Gym Candy- Book Review

Written by: Alex White

Gym Candy- Book Review

“Gym Candy” A Cautionary Tale of Teen Substance Abuse


Gym Candy is a cautionary tale, pulling the reader through the ups and downs of high school football player Mick Johnson. 

Mick has always lived in his father’s shadow. His father, Mike, was a University of Washington legend and always had high expectations of Mick. Mick would do anything to make his father proud, to live up to his legacy. 

When Mick earns a starting spot on his high school varsity football team, he reaches out to his seemingly great personal trainer for help in keeping his position. What Mick doesn’t know is that his trainer doesn’t have his best interest in mind and doesn’t play by the rules. 

Will Mick be able to break free and play fair or will the “Gym Candy” continue to control him?

Gym Candy is a novel for people who enjoy football. Carl Deuker makes you feel the action in every single moment of the game, from Mick’s first touchdown to his last one. With every moment of the game, you can almost see through Mick’s eyes and feel every tackle.

 The author gives the reader a deeper understanding of all of Mick’s relationships. His relationship with his dad, his connection with his friends, his friendship with his trainer, and his relationship with steroids, or “gym candy.”

Deuker handles the steroid abuse plot very well. He takes it seriously and tries to teach the reader a lesson through this cautionary tale. He shows how they can affect your body, your mental state, and your decision-making. Dueker shows Mick’s downward spiral in a realistic and interesting fashion. He also conveys to the reader that though at first Mick enjoys the power and strength of the steroids, he ends up paying the price in the end. 

However, one problem that I did have was how one of the characters, DeShawn, is all of a sudden not as prominent in the story. Seeing as he is one of Mick’s best friends, you would assume he would be a more important character like Mick’s other friend Drew. This was just a minor issue, it didn’t impact the story in a huge or major way, it just seemed a bit odd that all of a sudden one of his best friends became almost a nobody in a few chapters.

Overall, Gym Candy is a fantastic book that gives you the highs and lows of a misguided teen football player. The book was very enjoyable and provided almost everything that I would want in a sportsbook. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in football or stories of reflection. I would give this book four out of five stars because the book is not perfect, but in my opinion, it is still very enjoyable, passionate. 

By: Alex White