I want to start by saying I loved the protagonist right until the end of the novel, when I feel he compromises his morals, which is exactly what he did not want to do. The ending does not become stereotypical and sappy, it is far more realistic. I am definitely pro-realistic endings, especially when the novel is realistic, but the ending is out of character for the protagonist.
This book isn't particulary deep or heavily literary. I feel that this is Deuker's advantage, however, as he intends to capture the mind of the young adult male who may not enjoy reading, but who is an avid sports enthusiast. The story about the protagonist, Mick, is interesting. He knows the use of steroids is wrong, and he even knows all about the harmful side effects, but he attempts to rationalize the use of steroids through his own ambition and curiosity.
Basically in the novel, the want for "gym candy, " a street name for steroids, is driven by a feeling of inadequacy. There becomes a limit of the human body and steroids are his solution for overcoming someone who seems infintely stronger than he. Mick's character is confusing. He is clearly a sympathetic character, but he has no regret for taking steroids in the end, as he deemed it necessary for success, even though he suffers due to them in the end.