This was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book wThis was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book was well paced, with just the right amount of clues and red herrings to keep you guessing. I did spoil myself for this book, because I'm a idiot, and I would recommend resisting the urge. It is best to go into this one with no expectations. I know that will be hard because of all the hype....more
Eh, not as bad as The Lost Symbol, but no where near as great as Brown's early works. I actually quite enjoyed the ending, but I didn't really like thEh, not as bad as The Lost Symbol, but no where near as great as Brown's early works. I actually quite enjoyed the ending, but I didn't really like the plodding 400 pages it took to get there. I initially read the book because I was interested in Florence and Dante, but the best part of the book was in a completely different country! I really don't think the ending fit with the literal hell described through much of the book. No real suspense, I knew everything would work out more or less ok....more
I think I've discovered a genre love I never knew I had. I love reading contemporary YA with a male protagonist. Some of my favorite books such as JohI think I've discovered a genre love I never knew I had. I love reading contemporary YA with a male protagonist. Some of my favorite books such as John Green's Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, Jesse Andrew's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Evan Roskos's Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets feature hilariously awkward and endearing main characters. I can now add Andrew Smith's Winger to that list. Ryan Dean, the main character, is charming and vulnerable and very authentic.
Winger tells the story of Ryan Dean, a 14 year old kid who has the book smarts to already be a junior at a private boarding school, but still has the street smarts of a 14 year old kid (ie, not many). This leads to some hilariously embarrassing interactions because all of his friends are 2 years older than him and are often exasperated at his antics. His immature 14 year old mouth often gets him into trouble. Even though Ryan Dean spends a lot of time thinking that he's a loser, don't believe him. He's athletic, smart (maybe not the most wise but what 14 year old is?), and very charming. He is a complete joy to read.
I really loved the character Joey. He was like the great voice of reason with Ryan Dean. Ryan Dean would go off on some crazy tangent or get himself involved in some crazy scheme and Joey was there to slap some sense into his head. I absolutely loved the friendship that developed between these two characters, it was so endearing and cute and (without spoilers promise) made the ending even more sad.
I am very excited to read this for a second time. There is a lot of subtle development underneath all of the jokes about balls and I'm really excited to re-read it and see what I can catch. It's very artful storytelling and I think the words chosen are a lot more deliberate than they seem. That's very difficult to achieve, and I think Andrew Smith is brilliant for it.
So overall I loved Winger. It's funny and touching and has a great balance between poignant moments of friendship, love, and personal growth and jokes about balls. I highly recommend Winger and I think it's a perfect addition to your YA collection. ...more