Release Date: May 14, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Kindle Store
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.
With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.
Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.
I don’t have the words it’s going to take to convey my love for Winger by Andrew Smith. I just don’t. So take whatever I say and multiple it by 1000 and you’ll see how I feel.
Winger had been on my tbr pile for well over a year. So many of my favorite bloggers loved it, I knew I would too. I finally picked it up and quickly fell in love with Ryan Dean. He’s pretty awesome. He’s hilarious, honest, and just plain likable. Even when he’s objectifying every girl he sees you just want to pat him on the head (he’d HATE that). He’s girl obsessed, smart, and good-hearted. Really, he’s one of the best characters I’ve ever read.
Winger is a coming of age story. I never read the blurb before starting the book. I went into it a little blind and anything I had about it in reviews I had forgotten, besides all the love. The story is pretty much Ryan Dean and his friends day to day lives. That doesn’t sound like it would be super compelling but Ryan Dean’s voice makes it that way.
Since I didn’t know a lot about the book going into it the twist at the end struck me hard. There was lots of foreshadowing but I kept thinking (hoping) that something else would happen, something not so tragic. I’ve been seeing some complaints about the twist, how it comes out of left field. Isn’t that how tragedy strikes, though? You never see it coming. It felt very true to life for me.
So yeah, I loooooved Winger. It was one of those books that I thought about long after I finished. I’m beyond thrilled that there’s going to be a sequel. I need more Ryan Dean in my life. I really can’t recommend the book enough. If you’re a fan of coming of age stories, this is one at its best.