Winger (Winger #1) by Andrew Smith
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication Date: 14 May 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
This book was…interesting, to say the least. There is quite a bit of crude and perverse humor, so if that’s not your thing, I’d not recommend you to read this book.
The ending of this book was unexpected but welcome. I don’t want to say too much, but just know that the book goes from being lighthearted and funny to dark and depressing at the end, so if that’s not your thing either, I’d not recommend you to read this book. I, however, like depressing, sad books (at times), so I appreciated it.
The romance in this book felt strange and awkward, as Ryan Dean calls every single female except one (I think). And the one who he does not call hot is often described as “unhot.” Because of this, it felt weird. Why should we believe he loves Annie if he calls everyone else in the book hot?
There were a lot of things about this book that I felt were done right. The characters were interesting and felt real, the plot was well-developed and never seemed to drag, and it was funny. It was a very fast-paced book, which I quite enjoyed. But the surprising ending is what really made me give this book a 4 instead of a 3.
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.