Winger - YA Review by Frannie M

Reader: Frannie M.
Age: 15
Title: Winger
Author: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Pub Date: 05/14/13
Galley: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Spoilers Ahead!

Winger was such a fantastic book for me because it provoked an amazingly wide range of emotions. I went from laughing at Ryan Dean's drawings and jokes to tearing up at Joey's death. I became so attached to the characters that I went through a short period of numbness after finishing the book. I couldn't bear to start another book, so I just let all of the leftover thoughts from Winger float around in my head. Andrew Smith did a wonderful job of writing from the point of view of a real teenager. By the middle of the book, I felt like Ryan Dean was simultaneously my best friend, the cute boy I had a crush on, and my silly little brother. When he finally plucked up the courage to kiss Annie, I legitimately had to put the book down and give a little whoop of pride. Ryan Dean, like all of the best characters, had some serious flaws. His relationship with Megan really humanized him, and I understood his struggle of whether or not to continue things with her. Another thing that I appreciated about Winger was that some things were left unresolved. Ryan Dean's friendship with JP, for example, was never completely mended. I both loved and hated the ending of this book. I hated it because it was so abrupt. One minute they were all laughing in their Halloween costumes, and the next they were mourning. However, I definitely understood why the author did this, and I think it made Winger a better book. The ending needed to be abrupt, because that's often how it is in life. One minute everything is normal and the next something completely crazy happens. Though I wish I could have read more about Ryan Dean, the ending really brought the whole story together, and made the book very profound.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was very memorable for me because it wasn't like the books I've read recently. It didn't have to be dressed up by wars or mutations, it was just a teenager's story, albeit a funny and odd one.
Cover: The cover definitely made me pick the book up because it is so striking and in your face. I liked it even more when I reached the corresponding point in the story.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

tags:  realistic fiction / boarding school / ya lit

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