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The last young adult I read set in an American boarding school fell short, but this one is much more interesting.

It is funny and has a few hand drawn comics done by the protagonist, Winger aka Ryan Dean West. There is this sense of timelessness in the book too. There is actually very little technology mentioned in the book, but it’s focussed more on the rawness and alienation of being a fourteen year old boy. The author captured the craziness of that time well or from what I vaguely remember as a teenager.

The book has some random, funny and poignant moments. The ending was particularly intense. It did make me cry a little. I thought it was moving and a big testament to the characters and the various forms of friendships. Friendship and loyalty were big themes in this novel and Smith drew that out well. The characters were well developed in a short period of time and there was a lot of pathos without being preachy or sanctimonious. The ending was handled well.

Read Dec 15-16, 2013. This was my 65th book of the year which was my GoodReads reading goal. I was well ahead of my reading up until the busy October-November I had. In any case, I will do my best with my next goal of 70. I haven’t raised it the last couple of years, but I think it’s time that I should.

4 thoughts on “Winger by Andrew Smith

    1. Geoff, I picked up this book because you rated it so highly on GR. I am interested in YA lit so I agree that this was a breath of fresh air compared to other books in the genre. There was definite realness and honesty in the work. Thanks for the comment and the rec!

    1. Hi Susan! Winger is the rugby position that the protagonist plays. It is also his nickname. It’s a good read if you like YA fiction. Hope you’re having a lovely holiday season!

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