Deadline Changes Perception of Time

Meghan Myracle

Senior year, we go to school and take it all in…trying to capture the memories and take nothing for granted, I mean it’s the last year of high school right? But what if it were your last year alive? What if your classmate, the one you just called out for asking a “stupid” question, was burying a secret so heavy, that his therapist couldn’t even help him? That if the student next to you knew he was going to die in less than a year and decided to tell no one. Not even his parents.
In Chris Crutcher’s Deadline, senior Ben Wolf discovers that he has a terminal illness at his routine sports physical. Ben decides against telling anyone, including his parents, in an effort to live his last year as a “normal” teenager. Since Ben is 18, the doctor must comply. The book from that point leads the reader’s mind on a quest of questions. ‘What would I do if I were in Ben’s position?’ ‘What if someone I know was going through the same thing?’
Ben decides that in his last year, he is going to do something that matters.
He spends more time with people he that would have usually looked by. He asks out the girl he was terrified to speak to. He searches for the story in people instead of imposing judgement. And he questions everything shamelessly in an effort to understand.
Crutcher subtly guides the reader to take a look at his or her own life. Readers challenge themselves with thoughts such as ‘What am I doing that really matters in the big picture?’ ‘What changes would I make if I knew it was my last year?’
While not a complex literary novel, Crutcher’s Deadline broadcasts his message to readers in a compelling and relatable way that pushes the reader to understand that there truly is more to life than just living.

Deadline can be found in Rider’s library. To access the book trailer, visit this link: