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(Winger #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  22,316 ratings  ·  4,184 reviews
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. 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
Hardcover, 439 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Genevieve Although given Joey's orientation, I believe Ryan Dean says he loves Joey in a platonic way. Ryan Dean was able to move past Joey's orientation and tr…moreAlthough given Joey's orientation, I believe Ryan Dean says he loves Joey in a platonic way. Ryan Dean was able to move past Joey's orientation and truly love him as a friend for all that he was. (less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,316 ratings  ·  4,184 reviews

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Jun 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
Winger is about a fourteen year old boy named Ryan Dean West who plays rugby at Pine Mountain Academy. He is very "teenage boy" if you know what I mean; hormonal, crude, and thinks he's in love with every girl he sees. He also draws some, and those cartoons are integrated right into the text of the novel.

Why am I giving this book a 1 star rating?

I am fine with saying that I just found myself too old for this book. Some people may argue that you can't be too young or old for books, but in this c
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't even begin to tell you how good this book was. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I had issues with the main character, but I like when I have problems with a main character. I enjoy reading about flawed characters. It gets annoying when you read books where the main character is perfect and everybody likes them. The main character in this book goes through a transformation throughout this book and that was really neat to follow. The plot was really interesting and the book ...more
I’ve got to be brutally honest, I’m not sure why this book has so many glowing reviews and award nominations. Andrew Smith is a good writer, and his truthful, unedited portrayal of teenage boys reminds me of John Green’s Paper Towns (yes, for once, the Green comparisons are actually valid). But Winger is poorly paced and as a feminist and a LGBTQ ally I found Smith’s novel deeply problematic.

Winger tells the story of Ryan Dean, a fourteen-year-old junior and rugby player at a boarding school fo
Jen  Bigheart
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
How can one story make you literally crack up laughing on one page and the next you find yourself bawling your eyes out. If I could give this more than 5 measly stars I would. 440 pages of genius.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: Debbie Narh
Unpopular opinion of the day: Winger wasn't that wonderful.

Seeing all the glowing, five-star reviews of this book, I wonder if it's me who went wrong. Andrew Smith did a lot of the little things right in this in Winger. He established a consistent narrative, incorporated rugby and its rules with ease, used a boarding school as the book's setting, and featured a nice friendship between Winger, the main character, and his best friend, Joey.

But I wanted more from this 400+ page book. Several themes
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Jan 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ by: Edward Lorn
Here I am again, the voice of reason, fighting the good fight against a tidal wave of praise and support, in a heroic effort to save you from wasting your precious time and losing your sanity on this dreck. You’re welcome. But I know what you’re thinking, “This is the guy that hates everything, right? How can I possibly trust his opinion?” Well no worries, friendo, because I’m about to break it all down for you.

However, if you’re a teenager or you can relate to or still have the mentality of a
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
What-if-I-were-to-write-my-entire-review-like-this-in-a-hyphen-abusing-sort-of-way? Would-it-annoy-you-nearly-as-much-as-reading-several-sentences-like-this-on-every-single-page-of-the-book-annoyed-me? Let's-try-it:

Ryan-Dean-is-many-things. He-is-a-stupid-name-and-an-unlikeable-protagonist. He-is-the-author-of-his-own-troubles. He-is-a-loser, he-is-a-skinny-bitch-ass, and-he-is-not-gay. If-you-can't-remember-any-of-this-don't-worry-he-will-incessantly-remind-you-in-a-guy-with-alzheimer's-sort-of
Ahmad Sharabiani
Winger (Winger #1), Andrew Smith

The story follows 14-year-old Ryan Dean West, as he recounts past events that he has experienced in his journey of maturation.

Ryan Dean West, the narrator is a at a boarding school for rich kids. He reveals that "Ryan Dean" is, in fact, his first name and that his intelligence has led him to skip ahead two grades.

He lives at Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers.

He is assigned a room in O-Hall with Chas Becker, a senior whom Ryan Dean despises.

After bei
Shaun Hutchinson
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I don't know how to review a book like Winger. I've loved every single one of Andrew Smith's books. Some more that others. But each one has offered up something honest and real and beautiful. Winger is different.

