Winger is an unforgettable book. Ryan Dean’s stream-of-consciousness narration illuminates and exposes the trials and triumphs of feeling like you’re at the very bottom of the high school food chain. Ryan Dean’s problems—accented with clever graphs, doodles, and comic strips—seem trivial at first even in their raunchy and humorous honesty, but Ryan Dean’s tone becomes more confessional as he builds a friendship with classmate Joey Cosentino and it becomes clear that Smith’s story is building up to tragedy. Unrestrained honesty within the narrative is Smith’s modus operandi, and it allows the reader to identify and empathize with Ryan Dean, even as he makes colossal mistakes with his friendships in his attempt to win over Annie. Ryan Dean’s honesty becomes even more important once tragedy strikes and Ryan Dean is forced to turn his honesty on himself to confront his grief, regrets, and try to make sense of what happened. Winger is heartbreaking and true, with vivid characterizations and a strong emotional arc. It’s the best sort of YA book and it will stay with you for a very ling time.
Cover Comments: I love this cover. It's pretty magnificent. It makes such a statement and grabs your attention in the simplest way. Everything about this book's design--the font, the back cover, the comics and drawings--is just so well-done.
Book purchased from my indie!
And if you haven't already, check out Andrew's latest book, Grasshopper Jungle!