Carl Deuker's Gym Candy, a story about a boy who so wants to succeed in the sport of football, is also a story about a boy whose life careens hopelessly out of control due, ironically, to that same desire to prove to the world that he deserves to be the starting running back for the Shilshole Raiders. In serious competition for the position, Mick looks to bulk up, but when hard workouts and protein shakes don't cut it, he looks for what will; what he finds is D-bol, a steriod his trainer at the local gym sells to him on a regular basis. Mick mistakes Peter's interest for genuine friendship; Peter, Mick believes, is the only one on his "cheating" secret, a secret he's keeping from even his best friend, quarterback Drew. With or without intending to Deuker also comments on how willing those in positions of authority are likely to look the other way, so long as the team keeps on winning. The system is broken that doesn't allow for drug testing of juveniles, which makes the turning away that much easier for coaches, trainers, parents.
I can aslo appreciate how, in spite of the opportunity Deuker has to use more realistic langauge due to the nature of the game, he opts to keep this very worthwhile book clean of cursing. With the exception of a few SOBs, the language is super clean. The descriptions of the actual plays, entire games encapsulated, were awesome. Edge of your seat high school football!