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A book blog, mostly touring foreign worlds of fantasy novels with occasional detours into space and explorations of magical realism, featuring book reviews, random bookish thoughts and hand lettered quotes.

Review: Winger by Andrew Smith


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.

My thoughts

Andrew Smith always gets me with stories that are different. He writes about things I haven’t read about before and therefore is always able to keep me excited. I love his Marbury Lens series but Winger is a completely different kind of book, my first contemporary written by him.

Why I love Winger:

+ Sex, booze, swearing:

Andrew Smith always writes about teenagers just the way they are: they drink alcohol, they swear all the time and they have sex. Things that make this story feel real.

+ Both laugh-out-loud and need-a-tissue moments

+ Unique, uncommon but realistic love story

+ Sports: Rugby

Before reading this I’ve heard about Rugby but didn’t know anything about it. Andrew Smith was able to make me like all the parts concerning it even though I’m not even interested in sports.

+ Illustrations:

The main character draws comics which are included in the book.

+ Unique protagonist in a unique setting

A boarding school is not a unique setting but Ryan’s situation itself is. I’ve never read about a guy before that is a good deal younger than his classmates which leads to different struggles than the usual boarding school setup. 

+ Heartbreaking ending

I love books that make me cry the most and this one did. It also ends with a plot twist you really can’t expect.

Winger is a really fun but also emotional read that deals with everyday topics but is still unique in how it’s told. Filled with comic strips it’s not only a great story but a beautiful book everyone interested in contemporary stories should read.

Winger (Winger #1) by

Published May 14, 2013