The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Winger by Andrew Smith

Monday, March 17, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardback
Rating: 5/5

I won this book after taking part in the Class of 2013 YA Superlatives Blogfest, so thank you Katy, Tracey, Jessica and Alison!!!

Ryan Dean West is a junior at a boarding school for the offspring of the country's movers and shakers. Unfortunately, Ryan Dean (yes, Ryan Dean) has to start his penultimate year in high school in the naughty kids' dorm, aptly named Opportunity Hall. To top things off, his roommate is the biggest and baddest of them all, and he is falling increasingly in love with his bestie Annie. Oh, and Ryan Dean is only fourteen. Luckily, he is the star winger on the school rugby team and with the help of his team mates - his bro's for life (well, as long as school is in session) - Ryan Dean is able to navigate the ups and downs of his junior year, including an event he could never have imagined. 

Some books are so, so good and so full of life that no review will do it justice. Winger is definitely one of those books. I can't even begin to put into words how much I loved this book and I'm still thinking about it two weeks later. 

The story is hilarious pretty much all the way through - like, crying with laughter hilarious. After all, it is set at a boarding school and mainly focuses on rugby boys, so you can do the math. Ryan Dean West is a character I will not forget in a hurry - such a voice (such a name)! He came across as a real 'lad', as we'd say where I live. He was the right balance between confident and arrogant and it was easy to be charmed by him, just like everyone else in the book. I didn't know rugby was played in American schools but, if Winger is an accurate depiction, I'm glad to see the culture is the same! 

I don't really come across many books that deal with teenage boy friendships, so in that respect it was a breath of fresh air. There's quite a lot of blood and boisterousness (resulting in some extremely funny, Carry On style shenanigans involving nurses and whatnot) but also some extremely tender moments. I loved that Ryan Dean sounded like a fourteen year old. On the one hand, he was doing all these 'grown up' things and mouthing off but on the other hand, he got his knickers in a twist and suffered a Home Alone and the basement style fear of a teacher. 

I won't say much else because, blessedly, I went into this read fairly blind, which made it all the more special. A complex, layered, and extremely funny read that I'd put up there with Adrian Mole and Looking For Alaska. This book is unforgettable and will haunt you for days - nay, weeks! - afterwards. Good luck to the book you choose next! 

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!