I read in the NYT's review that Winger belongs to a group of books that are all very John Green in nature. And while John Green is certainly a talented writer, I think he writes the kinds of teenagers that adults wish teenagers were. Andrew Smith, on the other hand, writes teenagers as
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Meet Ryan Dean aka Winger, he is that guy that isn't really a nerd but sure isn't that cool guy either. You remember him don't you? He's the guy that makes you laugh like no one else could. Little horn dog fellow who thinks about sex five thousand times a day.
Ryan Dean is fourteen and in the 11th grade at a "rich kids school"-he has been assigned in OR hall for stealing a teacher's cell phone and hacking into it. He is to share a room with the school's jock bully so he is sure to die before the
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-cant-even
I don't know if these are spoilers, per se ... emotional spoilers, maybe? Anyway, read at your own risk...

This book didn't earn what it tried to do at the end. And it's so...sensational that it makes me angry, like really and truly MAD, at the author for trying it.

410 pages of dick-and-ball jokes, homo-bashing, and objectifying girls are NOT erasable by a shock ending.

Fuck you, author man. I'm so mad I can't even with this.
I can see, based on this novel's Pri
Jan 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
 photo 11249813_zpsqqgss8hj.gif

Did I laugh ? Yes.
Was there good writing? Yes.
Were the drawings pretty ? Yes.

Those were the only redeemable things about this book.
And Joey, the only character I actually liked/cared about.

Other than that this book was just homophobic and sexist.

(view spoiler)
Ash Wednesday
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers with an appreciation for comics, Venn Diagrams, bar and line graphs

In this episode of What The F*ck Happened...

Meet Winger.


Pine Mountain Academy is a school for the rich and the supposedly neglected where Ryan Dean West is a 14-year old junior. The story starts as he begins to serve his sentence (for stealing a teacher's phone) in Opportunity Hall, the school's dorm for the exceptionally delinquent. His day begins by getting dunked in one of the common toilets in O-Hall by two football bullies. Fun times. To make thing more interesting, he is als
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Ryan Dean West (“Winger” to the guys on the rugby team) is a Junior at a boarding school. He’s different than the other boys, though. He’s only 14. This is the story of Ryan Dean’s life-altering year – dealing with first kisses, first bullies, first love, first loss – all while trying to remove himself from the stigma that is being the “little guy”.

“It’s always that one word that makes you so different and puts you outside the
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

Why did I wait so long to read this book?!?! I could kick myself for putting this one off for so long. This book has to be one of the best YA novels that I have ever read. It is really that good. I read this book cover to cover in a single day and I can't think of a better way to spend a free day. Of course, I really didn't have much of a choice because once I started reading this story, I simply could not put it down.

Ryan Dean West is in man
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: violence, swearing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I need a moment...
Edward Lorn
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone

Andrew Smith's Winger flattened me. I was breezing along, laughing and cringing at the shenanigans Ryan Dean West gets into, and then the ending cold cocked me in the feels. Yes, I saw some kind of tragedy on the horizon, but I expected something different than what I received. I was a blubbering mess by the final page. Such a mess that my lovely wife said, "Dude, it's just a book."

Yet there are some books that rise above simple ink and paper, or collected kilobytes. There are some books t
Aug 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Check out this review on Lauren Reads YA, with photos of the book!

What a piece of crap.

Goodreads is full of 5-star reviews of this book, and I’m honestly not sure if we all read the same book.

The entire book is literally just what I imagine it’s like inside the head of a horny teenage boy. Ryan Dean is fourteen and constantly thinking about ‘hot’ girls, making gross comments at them, sometimes even inappropriately touching them when he gets the chance. Throughout the entire book he objectifies (
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
IF I'm being honest (when am I not honest haha?), I found Ryan Dean to be a huge knob. And that's putting it lightly. He spends half the book whining about how much he dislikes other people but is a huge hypocrite and doesn't see those same traits in himself. He was a dick. There were no proper descriptions of the characters, I don't really know what anyone looked like. I am sure the writing was meant to convey the inner machinations of a fourteen year old boys brain, but it just came of as miso ...more
Eric Boot
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
O M G You know what? I expected a light, funny read that would make me laugh. BUT WOW JUST WOWWOWWOW I didn't see THAT coming! This book is really so much fun and it has pictures and you just have to read it MAN I'M BLOWN AWAY READ THIS IF YOU LIKE LOOKING FOR ALASKA :) ...more
Pascal Schuppli
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I agree with the reviewer who said there was a tragic twist way too late in the plot. For one, it was completely unneeded; the main theme of the story was already resolved and everything that followed did feel tacked on. It was also not in keeping with the rest of the book's tone. The narrator makes you believe you are in a comedy for about 400 pages when actually he's narrating a tragedy. Plus it's not really relevant to most of us cause that kind of thing basically doesn't happen.(view spoiler ...more
Jennifer Donnelly
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I often get asked, "So what do you like to read?" The answer is "Anything, as long as the voice is there." I can't make it off the first page if it isn't. Just finished Winger, and man, is the voice ever there. Smith is such a good writer, and the funny, smart, confused, hornswoggling Winger -- aka Ryan Dean West -- is so alive on the page that I feel I've lived inside the head of a fourteen-year-old boy for a week. Smith, whose novel Grasshopper Jungle won a Printz Honor, is a new writer to me, ...more
Debbie Narh

