, Mick Johnson always works hard at everythi
Tristin Sorgenfrey
I like this book because it is about football. I also like it because the main character, Mick, is in High School. What I don't like about this book is how Mick takes steroids. I think it is a way to enhance your skills and strength. I think Mick is stupid for listening to the trainer and trying them. I think the trainer is smart, in a bad way, because he targets a high schooler who is less likely to stand up for himself. I feel bad for Mick and his team for making it so far, and then getting it ...more
Luis Ortiz
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Mick Johnson and his struggles to become a successful football player. He gets inspired by his dad. Mick has been playing football since he was 4 years old. Mick gets very discouraged throughout the book but he always managed to find his way back. I won’t give too much information about the book but in this book, Mick shows perseverance.
What I really like about this book is how Mick never gives up despite the discouragement he gets from upperclassmen or not feeling strong e
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gym Candy by Carl Deuker 1 1 Sep 04, 2019 09:35AM  
Book Review #6 1 2 Mar 12, 2018 08:32AM  
Book Review #6 1 2 Mar 12, 2018 08:32AM  
Gym Candy 1 2 Jan 25, 2018 05:51AM  
Nolan Krueger 1 1 Apr 06, 2017 12:10PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Heat
  • Football Hero (Football Genius, #2)
  • Football Genius (Football Genius, #1)
  • Million-Dollar Throw
  • Summer Ball
  • The Jordan Rules: The Inside Story of One Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
  • The Big Field
  • Travel Team
  • Unstoppable
  • Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (The Sports Beat, #1)
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
  • The Running Dream
  • The Underdogs
  • Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam
  • Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever
  • I'll Be There
  • The Batboy
  • The Big Time (Football Genius, #4)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

The idea for The Gilded Ones came to author Namina Forna in a dream. The recurring image was one of a young girl in armor walking up a...
51 likes · 2 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Games are lost and won in your mind as much as they are on the field.” 21 likes
“I heard Coach Downs never started freshman," he told us. "Well that's not how it is with me. I play the best players, period. If you're a junior with three letters on your jacket, and you shave twice a day, and some smooth-faced freshman whips your ass in practice, then your collecting splinters while he's playing. Understood?
Coach Carlson”
More quotes…