by Carl Deuker
From Back Cover:
High school football star Mick Johnson is determined not to make the same mistakes his father made on the field. But after being tackled outside of the end zone in a crucial game, Mick decides that his current training plan isn't working. It isn't long before he's purchasing, and using, "gym candy." Mick gets the results he was looking for-and a lot more he wasn't after, and he soon finds himself trapped......
Mick is moving up from middle school to high school football. Just a stepping stone in his football career if he follows in his father's foot steps-which he's planning to do. His dad has been tossing him a football since he could walk. His dad already has a blank wall in the den to put his newspaper clippings, trophies and awards. Mick has pressure from home, school and the gym to be faster, bigger and stronger. He has the determination and the drive but after a while he feels like his best isn't good enough. Someone he trusts and considers a friend assures him that steroids is the answer he's looking for. As soon as Mick make the decision to take "gym candy" his life changes. Now he is faster, bigger and stronger, but at what cost?
My 15 year old son read this book first-in record time. This is a boy that only reads when he has to do a book report for a grade(much to his librarian mother's dismay). So I knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did. Kids in high school are using steroids more and more to improve their body strength for the sports they play. It's highly addictive, the side effects are horrible and it's so easy to get. It's an ugly truth that I'm happy to see written about in a young adult novel. In this story we see Mick's life spiral out of control by making one little decision that takes him down a path of destruction.
This book is definitely for any boy or girl who loves or plays sports. There was quite a bit of football "language" I had to ask my son about but the story is solid and Mick is a great character. I would recommend this book for ages 12 and up. I bought this book at Barnes and Noble and I'll be donating it to my local library.