Winger Review

Winger - Andrew  Smith


















Andrew Smith's Winger flattened me. I was breezing along, laughing and cringing at the shenanigans Ryan Dean West gets into, and then the ending cold cocked me in the feels. Yes, I saw some kind of tragedy on the horizon, but I expected something different than what I received. I was a blubbering mess by the final page. Such a mess that my lovely wife said, "Dude, it's just a book." 


Yet there are some books that rise above simple ink and paper, or collected kilobytes. There are some books that breathe. Some novels that are so well written they defy fiction and become real. That's Winger.


The cast of characters all have unique personalities, but my standout favorites were Joey, Chas, and Seanie. Ryan Dean was adequate as our narrator, but those three aforementioned teenagers truly stole the show. In my opinion, Chas, as our prerequisite soft-hearted bully, was probably the strongest and deepest character. We hear very little from him other than his constant berating of the rest of the cast, but when things go wrong for Chas it's heartbreaking. I must say, Smith pulled a fast one on me, because I didn't expect to care about Chas. Very nicely done. Joey was my second favorite, and Seanie exists on this list because I've never read about a character like him. Period. He was quirky and hilarious. MySites for EVERYONE!


In summation: I'm sorry this review is so short, but I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. If you only read one Young Adult novel in your life, make it this one. Funny, endearing, and shockingly tragic, Winger sets the bar for me as far as YA is concerned.