REVIEW: Winger – Andrew Smith


Andrew Smith

Stand Alone

Paperback, 439 pages

Published May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-0-141-35474-3

– 4.0 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 heart-breaking.”

I’m definitely not a massive fan of contemporary, but this book has made me debate my opinion of what I thought was a very stereotypical, unrealistic, slightly dramatic genre. Winger had all the things I love in a book: humour, romance, suspense and an overall message that struck home. This book follows 14-year old Ryan Dean through his junior year at Pine Mountain. He has to over come a lot through the book, including jealousy, heartbreak and learning that sometimes, we cant always have what we want.

The main reason I liked this book was because I felt all the characters were realistic and all had very relatable traits. I wasn’t too sure how the plot was going to unfold and how the story arc was going to become complete, but I wasn’t disappointed. And by the end, I wanted more. Winger was written from Ryan Dean’s POV, in the first person. There were also a lot of funny little cartoons and hand drawn graphs that made me giggle. But, as much as I liked the drawings, I did feel that Ryan Dean’s passion for drawing could have been intertwined into the plot more. I think, for me, it would’ve bulked up the plot and resulted in more going on; this is because I did find that, as this book was so long, it was quite slow at places.

Overall, this book is a great read and I would definitely recommend it to contemporary fans. However, I do think that if you’re not a massive fan of contemporary and want to read shorter or small doses of contemporary, I personally wouldn’t recommend this book fore you. The ending was definitely the best part and left me a little teary eyed.

Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.


2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Winger – Andrew Smith

  1. booksthefinalfrontier

    I really want to buy this book! I’m still trying to figure out how high a priority it gets on my already massive TBR. I am in need of an emotional read, and I have heard that many people cry at the ending. I will definitely acquire it at some point. I might just wait for a paperback.


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