Monday, November 5, 2012

Within the Pages: Deadline by Chris Crutcher

     Sometimes a book grabs me and doesn't let go until I finish. In the case of Deadline by Chris Crutcher, reading this book ate up my weekend. My entire weekend (save for dinner out on Saturday and church on Sunday). Even though it was published five years ago, I was unfamiliar with the title as well as Crutcher's other books. As a new fan, I'm on a mission to read everything else. Read on for my impression of Deadline:


Deadline
by Chris Crutcher
Published by HarperCollins, 2007

Summary of Deadline from HarperCollins:
     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 seventeen-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.
Character Who Would Have Your Back: Main character Ben Wolf. Despite the fact that he's dying,    Ben stands proudly in the shadow of his brother, Cody; worries about his bipolar mother; and tries to rescue the town drunk from his moral abyss. Here's a guy who loads everyone else into the lifeboat when the ship is sinking, even though he needs saving the most.
Character You Feel Sorry For Hating: Sooner Cowans, the ignorant, racist, deadly-on-the-gridiron thug teammate of Ben and Cody, who stalks underclassmen in the locker room with a wet towel. It's no wonder he's the way he is, having Boomer Cowans as a dad.
The Teacher You Never Hope to Get: Mr. Lambeer should not be in charge of a classroom, especially in history class discussing civil rights. Ben tweaks Lambeer's nose every chance he gets since he won't be around long enough to deal with the consequences of not getting a high school diploma.
Why I Read Deadline: I had the pleasure of listening to Chris Crutcher at the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter's annual conference in September. He cracked us up, mesmerized us, and told us to speak the truth and not hold back in our writing (advice coming from someone who loves that his books consistently land on the banned books lists). I'd never read any of his books so I bought Deadline, got it signed, and couldn't put it down from page one.

What are you reading now?


10 comments:

  1. This book sounds great. I'm adding it to my list right now. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I was caught up this weekend in Louis Sachar's The Cardturner. Someone was kind enough to leave this recommendation in my blog comments last week and I'm so glad they did. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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    1. I'll add it to my list, too. I love his work.

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  2. I fell in love with Amy Reed this year. I just bought her third book. I'm trying to use self-control and finish the other two books I'm reading before I start it.

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    1. I haven't read her books; I'll have to check her out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  3. I need to get this book to find out how he could be dying and his parents don't know it!

    I'm now reading Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abraham. It's great to see an adult author really nail a YA voice!

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    1. I found it a little hard to believe that he would not want to share such a huge thing with his family for the emotional support, but it was credible enough.

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  4. sounds like a great book! thanks for the recommendation! new follower here...hi!

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    1. Tammy, nice to meet you. Thanks for the follow!

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  5. What a super sounding book! Thanks for sharing, Dawn!

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  6. Adding this to my TBR list. Which is already obscenely long, and I don't "do" YA, but you sold me on this book.

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