Winger by Andrew Smith: Review

The following review is for a MUST READ! (I knowwwww, I’m WAY behind the times, but the point is, I read this awesome book and so should you!!)

*glasses not included*

*glasses not included*

Winger (Winger #1)
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 439, Hardcover
Received Copy: Personal Library

Synopsis: (via Goodreads)

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.

Winger is a tale of a dorky teen who copes with the classic problems of fitting in, not only in high school but in life itself–and I absolutely loved the humor and a bit of heartbreak. The fresh perspective of Ryan Dean West, a fourteen year old who is actually a junior at a boarding high school for the wealthy, made me wonder if I actually have the mind of a teenage boy because I understood it completely! The timeline of the story starts from Ryan Dean’s arrival in O-Hall (the dorm for the problematic students, 99% boy population, 1%  female population consisting of creepy-possible-witch teacher, Mrs. Singer) until right after Thanksgiving of the same school year. Don’t worry…a sequel is promised and don’t fret, no cliffhanger for book #1! The illustrations/comics/charts that Ryan Dean provides are an awesome bonus into a literal translation for his thoughts for some of his situations.

Things I Liked:

Humor. . . .
I most definitely enjoyed Ryan Dean’s POV and how he’s stuck between little boy adorable and having big “figurative” balls in all of the shenanigans he gets himself into. As well as the perverted conversations that never stop, no matter what gender or how old, things are always taken to the next level.

the Language. . . .
I liked how Andrew Smith wasn’t afraid to be authentic. To be have this written from the mind of a growing boy. Boys are crude. Boys are mean. Boys are masculine. And this shows through the day to day language in high school and with friends and was present throughout the whole novel.

the Story. . . .
I loved the trials and tribulations between Ryan Dean and those he encounters throughout the story. His epic nights with Chas Becker–fellow rugby teammate and douchebag extraordinare, the pining and flirting he does for female and best friend Annie Altman, the perversions with best friends JP and Seanie, and the incredibly beautiful friendship he makes with Joey Cosentino (which is my absolute favorite!).

Sentence-Structure. . . .
Ryan Dean-has-the-most-epic-run-on-sentences-you-will-ever-encounter-in-a-book-and-I just-fell-in-love-with-them!

Things I Didn’t Like:

I really didn’t have any aspect of the book that I didn’t love. I know that it took me a little while to get fully engrossed. I definitely was captivated from the beginning–but I think real life as well as my intense book-a-thon I read right before starting Winger which might have taken away my reading momentum and tired me out. Other than that no other complaints.

Overall I have to say, this book is a must for your bookshelf! My typical reads are a little bit of love and romance, a little alternate universe, possibly a downer story or two, vampires and magic, mystery and suspense, and obviously all of the falls under the YA lit genre. And even though I have a decently diverse appetite for YA lit, I think most will read this and finish it thinking, “Wow, I’m really glad I made the decision to read this.” I also think the story stays with you. While I usually get more involved with characters than the average reader, one particular scene in this book has stayed with my and I don’t know if I’ll forget it. I still have the heaviness from what I read and I kind of like that. The author did their job, helping you bond with their story and characters.  Own it in some form–but most likely go for the physical copy because the drawings are just so awesome–much better when it’s viewed on paper instead of digitally 😉

Until next time….and if you’ve read the book share your thoughts! Did you like? Were you not as impressed with the story as I was? Comment down below!

xx Linz


Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

February 18: Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader hosted by The Broke & the Bookish (weekly bookish topic)

I’ve only within the last few years really gotten into actively reading and on a daily/weekly basis. It’s important to feed my mind, keep me on my toes and books help! Being a blogger is more new than being a reader, but being a reader takes the cake!! Here are some reasons why I enjoy both:

To help decipher my word cloud madness:
1. Meeting new people
2. Getting new reads
3. Being social
4. Taken to a new world
5. Remembering emotions
6. Exercising my PR/Interwebs skillz
7. Finding myself
8. An escape
9. Keeping my brain healthy
10. Author signings

I really do enjoy both worlds: reader and blogger. Of course reading is just a passion, blogging can become a job/hobby but both equally fun to do! What are some of your reasons?

xx Linz

Review Roundup

Hey All!

With my long weekend here, I figure I’d catch up on some posting–I’ve been a little scarce lately so I’d like to fix it. I wanted to try and come up with a new idea where I’m pressed for blog posting time but have read a bunch and still want to share with you, so now we have the:

….So let’s get to it (yay! I’m excited!)….

