Author: Andrew Smith
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Published: September 2, 2014
Retail Price: $11.99
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
What an insight to a teenage male’s mind, I actually liked that aspect of the novel. I’ve never read a book that’s been in such a male’s perspective like this that I couldn’t help how weird and sexual it was. A teenage boy’s mind is weird and we got to see every corner of it in Winger.
We had quite the set of characters in the novel. And I loved a lot of them. So many of our characters were given quite a bit of depth and “screen time” that I easily fell in love with them. Especially our gay best friend Joey Consentino. I just want to take a second to appreciate the beauty and brilliance of Joey. I am in love with him, no matter what his sexuality. But besides just him, I also liked the depth of our other friends as well as all the friend’s problems. No friendship is perfect and we definitely see that aspect in this novel.
Like I mentioned before, the writing is that of a 14-year-old boy so its not the most lyrically beautiful but it very well fit the perspective of a boy telling us about his junior year at Pine Mountain.
The character development is very sudden and you will understand why once you read the book. But throughout most of the book we have a very naive teenager who’s just in love with girls and loves drawing comics as well as playing rugby. Ryan Dean has people to give him advice but he doesn’t necessarily listen a lot.
At a certain part of the novel it begins to get really repetitive and a bit annoying but so much goes on that you don’t really mind? But that’s what really dropped the star for me. Since Ryan Dean is writing he often writes about how he’s not actually cussing became so annoying to me that I caught myself rolling my eyes every time one of these phrases came around.
I miss Joey so much. If I was by myself while finishing this book, I would have sobbed for about 2 hours because like I said about I love him so much. Since I haven’t read the second book though: To Andrew Smith, I would so kindly appreciate it if you wrote an alternative ending to this book somewhere so that I can be happy again. My heart was ripped out with one sentence because of you.
“my skinny-bitch arms” (2).
“plus he never acted or talked like the stereotypical gay guys that people think are caricatures of the entire population. I mean, who does that anyway?” (49).
“It was the God of Peeing…” (56). I love the mention of peeing because its an odd thing that you don’t often find in books
“In your prayers tonight, be sure to thank God for making… (c) Joey Consentino” (163). RIGHT
“What a choice. I could have something or something” (206).