sabthebookeater

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Winger

Winger - Andrew  Smith This review and more at Sab The Book EaterI don't know why people find the cover so hideous. I don't think it is. I actually like how it captures the overall feel of the book. It's different and raw and funny and painful and oh-I-have-so-many-ands-now. The cover looks different than most YA books, the title's different, the plot.... okay maybe the whole nerd-makes-something-out-of-his-loser-life plot isn't that different but hey, the main character's voice is entertaining enough for me to enjoy the cliche of it all.So let's get down to what made me love the book immediately: the humor."I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head's in a toilet.And, in my prayer, I made sure to include specific thanks for the fact that the school year hadn't started yet, so the porcelain was impeccably white - as soothing to the eye as freshly fallen snow - and the water smelled like lemons and a heated swimming pool in summertime, all rolled into one.Except it was a fucking toilet.And my head was in it."This was the first thing I read and it literally made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed reading the story through the eyes of Ryan Dean - yes, he has two first names. It's not just Ryan. Not Ryan-Dean either. Ryan Dean. It's weird and awkward but I love it. Ryan Dean was very witty and funny. The narrations and dialogues were highly entertaining. However, and this is a common problem I noticed with overly intelligent protagonists, there were instances where I felt like his humor was getting annoying. For example, I love that he poked fun at himself by saying he had a "skinny bitch" body but when that term got used repetitively, it wasn't as funny anymore. Not to worry though because that didn't really do much to influence my rating.Aside from Ryan Dean's voice, I also liked the dynamics between Ryan Dean and his friends. It's hard imagining a 14-year old trying to fit in when he's 2 years younger than his batch. He may have the intelligence to keep up in class but everyone still considered him as a kid and that made him feel like an outsider. But seeing how Ryan Dean eventually fit in with the boys from O-Hall, his friends outside O-Hall and girls was quite interesting. He felt more authentic whenever he'd push himself to do something, anything, to fit in because his mind would go on overdrive trying to figure things out. You can just see how insecure he actually was despite the confidence he displays for everyone. The honesty in his thoughts was definitely a plus for me.While most of the book was highly entertaining because of the protagonist's wit and the generally light feel of the story, the ending took a quite abrupt and dark turn. I didn't really like how heavy the ending got because there wasn't much added to it to make the sudden change sensible. True, you can kind of see it coming but to end it so abruptly like that wasn't really enough. At least to me it wasn't.Abrupt ending or not, this book is still great. It sort of has that John Green feel to it so I think fans of that author would definitely enjoy Winger. The characters were real, the message was solid and it's definitely entertaining from the first page up to the last. Readers shouldn't miss out on this one.(I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is based solely on my opinion.)

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