Top Ten things to know (somewhat spoils the book but thats what Mr Hatten wanted) about Gym Candy, by Carl Deuker.
10) The Main characters best friend, Drew. Micks best friend who came on and off as a friend throughout the book (Drew) was crucial to his health. With the drugs and things that Mick did throughout the book he needed someone like Drew constantly there for him because he could easilly slip into depression. Drew is very friendly, caring, and wants the best for his friends. He's the starting quarterback.
9) The Problem. The problem that the main character (Mick Johnson) fights throughout this novel is steroid use. He wants to become bigger, faster, and stronger for the football season so he can be a starting running back, but he is having trouble getting these results. At a local "fancy" Gym Popeyes, he comes across and instructor (Peter) who introduces him and gets him on the first steroids. "These will get you the results you want in a fourth of the amount of time Mick, the question is, are you ready for them?" (pg201). Here, Peter (the trainer) is first getting him on D-Bol, one type of steroids. He goes on harsher ones throughout the book.
8) Expostion. "My earliest memory is of an afternoon in June. I was four years old, and I was in the backyard with my dad. He'd just bought me a purple and gold football, my first football. He marked off an area in our backyard with a white chalk line. "Here's how it works."" (pg3). Mick is talking about how football has been really his pride all his life and it is the sport he loves and was raised with. For the first 50 pages or so he explains how football/making the highschool team/and moving on from there have always been his goals in life.
7) Rising Action. Mick Johnson becomes more and more anxious to gain muscle mass and get stronger throughout the book. The rising action really is all of the events that lead to his decision to use steroids. The main one being when he was put into the varsity football game with 10 minutes left, had a long drive to the 3 yard line, and it was 4th and goal. He got the ball, went into the pile and was hit and smashed down. His team lost the game because of him and he then realized he must get stronger so he can break that tackle in the future.
6) Climax. "Dad I really would now like to consider that offer you gave me to go to Popeye's, and i promise i wont call the trainers gay..." (pg190). At Popeye's after while his trainer Peter offers him D-bol, the lowest amateur grade of anabolic steroids. He excitedly accpets and begins his dreadful experience. Although he gets stronger, he keeps upgrading the intensity of his 'roids until he reaches the injections and decided to take them up.
5) Falling Action. Mick's life really dies out after he begins with the steroids. He begins to grow man-boobs and zits all over his chest, and refuses to go to the beach with the girl that could have been his girlfriend. All he focuses on is lifting and football to prepare for the next season. Come football season he is a dominant force. He leads the team to be 14-0 with an average of 3 touchdowns a game when he plays. He suffers from depression frequently, and often asks himself wether or not its worth doing, but he stays with the steroids.
4) Resolution. "Mick, you're using steroids aren't you?" (pg287). Quotes his best friend Drew. Drew suspected Mick was using them and asked him to take a walk out to the beach and talk. Mick brings a revolver with himself knowing no one else can find out about it and if Drew wasn't prepared to keep a secret he was planning on shooting him. Drew kept saying that hes going to turn Mick in because he needs help, and Mick held the gun up to Drew. Drew just walked away, and Mick began to think what's the point, im finished, and the steroids really took over his body and he fired the gun into his own head, Luckily grazing his forhead due to his unsteady hand.
3) Epilouge. Mick woke up in the hospital, and shortly after went to rehab due to his actions. His parents were scared to death and he wasn't sure what was going through his head other than the steroids. His body had been completely taken over and he had no control. Drew had been a pal and quickly driven Mick to the hospital when he shot his own head even though Drew didnt even know how to drive. The book ends with Mick thinking to himself, "I can be back on that stuff within one hour and these suckers don't even know it," knowing he can get right back on the steroids, but the question is will he?
2) Mick Johnson. The main round character of the novel, Mick is a highly focused and determined young man (age 16). He is smart and a good athelete, but can never resist improving even if he has to do unnecessary things such as take steroids. He is a person who is fine bieng alone and doesn't particularily favor social events and gatherings/parties. His alltime highschool goal thus far was to be starting halfback (running back) and win the championship, which he did accomplish, but cheated to do so.
1) Self-Discipline (the most important/main theme). Discipline came into play more times than i could ever imagine in this novel. Mick needed to be dicsipline enough to not take the steroids, which he did take, which showed his lack of self discipline. He needed to be discipline on the football field when his anger came over his body and he felt like tackeling the other teams linebacker for stopping him and intercepting the ball, but he wasn't and he got suspended from the team for one week. And lastly, he needs to be discipline enough to not start taking and using steroids again after learning his lesson, and i'd have to read the sequil to find out.