A series that I hope you all will pick up sometime in the future if you haven’t done so already

Pivot Point / Split Second by Kasie West Amazon (SS) | Goodreads (SS)

I received my copy of Split Second at ALAMW (a trend you’ll continue to see) and that very weekend Pivot Point was having a Kindle deal sale so I knew I couldn’t pass it up! The story is really fantastic–an alternate universe where main character, Addie, can use a power to Search into her future and know the outcome of paths chosen in life. Pivot Point was so enthralling I could not put it down and was so thankful to have the Split Second ready to go! The story continues with Addie’s journey with the aftermath of decisions made (and not made) in Split Second. Addie’s best friend Laila is a tell-it-like-it-is chick that has such sass and spunk that helps balance Addie’s more refined approach to things. Duke/Trevor/Connor are pretty swoony so you don’t want to miss out! Trevor actually makes my Top Ten Tuesday list for Swoony Boys, so check it out!
The next book I have is veryyyyyy underwraps so I can’t give much detail BUTTTTT…..

I can assure you that Rainbow continues to deliver! Once again she’s presented us with a story that has flawed characters that you love and don’t entirely want to let go after you’ve finished reading. This book comes out July 18, 2014 but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put it on your TBR list! While this novel is adult rather than her usual YA lit she’s been recently writing, the reader still is entertained and sucked into the world Rainbow has created.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Amazon | Goodreads
Lastly I was able to finish a highly anticipated book left in the Shatter Me trilogy:

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi  Amazon | Goodreads
The series ending was a bit sad because I had really enjoyed the build up to this point in the series. I can honestly say that this book, while a good idea just lost the storyline and became more of a love triangle fiasco rather then the task at hand, Juliette finding herself and taming The Re-establishment in this dystopian universe. I felt like the book had potential but for some reason I was not a fan of the overall read–it fell flat which was unexpected because this was a highly anticipated read of mine. I kept second guessing characters moves–ready for it too all blow up in my (the readers) face. Just very uneasy.

Some good and some not-so-good book recs but be sure to check out any of the above! If you’ve read any of the following, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you agreed or disagreed with the stories!


Top Ten Tuesday: the Swoon Factor

February 11: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon hosted by The Broke & the Bookish (weekly bookish topic)

So swoony boys have always been my favorite! I’m all about the rough around the edges but deep and lovable overall. A select few have stuck with me so …behold my list of titles which include those who’ve made me swoon! (also in no particular order)

Just One Day (oh Willem)
Willem holds my wrist for a long moment, looking at that birthmark. Then he lifts it to his mouth. And though his lips are soft and his kiss is gentle, it feels like a knife jamming into the electrical socket. It feels like the moment when I go live.

Unravel Me (hello, Chapter Sixty-Two with Warner)
“Juliette,” he says, and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he’s pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death.
“I want you,” he says. He says “I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you.”

The Fault in Our Stars (Augustus is a true romantic)
“Maybe okay will be our always”

Attachments/Eleanor & Park/Fangirl (Lincoln is number one in my eyes right about now; Park was soooo GAH!; Levi was unbelievably sweet and genuine)
The next night, Lincoln parked his Corolla right next to The Courier’s front door. ‘I’m here,’ he thought. ‘Find me. Follow me. Make this inevitable.’

Eleanor & Park
“You can be Han Solo,” he said, kissing her throat. “And I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.”

“It’s okay if you’re crazy,” he said softly.
“You don’t even know-“
“I don’t have to know,” he said. “I’m rooting for you.”

Pivot Point/Split Second (Mmmm Trevor)
“Just promise me something. If this is a Search and you don’t pick me, don’t pick this path, for whatever reason, promise me you won’t Erase me.”

Anna and the French Kiss (Etienné) St. Clair…because duh!)
I moan with pleasure.
“Did you just have a foodgasm?” he asks, wiping ricotta from his lips.
“Where have you been all my life?” I ask the beautiful panini.
Pushing the Limits (Noah was such a sexy bad boy)
We’d read about sirens in English this fall; Greek mythology bullshit about women so beautiful, their voices so enchanting, that men did anything for them. Turned out that mythology crap was real because every time I saw her, I lost my mind.

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Cricket was so charming, I fell for him)
“So do you believe in second chances?” I bite my lip.
“Second, third, fourth. Whatever it takes. However long it takes. If the person is right,” he adds.
Was that enough swooning for you?? Which swoony boys did I miss? Leave me your suggestions for some steamy gentlemen 🙂

xx Linz

brief update!

Update & announcement…

So I’m trying to come into my own as a blogger, especially book blogger and it’s difficult because I want to establish an identity. My blog layout needs work, but I can figure that out as needed but my persona is what I’ve been trying to think of.

