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Crackback, by John Coy

May 2, 2010

crackbackIn the beginning of this first-person narrated novel, Crackback, John Coy makes the main character, Miles, seem like a pretty normal high school football player.  Then his friend gives him some caffeine pills, which for Miles is like a gateway drug into steroids, which he takes after friends on the team pressure him bulk up for college scouts.  And that’s when his life starts to change, as pills and other types of steroids, like Danabol, get stronger and Miles increases the dosages.

I think that Coy made the characters seem real by giving them the attributes of real-life people of their age, not like the stereotype of jocks and cheerleaders.  The story throughout the book seems like it could really happen,  Miles goes to parties, sees friends, and responds to peer pressure.  In real life, however, I don’t think the end would have been as extreme or as predictable.  I think the easy theme that anyone could figure out from reading the back of the book is don’t do steroids.  But a different theme I found is don’t give in to the temptations of drugs at all, because you almost never get away with it and it messes up your life.  I do wish that Crackback were a little more different from other sports books, because, as in many others, it was easy for me to predict the moment of truth or the ending.

Overall, on a rating of one through ten, I would give Crackback a nine, only because of how predictable the plot was.  But it was a great story anyway.  If you read and like Crackback, then I would recommend Box Out, also by John Coy, because it is similar, only about religion, not steroids.  I also recommend Raider’s Knight by Robert Lipsyte.  It deals with steroids, except the main character gives in much easier and tries stronger steroids,

Crackback is a quick read at 201 pages.  I suggest this novel for sports fans from sixth grade through high school, but non-sports fans will also like it and get into the story.


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