A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
There is peer pressure, parental pressure, drug usage, fights and an attempted suicide in this novel. There are also examples of positive adult influence and involvement, and instances of true friendship.
Violence & Scariness
This novel has fights fueled by 'roid rage, an attempted suicide, and some gun imagery -- blood is described from a gunshot wound. There is also typical violence associated with football -- tackles, bruises, and injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some typical high school crushes, but nothing racy.
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This novel has mild swearing, but nothing excessive.
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Products & Purchases
Other than the names of specific kids of steroids, this novel is clear of references to consumer products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There is heavy, addictive steroid use in this novel. Pills and injectables are used.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are some heavy subjects in this novel, including teen steroid use, suicide, and violence related to drug use. A teen threatens to shoot a friend before turning the gun on himself. Adults take advantage of impressionable teens, putting one on an illegal steroid routine.
Is It Any Good?
GYM CANDY is a novel for real football fans. Author Carl Deuker does a fantastic job capturing the action from the first down to the final touchdown. The audience will almost be able to smell the sweat and feel the hits through Deuker's vivid writing. Teens will cheer on Mick as he goes after football glory with all that he has in him.
The novel will give both teens and their parents some serious issues to think about as Mick succumbs to both internal and external pressure to perform like an athlete far beyond his years. If readers are looking for an uplifting, sports hero ending, they'll be disappointed. A bit of a downer, the ending is as raw and real as the rest of the novel.
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Our Editors Recommend
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