"I found out something about words. There are plenty of words I can put on paper, words I can see with my eyes and scribble with my hand, that I never had the guts to say with my mouth."

Since this year has started, I've only cried over two books. Winger by Andrew Smith is one of them. I'm not sure if it's Ryan Dean's moving, realistic voice that had me hooked, or if it was the way I could easily relate to the character and connect with them on such an intense level that made it so hard for m
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars (rounding up this time, to provide Andrew-Smith-rocks-my-world-happy-hyphenated symmetry for rounding down my 4.5 stars I gave his 100 Sideways Miles last year)

Slice through Andrew Smith's schtick (which, initially, started sticking in my craw with protagonist Ryan Dean West's umpteenth whiny "I am a skinny-ass loser" iteration, leading me to believe this should've been more appropriately titled WHinger instead) and what you'll find is a delightful, bittersweet, very-familar-yet-not-at
Eunice Moral
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It will leave you with a gaping hole and a broken heart, like losing something you know you can never get back.

Winger is one of the best books out there and I am not even sugar-coating or exaggerating things. It is that kind of book that will crack you up and tear you up all at the same time. It was pure and unadulterated reading experience. It was well thought of, perfectly executed and was able to deliver. The book was very well-written. Ryan Dean West's voice will draw you in, will capt
Adam Silvera

Winger is a classic coming-of-age story; readers will respond to its complete package of teenage hormones, first love and mischief.

Andrew W. Smith (The Marbury Lens) creates an appealing narrator: "Nothing could possibly suck worse than being a junior in high school, alone at the top of your class, and fourteen years old all at the same time." Ryan Dean attends the prestigious Pine Mountain school, lives in a dorm called Opportunity Hall wi
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

So here is the thing: A year or so ago, I accidentally spoiled myself and I truly believed I knew how this book would end. I am so glad I can say that I'm dumb and I totally misunderstood the "spoiler". :'D
The ending took this whole hilarious and entertaining story to a whole new level. I loved it!
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, owned
I am speechless
This damn book.
I wasn't expecting to like this but I did really love it. Some of the characters were not my favourites. Also some aspects and the nonchalance associated with them bothered me. But other characters just captures my heart. It was such a light hearted funny read with a completely unexpected ending.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
*2.5 stars

Okay I'm sorry but what? There are other ways to end a YA contemporary you know!

I know I should be trying to base my review on Winger and Winger alone, but in this day and age, when the YA Contemporary genre is chalk-full of plot twists, and half-arsed 'shock-and-awe' endings, authors should be trying to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
And the worst part is, up until halfway through, I thought that was exactly what Andrew Smith was doing!

First of all, I'm sorry for making a b
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Andrew Smith is the author of Winger, Grasshopper Jungle, The Alex Crow, 100 Sideways Miles, and Rabbit & Robot, among others. Exile from Eden: Or, After the Hole, the long-awaited sequel to Grasshopper Jungle, is coming from Simon & Schuster on September 24, 2019.

Other books in the series

Winger (2 books)
  • Stand-Off (Winger, #2)

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“Joey told me nothing ever goes back exactly the way it was, that things expand and contract- like breathing, but you could never fill your lungs up with the same air twice.” 202 likes
“And then it's always that one word that makes you so different and puts you outside the overlap of everyone else; and that word is so fucking big and loud, it's the only thing anyone ever hears when your name is spoken.

And whenever that happens to us, all the other words that make us the same disappear in its shadow.”
More quotes…