Author: Chris Crutcher
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: September 2007
About the Book: 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-a** eighteen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Tout, Idaho?
First, Ben makes sure 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 123-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.
If you don’t like books that make you cry DO NOT read this one! Oh. My. Stars. I BAWLED. And really, you know what happens. It even tells you in the tagline on the cover that he only has a year to live. It reminds me of what my dad said to a middle school me when she came out of the movie theater sobbing (like, really unattractive, heaving sobs!) after seeing Titanic for the first time… “Heidi, honey… you KNEW how it was gonna end!” ***sigh*** Apparently I never learn!
Deadline follows Ben as he goes about living what he knows is the final year of his life. It also happens to be his final year of high school. This situation has the potential to create a totally bitter and depressed character. Ben is neither of those things. He’s certainly not thrilled with the prospect of dying young but he decides that he will make this last year count. It’s truly a great story about friendship, love, redemption, heart and hormones (Hey! He’s a high school boy who KNOWS he’s gonna die. What do you think is on his mind?!?)
This book is one more in a long line of awesome from Chris Crutcher. The man knows how to craft a story! His books are raw and real… probably why they’re also challenged like nobody’s business. For those of you who are not familiar with Crutcher or his books here is his website (He even has a link about censorship!) When I think of authors of young adult literature Chris Crutcher’s name is one of the first that pops in to my head. He’s been doing it (and doing it right!) since 1983.