Title: Winger (Winger #1)
Author: Andrew Smith
Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Illustrations by: Sam Bosma
Summary: Ryan Dean West is a 14 year old junior who attends the richy rich boarding school, Pine Mountain Academy. Because of some ne'er-do-well stuff he did, Ryan Dean has been regulated to O Hall. O Hall houses all the hard cases. Ryan Dean must navigate staying alive in O Hall, figure out how to make his crush see him as more than a friend, and be the best rugby player possible. This year will be the year Ryan Dean West figures out stuff.
My Thoughts: This book wasn't really what I was expecting. I did very much enjoy it, but I don't know if it lived up to all the hype. I've read another of Andrew Smith's works, The Marbury Lens, and came to the conclusion that it was weird, and I kind of feel the same way about Winger. The book really didn't have any plot to it, it was just Ryan Dean's strange adventures at Pine Mountain.
Overall, I really did enjoy it. It made for a very fast read. There were times that I chuckled and other times where I didn't know what to think.
There were some things I didn't care for in the story. They could be argued as stupid things, but my opinions are my own. First, I felt it a little unnecessary to call him Ryan Dean all the time. That's kind of a mouthful of a name, and I never really understood why he even had two names to begin with. I would have much rather just left it as Ryan.
Second, I didn't really like all the cursing. I also thought it was unnecessary. If he doesn't curse in real life, than why does he have to curse all the time in his writing?
The third thing that just felt over-used to me was being constantly reminded of how Joey was gay. I only really needed to know that detail once, not over and over again. I think Ryan Dean made a bigger deal about Joey's sexual orientation than Joey did.
I'm also not sure how I felt about the ending. It kind of felt like having a book that just moseys along, not really talking about anything important, but being enjoyable, and then trying to stick a big, old issue on the end.
I did enjoy the story. It was fun. I liked the illustrations by Sam Bosma thrown in. It was kind of refreshing to read from a 14 year old boy's point of view in YA, even if that boy did have a very dirty mind. Overall, I thought it was an okay book. I never do know what to expect from Andrew Smith though.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Ryan Dean West get your mind out of the gutter!