Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 18, 2007)
By Jenelle Gallardo, Courier Staff Writer
"A lot of guys use their senior year to coast; catch up on partying and reward themselves for making it this far. Not me. This was my year to read everything I could get my hands on, to speak up, push myself and my teachers to get the true hot poop on the World At Large, so I could hit the ground running."
Deadline is about high school senior, Ben Wolf. He comes from a family that consists of his hardworking timid father, all around nice guy, star quarterback "big little" brother, and a depressed alcoholic mother, from Trout, Idaho, or as Ben puts it, the middle of nowhere.
As he takes his yearly physical, his doctor finds that he is terminally ill with cancer and has less than a year to live. Ben always thought he could never see himself past twenty, and, not wanting to disturb his family, keeps it a secret. In compromise with his doctor he sees a shrink every week instead of taking chemotherapy.
Senior year is approaching and Ben tries to do everything in his power to fulfill what he has left. Being small and usually called "little Wolf" he decides to try out for football instead of track. Surprising everyone, he makes the team. Ben is also trying to score the attention of his dream girl, Dallas Suzuki, Trout High's most eligible girl. On top of all this he's trying to leave a mark and make something of himself by changing the town's drunk into a functional citizen of the town and keep his cancer under wraps.
The only parts that seemed repetitive and dull were Ben's "talks" with Jesus or as Ben put it "Hey-soos". Overall, Deadline is quite an easy read. It makes you think what would you do if you had a short time to live, and how to live your senior year to the fullest.