"Chris Crutcher is known for his gritty, topical books for young adults. This one focuses on a sports theme, with therapy, coming-of-age, and sex also part of the story. Just before his senior year, Ben Wolf learns he has an aggressive, terminal blood disease. He's 18, so he convinces the doctor to keep his secret and sign off for him to play football. He wants to have a "normal" last year. Steven Boyer tells the story in Ben's voice, including an epilogue that allows Ben to speak "from the grave." He nails the teenager's smart-ass nothing-to-lose attitude. As the year progresses, his tone matures as Ben realizes relationships require honesty. The profanity, especially the frequent dropping of "f-bombs," obscures the preachiness of the story's message. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"