Saturday, May 1, 2010


Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass eighteen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?
First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list. Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.

Apparently, I’ve laid my hands on a lot of really cute books this month. Deadline, though I’m pretty certain the author tried to make it sad or something, was yet another adorable and funny book. The problem is, it’s a novel about a teen dying.

Ben Wolf is dying, and he decided to ditch the treatment and live the best year he can. He always had a witty remark to everything that was said, always. Even though I’m glad he wasn’t constantly moping around, I think knowing the fact you’re dying would probably rouse a little more emotion than what was portrayed in this book.

There was also a rather lame attempt at spiritualism, in the person of Hey-Soos. Hey-Soos, which is, by the way, the Spanish pronunciation of Jesus, is Ben’s mental hallucination. He sees him in his dreams, and Hey-Soos gives him advice similar to that given by a psychiatrist. Whenever this ‘spiritual guide’ came up, I groaned. His dream land really bothered me. It broke the pace and didn’t really add anything relevant to the story. I definitely could’ve gone without it. Sure, Ben seems to be so thankful to Hey-Soos in the end, and Hey-Soos is really good at asking the right questions. But I would’ve preferred staying out of the more spiritual aspects of death.

I really loved Ben’s reading list, though, and I added a bunch of books to my pile after finishing Deadline. The characters were deep, for the amount of development they had. Since the book was rather short, considering it was only 300 pages and covered a whole entire school year, there wasn’t much space for lengthy descriptions of the characters.

The different subplots were so numerous that they all kind of ended short and undeveloped; I think it could’ve been good for the novel to have less happen, but develop everything a tad more. This book could’ve been so much longer and there is so much space for more information that I kind of felt stranded at the end.

All in all, this book was overloaded with a bunch of partly developed stories and themes ranging from death at a young age to football, with a little bit of incest, teen pregnancy and pedophiles. It was good, but I would’ve preferred a book with more development in a single theme instead of in twenty. If you like short books that pretend to be dramatic and sad but actually aren’t really, then this one is for you.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Rating: 8,1/10

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm I don't like books that pretend to be dramatic, I do like books that try and show the lighter side of death. I LOVE Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher so I want to read his other books, Deadline sounds interesting although I'm disappointed that it got such a meh review. I may just check this one out from the library.


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