Patrick33, Joseph with Dennis Lowery. “’Til The End”, Til the End, 2016.
Ryan, Tyler, Avery and Jacob are popular high school football stars. Their lives are good and they seem to have everything anyone teen would want. Their team has won the state championship, their college tuition has been paid for paid for, and they have chances to play in the NFL. However, something happens that could ruin all of this and they are not able to tell the truth. Keeping a secret is hell for them and so they make a pact to cover it up and never tell. By hiding from the truth, their addictions escalate and send them into different directions as they try to ignore and hide the past as they deal with the present and hold hopes for the future. Yet, we all know that there is always a price paid for lying.
Set in Detroit. “‘Til the End” follows the four main characters through 12th grade and college. Their whole world was about football and becoming pros one day. This is an easy and quick read and we get to now the characters early on and easily. We are reminded of how the past never really goes away and always is in the back of our minds.
As the characters struggle to keep the secret, they seek to escape and in doing so, they alienate the ones they love. We see how mistakes and poor judgement cause dreams to fall apart. The the choices we make define our lives and the lives of those we love. Fate can change in an instant and lives can be ruined in the process.
At first, “’Til The End” seems to be about the friendship between four talented high school seniors in their final year at Utica Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, Michigan. A fumble during a state high school playoff game threatened to change everything the four friends have ever hoped for.
The four who have already used steroids to become faster and stronger, as well as other recreational drugs learn that one mistake can lead to others. lead to the next; a much more serious incident. Their lives are suddenly turned inside-out by one accident and they understand that all they can do is hide and hold their secrets within. Writer Joseph Patrick knows how to tell a story and does so wonderfully here. “’Til The End” looks at how it is impossible to hide from secrets. All of us are responsible for the choices we make and even though we have no real control over fate, we can find honest ways to deal with it. As the subtitle says, this is “a novel of murder, addiction, and lies”. It all began with a lie and the story will pull you in and not let you go even after you close the covers. We read about the boys and their coming of age, their hopes and their promises of glory. We also read about how fate can change a hopeful life into one of despair and how it destroys dreams. Here is a morality lesson about decisions based and the uncertainty of life.