Payback Time by Carl Deuker, Reviewed by Chris Watkins

Payback Time


by Carl Deuker

From           Chris Watkins  5th Period 9-16-13


Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel. When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.

Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel’s incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field. Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch? Or an ineligible player? In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he’s done. In the end, the truth surprises everyone.

Have you ever felt that you were right, maybe that you could never be wrong? Well Mitch True knows all about being right and wrong. Mitch True is a reporter and news writer for his school, Abraham Lincoln High in Seattle. One day Mitch is chosen to write articles for the sports part of the newspaper. But one day Mitch discovers and odd predicament about the football team, which may turn out to be very dangerous to him, and the one person he loves. I enjoyed this entire novel, but I most enjoyed the conflicts, settings, and the different characters.

I enjoyed the great conflicts in the novel Payback Time. I liked how the main character Mitch True always got made fun of because of his size and weight, so he took it in to consideration to lose weight. Which I thought was very inspirational. Also I liked the conflict between Mitch and the mysterious football player Angel Marichal. The author presented all the conflicts in this book really well, which impressed me. The last conflict that I liked through out the book was between Mitch True, the head football coach McNulty, and Mitch’s photographer Kimi Yon. The conflicts in this book made it a must read for teens and adults.

Second, I liked the magnificent setting of this novel. The setting was mostly at football games or a traditional coffee shop. Which was Mitch and Kimi’s favorite place to talk and figure things out. Football is my favorite sport, which probably made me like the setting more than most people would, but overall the setting was my favorite part of the book. Also the setting was interesting because you never knew what was going to happen in any of the setting’s of this book, which made it a mysterious and interesting novel.

Last but not least, I enjoyed the different and interesting characters. All the characters in this book has something mysterious about them, which made them interesting. Mitch True was a news reporter who loved to write, but loved to figure things out. Kimi Yon was a photographer who had the same characteristics that Mitch did. Coach McNulty and Angel Marichal were the most mysterious, that is what the whole book is based on. Angel has a strange background and from what Mitch thinks McNulty is trying to hide it.

In Conclusion, overall I enjoyed the book Payback Time. It was one of my favorite books that I have read in awhile. I intend to read other interesting books by Carl Deuker. I encourage this book to be read by teens and adults. I would recommend it to all readers who love football and mysteries though. It was overall a magnificent book, I would give it a four out of five stars. I certainly enjoyed the great conflicts, interesting settings, and the amazing and mysterious characters. Payback Time by Carl Deuker.


4 responses

  1. I like how you begin the piece with a personal question. It captures my attention. The thesis clearly states the three elements that your paper discusses. In the paragraph about the conflicts, you state that the author presents them well. What makes you think this? Maybe give the readers a more specific example. I can really hear your own voice in the paragraph about the football games as a major setting. Maybe you can incorporate this aspect of the novel more into your writing since you seem to relate to it. In your conclusion, you recommend it because it is about football and is mysterious. Those are two things I rarely hear mentioned in the same sentence, but it intrigues me. I want to hear more about the story since it is about these two totally different subjects. You did a nice job relating the conclusion back to your thesis. I like it!

    1. Dear BAdkins, I appreciate everything that you’ve said about my book review. It makes me very happy that you enjoyed it. I will make sure that on my next book review, I will state a specific and more detailed example. Actually, Mrs. Baisden hasn’t said anything about me not stating the conflicts more specifically before. Also, I would like to ask you for some advice on how to use proper grammar better. I believe that if I could be able to use better proper grammar, my book reviews can and will be better. Thanks again for your comment.
      Chris Watkins

  2. Chris,
    I struggle with grammar on a daily basis in my English courses, so do not fret. I am from southern West Virginia as well so I know the hassle with trying to figure out what is acceptable in school versus what is the “norm” outside of school. My trick for editing my pieces for grammar is pretty simply – read it out loud to someone, slowly, marking the places that just “sound funny,” if that makes sense. For example, read this sentence from your book review out loud: “All the characters in this book has something mysterious about them, which made them interesting.” Do you notice anything that sounds odd? I know the word “has” stood out to me. Since you say “characters” (plural) you would need to change the verb to fit. If you discussed a single character (he, she) then “has” would work. Think about the tense of your verbs also. If you changed “has” to “have,” then “made” would not work in the sentence: “All the characters in this book -have- something mysterious about them, which -made- them interesting.” If they “have” something it would be present tense, and “made” would be past tense. You need to make them correspond. The majority of your review is written in past tense so I would change it to “All of the characters in this book -had- something mysterious about them which -made- them interesting.” I know this may be confusing to read but hopefully it helps a little bit. Good luck!

    1. Dear BAdkins, Thank you for all that you have said about my book review. I really appreciate everything that you’ve said about it. Also, I will be sure to use better grammar in my next book review, due in February. Last, I would like to thank you for the advice you have given me, i’m sure that your advice will help me on all of my future book reviews. I was not confused at all from your comment.

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