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!!)
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!