Winger by Andrew Smith book review



Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. 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.

I have no idea how my review is going to do this book justice because it wads simply AMAZING! Even amazing isn’t an appropriate word for it. It just simply was…. AJIAUESIAEUIWHRJSBBUWEGHW!

It starts off with Ryan Dean, 14 year old boy, in Year 11, surrounded by a bunch of 16 year olds (Youngest in his year by far haha) He’s in love with his best friend, Annie Altman, who is adamant that she can’t fall in love with him.

Ryan plays Rugby at the school and is the Winger in his team (hence the nickname), he’s living apart from his two mates Shawnie and JP as he is now in O-Hall for a minor crime.

That’s when everything changes for him; he plays poker with his roommate and some of the rugby team and ends up losing and getting drunk as well as doing a consequence for losing. Then of course comes the falling out with JP over Annie, going back to Annie’s house for the weekend, becoming best friends with his gay teammate Joey, kissing his roommate’s girlfriend, getting lost in the rain and ending up taking in Screaming Ned, going through embarrassing conversations with his parents (Especially the care package!!) and of course finally knowing what its like to lose someone you love.

This book had me laughing throughout, apart from Part 4 where it turned serious and that was just heart breaking.

Ryan Dean is a horny, crude fourteen-year-old boy who somehow manages to talk in a way that I find eminently readable, as opposed to Oh Gross I Hated Kids Like This When I was In High School.

So things are going along fine! There’s dating and mishaps and bad alcohol choices and penis jokes and it’s all good! Life is full of wonder and high school is an age of discovery! You are literally laughing out loud with this book and Ryan Dean’s illustrations that are in the book are just perfect. He actually embodies horny 14 year old boys brilliantly, but does it in a way that makes you absolutely love him as opposed to wanting to punch him (like many horny 14 year old boys in real life!)

And then you hit page 410 and that’s when things get serious and heart breaking and your feels come at you full force. Its horrible what happens and I can’t give too much away about it without telling you what happens. All you need to know is that you’ll need a tissue when you read it.

Everything about this book was just brilliant and I told you my review isn’t going to do this book justice. There are actually no words I can use that’ll show you just how much you have to read this book.When you read it, you’ll understand my dilemma. Maybe pictures and some quotes from the book would help?

“Okay, well . . . yeah, I didn’t really say “Shut the fuck up,” because I honestly don’t cuss. But I wanted to. I think, in reality, I raised my finger to my lips and said, “Shhhhh,” so she wouldn’t say anything else as we spiraled into the center of that wish circle.”

“He was a little guy, a former winger too, and he was a transplant from England who could talk the most civilized-sounding shit you would ever hear, and he could cuss you out with the most vicious obscenities…”

“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.”



Andrew Smith is a sheer brilliant and totally talented author. I loved every single second of this book.

5 out of 5 stars

10 out of 10 stars

100 out of 100 stars

1000 out of 1000 stars

I could go on forever



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