Recently at ALAMW I saw several bloggers walk around that all knew their game, had themselves established and I just don’t feel like I’m there yet.

I already have a personal blog (which gets neglected FAR too often) but eventually I’ll see if I can merge the two. That being said, I’ve been leaning towards rocking my twitter roots to help get things going.

Sinister Kid is an amazing song by one of my favorite bands, The Black Keys, which I incorporated into my Twitter name. I have have select friends whom all refer to me as The Kid because of that name so voilà. And I love bookish things sooooo behold my merger:

*throws confetti* Pretty sure I’m going to be sticking to this one for a while…so yep, that’s my news!

Until next time
xx Linz


Countdown begins...

Countdown begins…

Well it’s not quite yet the big event, but my favorite time of the year has arrived! Award season is in full-throttle at this point, we’ve already had the Golden Globes, SAG, Grammy’s (they sorta count), Critic’s Choice, we just have the BAFTA’s and Oscars left, if I got that right–the big time awards, anyway.

For some of you that know me I’m a HUGE movie buff! I’m like a human IMDB and am oh-so proud of it! So I decided that I would present myself with a cool challenge: read books that were hugely successful as movies and/or Oscar picks.

The only real dilemma I’m presented with if I can achieve this greatness in time for the big day, March 2nd on ABC! (make sure you tune in) I have recently been collecting some awesome Kindle deals and will attempt to read the following:

While I will do my best to read them all (my book haul from ALA was ridic & so many more awesome books I’ve been waiting for are out this month!), I would like to focus on the most important: The Wizard of Oz.

At ALAMW14 I got my hands on a much anticipated book, Dorothy Must Die and with this year’s Oscars honoring The Wizard of Oz for it’s 75th year in cinematic history, I thought this would be the perfect idea to challenge myself with! I’m going to try and see both worlds, what both stories capture in the land of Oz and Kansas. If you haven’t heard about Dorothy Must Die then here’s your chance.

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling. What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Sounds exciting right?! The book will be available on April 1, 2014 from HarperTeen…get ready guys, ’cause I have a feeling we won’t be in Kansas for very long…

xx Linz

The Wizard of Oz vs Dorothy Must Die

a cinematic reading challenge

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Cry

Once again I’m doing a fun post on bookish top ten list, courtesy of The Broke & the Bookish.

For February 4: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry (originally done November 2010) I’ve compiled some real tearjerkers, people. If you’ve read any of the following  you will understand how heartbreaking some of these reads are but well worth the cry. I’ve done something new for this post! Rather than trying to avoid spoilers-like-the-wind, I’ve decided to scour my paperback and hardcover copies to find awesome quotes. No real giveaways but these were from sappy, teary-eyed moments from awesome (mostly) YA novels.

And the Top Ten list reads:

Never Let Me Go: by Kazuo Ishiguro
Her voice had dropped again, almost to a whisper. “That was the worst thing I did.”

The Book Thief: by Markus Zusak
“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

If I Lie: by Corrine Jackson
He stares me down, challenging me to turn away. I don’t get it at first. And then I realize. We’ve never collected George’s story. He doesn’t pressure me. Doesn’t remind me that time’s winding away from us.  He gives me a chance to refuse. But it’s too late for that. I’ve already decided to stay.

Second Chance Summer: by Morgan Matson
I watched him watching the stars above, as streaks of light flew past. His eyes were focused, following one as it cut its path across the huge, dark canvas of the sky. “Stars,” he said in a voice that was clearer than he’d yet used that night, a voice that was laced with wonder.

Allegiant: by Veronica Roth
“Am I done yet?” I say, and I’m not sure if I actually say it or if I just think it and she hears it.

This Song Will Save Your Life: by Leila Sales
“Don’t be special.” That’s what I would say to my younger self if I could pinpoint the moment when I went astray. But there was no one moment. I was always astray.

Thirteen Reasons Why: by Jay Asher
“To miss her each time I pull in a breath of air. To miss her with a heart that feels so cold by itself, but warm when thoughts of her flow through me.”

The Fault in Our Stars: by John Green
“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock: by Matthew Quick
“Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand—if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: by J.K. Rowling
Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
Annddddd cue the sobbing! Oh geez, now I’m a mess because I’ve brought back tearful memory reads. Someone hold me. Did I miss any good ones from my list? Did I also bring back the sobs for you because I picked out your favorite quotes? Personally I’m a glutton for punishment and continue to read books that just make me all weepy. I’d love to hear some of your favorites!

Until next time
xx Linz