Sunday, January 26, 2020

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

1669331Gym Candy is a YA realistic fiction book that exposes the dangers of steroids and the mental/physical consequences of playing football. Mick Johnson is a Runningback for his school football team, and he has dreams of being a hero and winning games instead of being the reason the team loses- because he isn't strong enough. Fast enough. Desperate to fit and become better, he tries steroids. After that one dose, his life is changed forever and begins to deteriorate.

Gym Candy emphasizes one of the many dangers of football and one of the main reasons why I dislike the sport. Aside from physical injury, this book explores emotional and psychological damage. More than most sports, Football encourages its players to be the absolute best and is the nightmare of body image and peer pressure. The immense pressure involved in the popularity and idolization of the game leads to body image issues and a desperation to be accepted by any means possible. Football is by far the most cruel sport there is, and I love how Gym Candy thoroughly showcases these risks and consequences.

This was an extremely intense and sad books that I know will move others to change themselves and their beliefs. The end of this book can make you cry. Mick has a conscious and he is an extremely intelligent boy. He just made a mistake and became sucked into a fantasy with strong ideals that ended in catastrophe- but he is still an inspirational, good person who simply gave into peer pressure and made a mistake. Deuker will keep you on your toes until the very end, and I came to care immensely for Mick.

I cannot wait to read even more books by Deuker! I highly recommend this book!

Read my review of another book by this author, Gutless! If you are interested in other books portraying the negative effects of football, I recommend that you read Hit Count and Second Impact.

Title: Gym Candy
Author: Carl Deuker
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

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