Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review: “Winger” by Andrew Smith


Winger is not the usual type of book I pick up but since it was getting so popular in the YA world, I decided to give it a try. I can honestly say I did not expect to like it as much as I did. It’s about a guy named Ryan Dean who goes to a rich kid private school and plays rugby. I usually don’t expect much of books with a private school setting because they’re so overdone, especially ones where the main character is very involved with a sport (not being a sports person myself), but this book surprised me. Yes, it does have those cliché breaking-the-rules-at-midnight scenes and getting-in-fights-with-the-other-teams scenes but there were also many parts that genuinely interested me.

This book is a coming of age story. Ryan Dean is a high school junior at only fourteen years old who is tired of being considered a child, especially by one of his best friends Annie who he’s hopelessly in love with. This was a little like another one of those out-of-place-in-high-school-student-rooting-for-one-of-the-most-popular-kids kind of book, and it was but it was more too. Winger is funny, very touching at times, and the ending punches you in the heart.

All I can say is that I did NOT expect that ending. Joey was by far my favorite character and I loved watching Joey’s and Ryan Dean’s friendships develop through the book. It had been a while since I cried at a character’s death (as in cried with actual tears) and Joey’s death was completely unexpected, to me at-least.

I liked the friendship aspect of the story more than the romantic aspect. I did like Annie though and I was rooting for Ryan Dean and Annie but I wasn’t as interested with them as a couple as I usually am in other books.

Up until the last few chapters, I was going to give the book 3 stars but it’s getting four stars because of that killer ending (though I would much rather have Joey living than dead). I think it shows how your life can turn upside down at a single event and how having people you love around you can make a big difference.