by Chris Crutcher
If you have ever read the book A Walk to Remember, or even watched the movie, then you know the feeling that you get when you find out that your favorite character is dying. Intense sadness; anger; desire for change; hope that it's not true; and then finally, you just give up. You know it's true, but in the end it doesn't make it any more bearable.
In Deadline, you know from the very beginning that Ben Wolf is going to die. It is inevitable... even on the front cover it says it. The evidence is everywhere. But, since it's introduced so early in the story, you don't really think about it as more than a plot point.
So, what would you do if you were going to die? Well, I'm sure there are different answers for different people, but I know Ben's answers. He wants to make a difference. He wants to stick out. He wants to live life to the fullest; and he does. He goes out for football, despite the fact that he weighs less than a hundred and thirty pounds. He befriends the town drunk. He starts arguments in class, trying to get people to think about life and the way things are. And he finally gets the guts to ask out that perfect girl he's had a crush on.
And throughout all of this, he is the only person (besides his doctor and his therapist) who knows that he's dying. But obviously he can't keep it that way.
This book was truly amazing. It's a real page turner, from the very first sentence. Chris Crutcher isn't one to waste words; he doesn't write anything that doesn't mean something to the story, so this book isn't full of pointless banter. It has feeling. It has meaning. I can truly connect to the characters in a deep way. I felt like there was just the right amount of sarcastic humor and life messages to make this a really enjoyable book; you will laugh, you will cry... and you will also fall in love with this book.