Book Review

REVIEW: Winger by Andrew Smith


I read many books every month and every year and whilst I love the majority of them, sometimes there are a few that really stand out. Winger, by far, is a massive contender for my favourite book of the year.

Set in an American boarding school, Ryan Dean Smith is a normal teenage boy who is a winger, hence the title, on the school rugby team and happens to be in love with his best friend, Annie. Winger tells the story of his year in Opportunity Hall, the building that houses the school’s resident troublemakers.

Before reading, I was a little bit nervous. Although I’d heard really good things about it, I hadn’t read or watched any specific reviews so I went into it with a completely open mind. Meaning to read only a few pages, I couldn’t help but read chapter after chapter, and found myself totally immersed.

As a teenager myself, one of the things that really bothers me is when the protagonist in a YA novel feels forced and doesn’t reflect an actual teenager living in today’s day and age. Fortunately, Smith has created an incredibly well rounded and credible teenager in Ryan Dean, who is the epitome of adolescence.

Winger is a book that will attract many teenagers because of its relevance to real issues that every youth has to face – from attracting your crush to dealing with fights and arguments. I also think Smith has portrayed the hormonal and lust-driven teenager well in Ryan Dean. From the first page it is obvious that Smith hasn’t bothered to sugar coat the details. In fact, the novel opens with Ryan Dean trying to save himself from having his head shoved down a toilet. Definitely an opening worth remembering!

Included in Winger are comic strips and illustrations that added familiarity and humour. Although Winger isn’t the shortest book, it’s fast-paced and an easy read. It leaves the reader with many thoughts and feelings; it’s not a book you put down without it leaving its mark.

No matter who you are – male or female, adult or teenager – I think Winger is the perfect book for you. I cannot stop recommending it and I just know that it’s worth your time to buy and read.

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  • Reply
    Jessica (MsBooklover89)
    1 August, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Great review! I loved this book as well!! I definitely liked it more than I thought I would 🙂
    Jessica (MsBooklover89) recently posted…review: Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeMy Profile

  • Reply
    1 August, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for the insightful review! I added to my to-read list.
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    • Reply
      9 March, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Gee whiz, and I thoghut this would be hard to find out.

  • Reply
    Ebony @ Paperbacks & Protagonists
    2 August, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Thanks for the fantastic review, Lucy! I read this one in June and I loved it, so I’m glad to hear that you did also. 🙂
    Ebony @ Paperbacks & Protagonists recently posted…August New ReleasesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Georgia (The Bibliomaniac)
    3 August, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Awesome review – totally swayed me, I’m buying this asap 🙂 I’ve heard lots of great things too, but every time I’ve seen it in a store I’ve ended up buying something else instead… Not sure why! Can’t wait to read this now, Lucy – it sounds amazing:)
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  • Reply
    Tilly @ Hardcore Heroines
    3 August, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    AHHHH I wants this so bad. Before I was thinking, eh, is it overhyped? IDK. But Lucy, you keep making me want to read books and that’s unfair. Now it has your stamp of approval though I want to read it so bad haha.
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  • Reply
    Jesse Owen
    4 August, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I really, really like the sound of this. It sounds like something I want to try – great review 🙂
    Jesse Owen recently posted…Review: Love Letters To The Dead By Ava DellairaMy Profile

  • Reply
    4 August, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    In all honesty, the genre and cover of this book have kind-of put me off picking it up. I really don’t think it’s my thing but with glowing reviews like yours, I’m starting to reconsider. If only just a little bit. 😉

    I’m glad the author knew how to make the MC relatable to teens and it didn’t come across like he knew no idea of how teens act.

    Great review!
    Rachel recently posted…Aghhhhhhhhh!My Profile

  • Reply
    New Books! #52 | the bibliomaniac book blog
    25 August, 2014 at 1:02 am

    […] the blogosphere about WINGER! I’ve read so, so many stunning reviews, but it was mainly Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary’s review that completely swayed me to rush out and buy a copy at last. I can’t wait to see first-hand […]

    • Reply
      9 March, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      feast: no, d300 too heavy n d90 not on market yet. have to do another tranpjoh!athin: good tt u asked. it was trotters, not hock. trotters are the em, digits, whereas hocks are the upper part of the lower leg. i thnk.pea: ah, must be d same shop. there’s so many places in hk i think it’ll take years to check out most of the places.wish i could stay there for a couple of months.

    • Reply
      15 March, 2017 at 9:13 am

      O Outono é a minha estaçAo favorita, seguida pela primavera. O tom da cidade estava levemente diferente do que havia presenciado no final do verão. Mas queria ter ido em outubro so que nao foi possivel

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