Tuesday, November 15, 2011


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

An 18-year-old boy with big plans for his life finds out that he only has a year to live. He decides to refuse treatment and to keep his diagnosis a secret. Instead of telling his family the truth, he is determined to make the most of the time he has left. He joins the football team, even though he is extremely short, and he finally gathers the courage to approach the girl he’s been admiring from afar for as long as he can remember.

Deadline is actually a pretty decent story. Despite its many flaws, I got pretty attached to some of the characters and I found myself really caring about Ben in the second half. But the truth is that I expected it to be much deeper than it actually was. Chris Crutcher made a few huge mistakes for reasons I can’t even begin to understand and, in my opinion, made a mess of something that could easily have been a very successful novel.

I have issues with authors who use their work to advertise their political beliefs. This is the second time I’ve come across such a problem lately, and both times my reading enjoyment was diminished significantly. Not being able to separate a book from its author is only natural, no matter who claims otherwise, but relying on experience and turning your novel into a political pamphlet are two very different things. The first usually ends very well. The second makes me… slightly uncomfortable.
Every time Crutcher mentioned a book Ben was reading, I felt like he was shoving it down my throat. It was almost like he was giving me a reading assignment and at the same time, telling me that I should be ashamed of myself for not reading it sooner. Since they were all books about politics, something I’m not even remotely interested in, I didn’t appreciate it at all.

My second issue with Deadline is that it’s clearly a book for teenage boys. A big part of the book is about football, and it’s written in such a way that only people who know a lot about it can understand. Having just recently read Dairy Queen, which is also a book about football, albeit a perfectly understandable one even to someone as clueless as I am, I have to say that Chris Crutcher didn’t handle that very well. Whenever Ben played a game of talked about football strategies, I was completely and utterly lost and I ended up just skipping those parts altogether.

So here’s the verdict: if you don’t think about it too hard, Deadline is a pretty fun read. It obviously has some major flaws and you need to be a football fan to fully appreciate it, but it’s also full of unexpected twists and turns, with quite a few hilarious moments and completely lovable characters.

1 comment:

  1. I really love stories like this and the cover is awesome!



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