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 heartbreaking.
Winger is one of the best YA male POV books that I have ever read, and it's probably one of the most heartbreaking books, too, though the majority of it is funny. It's the twist at the end that is heartbreaking. The characters and the storyline were done so well in this book.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
I love Ryan Dean West's character. He's a fourteen year old junior, so he must be smart, but he also isn't that smart when he it comes to many of his relationships. He thinks he is a loser, but from reading the book, he really doesn't seem like one. His voice seemed really authentic, and he was funny. He drew comics about some of the events in his life. He used innuendos often since he thought about sex a lot. Ryan Dean did make many mistakes in his relationships with girls, but he still is a genuinely good guy.
Ryan Dean and Annie are so adorable together. At the beginning of the book, she is his best friend and he is in love with her. She doesn't think she can be in love with him because she thinks of him as a younger kid since he is fourteen and she is sixteen. Once I saw these two and their relationship, I was rooting for them for become a couple. I was so happy when that finally happened. Sure, these two did have a few obstacles, but they got past them. One of these obstacles was Megan, Ryan Dean's roommate's girlfriend who Ryan Dean made out with. Luckily, he eventually ended things with Megan since he loved Annie.
The other characters that Ryan Dean interacts with contribute to the story in different ways as well. One who stood out was Joey. He was the rugby captain and he also happened to be gay. Ryan Dean became friends with him, and he was his best friend. Then there were Seanie and JP, Ryan Dean's former roommates. Seanie is a guy who likes to hack people's Internet pages and put pictures on them. JP and Ryan Dean have some problems in this book when JP tries to make a move on Annie. There's Chas, who is Ryan Dean's new roommate and is on the rugby team. Chas really isn't as bad a guy as Ryan Dean makes him out to be at the beginning of the book. Of course, making out with Chas' girlfriend doesn't really help Ryan Dean.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.