Author: Andrew Smith
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Excerpt from Goodreads:
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 for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.
Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.
Meet Ryan Dean West, also known as Winger. He’s fourteen years old, a junior in boarding school, and is funny as he is hormonal. He is in love with Annie, his best friend, but also seems to be in love with just about every girl he lays eyes upon.
Ryan Dean is wonderful. Ryan Dean is probably the best and most amazing young adult character I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Never before have I laughed so much while reading a book. Seriously, I snorted with laughter so much at one point, it began a coughing fit that I didn’t think I would recover from, but thankfully I did. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you all about this fantastic book!
I just loved Ryan Dean. I love his crude sense of humor and I especially loved when we get to see what he is drawing. Ryan Dean’s mother cracked me up also. She can barely stand the fact that she isn’t able to watch her son grow up and sends him the most hilarious “care packages!” And Joey, kind, caring, and responsible Joey. Joey becomes Ryan Dean’s best friend during his junior year of school. Joey is such a likeable character and is constantly Ryan Dean’s “voice of reason.” Every reader will love Joey.
Now for Annie, the girl Ryan Dean has been in love with for practically his whole life. I appreciated how Annie wanted for Ryan Dean to strive to be “better,” and by “better” I mean making right, smart decisions. The only thing I didn’t appreciate about Annie was that she would string Ryan Dean along at times. Luckily, that didn’t last for too long. Honorable mention goes to Annie’s parents, the coolest parents anyone could ever hope for!
I was completely entertained and laughed during this entire book, except the ending. The ending was soul crushing. The ending leaves you with your mouth hanging wide open and asking “why, why, why” while rocking back and forth in the fetal position. So be warned, this will be one of the most intense books of your life. Luckily the amazing Andrew Smith will be releasing a sequel this upcoming fall. Words cannot describe how much I need to read this sequel. What are you waiting for, read this work of art now!
This gif basically sums up the entire book.
5 out of 5 beautiful stars
Meet The Author
Author of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE and WINGER. Also, 100 SIDEWAYS MILES, and THE ALEX CROW (coming March, 2015).