Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

Published: New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781442444935
Branch Call Number: YA SMI
Characteristics: 438 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bosma, Sam


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Mar 22, 2015
  • drewscow rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is a living and breathing fourteen year old boy. Smith's novel Winger is very different from his other books. Ryan Dean West might possibly be one of his most fleshed out and unique character, someone you can't help but root for. Despite the charm this book has, the ending was horrifically sad and real. It was an ending that was truly haunting. So while this novel might seem like a light read at first just be warned that you will walk away from this novel with a trash bin full of tissues.

Jun 13, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Ryan Dean West is playing on the rugby team, living in the dorm for troublemakers, and in love with his best friend.
- Andrea Lipinski

Mar 13, 2014
  • NBA24 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is really one of the best books I've ever read. It got me laughing to making me sadder than I've ever been.

Dec 24, 2013
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Ryan Dean West, Winger to his friends, is determined to take control of his junior year. In the Venn diagram of life, most people overlap, or at least most junior guys at Winger's school, it is that little crescent outside that makes us stand out. For Ryan Dean, it is that he is a 14 year old junior, two years younger than his other classmates. That means he doesn't need to shave, hasn't hit his growth spurt, and has no skill with the ladies.

Winger's junior year gets off to a rocky start when he is placed in Opportunity Hall, a dorm for delinquent boys. His year continues to spiral downward as he gets drunk before school even starts, is cursed by the headmaster of the girls dorm downstairs, and has a fight with two of his best friends. And that is just the first few weeks!

Aug 01, 2013
  • stepha89 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The ending conflict could've been drawn out a little more, but for the most part, Winger balanced humor with serious subjects very well. John Green fans will enjoy this one.

Jul 02, 2013

"As the youngest guy in his 11th grade class and the skinniest player on the rugby team, Ryan Dean knows what it's like to be the underdog. His over-the-top attitude gets him in trouble with teachers and sports rivals, and his awkwardness with girls (especially his friend Annie) leads to a lot of hormonal frustration. Like Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Winger offsets angst and tragedy with realistically raunchy teen guy talk and hilarious comics. For a memorable novel with an "unexpectedly ferocious punch" (Booklist), check out Winger." July 2013 Teen Scene newsletter

Jun 07, 2013
  • noramay rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

More easily accessible than Smith's past books, this is a fun, fast and touching read about the coming of age of Ryan Dean West as he learns emotional maturity through the start of his junior year at a boarding school. Great for readers of John Green.

Jun 06, 2013
  • JCLDebbieF rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I really tried to like this book, but I barely made it through it.

Jun 03, 2013
  • lwbausch121 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

great bok

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

All too often, the only thing everyone notices about anyone is the bit of them that doesn't fit in.
For Ryan Dean West, it's his age that stands out. He's not only the top student in his class, he's two years ahead, a scrawny, undersized 14-year-old high school junior. But he's determined that this year at his boarding school will be different, that he'll stop being seen as the "little kid" in school and become respected as just another, normal classmate. And it's not just the respect of his friends and rugby teammates that's important to Ryan Dean, because what really matters is moving his best friend, Annie Altman, past that obstacle so she can begin to see him as someone she might want to kiss and even love. Unfortunately, Ryan Dean is a master at undermining himself by being, well, immature. It takes some hard lessons for him to learn that what it takes to make people treat him as though he's growing up is to actually grow up.
I think it's likely that those of you who know/read me have two thoughts upon seeing the name Andrew Smith: 1) That's the author that Chris is always going on about and trying to get me to read, saying he doesn't get nearly enough credit for great writing or enough notice for really capturing the experience of being a teen guy; and 2) But, ugh, all of his books are dark and gritty and even horrific, and I just don't think I'd enjoy reading about all those unpleasant topics he delves into. So I'll tell you right now that this particular title is a triumph in terms of thought number one and largely a complete reversal of thought number two. I'm not necessarily saying it's light or lacking in substance, but I'm definitely saying it's fun.
Here's my experience of reading Winger: laugh, wince, laugh, wince, laugh, wince.
The winces are sympathetic, groaning, appreciative embarrassment. Ryan Dean is a master at getting himself into situations that make great, hilarious stories where he is, more often than not, the butt of the joke. And he's a great storyteller, because he's willing to admit to his fears (primarily: rejection) and obsessions (primarily: sex) and makes himself vulnerable to his readers. He knows how to use language to his advantage as an entertainer, shares realistic, revealing dialogue, and makes excellent use of drawings, diagrams, and graphs.


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Aug 01, 2013
  • stepha89 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Jun 25, 2013
  • JCLBethM rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

14 year-old-boy in a boarding school maturing and learning to get along with others. Startling, realistic twist in the end.


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