Friday, June 13, 2014

On a Wing and a Prayer

High school is hard enough, but if you are a 14 year old junior in high school, you can expect some pretty ridiculous situations to live through. Ryan Dean West is a 14 year old junior who is starting his school year in O-Hall, the hall for the "juvenile delinquents". Unfortunately, those are the same people who make his life miserable, including his brand-new roommate! Winger is a hilarious account of Ryan Dean's year in all its awkward, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory!

When Ryan Dean is put in O-Hall, he knows he is going to be ducking and dodging Chas, his new roommate, for the rest of the year. All he wants is to move back with his friends, Seanie and JP, but now he is stuck in a room with the meathead. Add to that his best friend, Annie, has no idea he is madly in love with her, and you have the recipe for one seriously sucky year. But then something bizarre happens. Chas is a turd, but sometimes, he is less turdy. Sometimes, he just isn't so bad. When Chas's girlfriend, the hottest girl at school, starts flirting with Ryan Dean, he doesn't have any clue what is happening. but he is also not stupid enough to question it!

In O-Hall, he even finds himself enjoying his time with guys like Kevin and Joey. Sure Joey is gay and all, but everyone seems to know it and not give a crap. But even when things seem to be going OK, there is always the chance they are going to take a turn for the hilarious and horrible worse. From late night poker games and the two-beer hangover that almost kills him the next day, to doing something he knows he shouldn't but can't stop himself, to using humor to convince Annie she really should consider dating a 14 year old, Ryan Dean is a tricky guy, a funny guy, but just don't call him "little boy"!

This is one of the most hilarious books I have read! Ryan Dean's dry sarcasm and wit is so spot on, it makes you want to meet Andrew Smith, because, let's be honest, he HAS to be hilarious, right?! There is no way he can't be. Ryan Dean kept me cracking up right until the final part of the story. Don't get me wrong, there are some serious parts of this book that are difficult and beautifully written, but it is Ryan Dean's outlook on life that makes this book special. He just tells it like it is, and you know those thoughts are going through the mind of every single 14 year old boy! Especially one surrounded by hot older chicks he knows he can't get... or can he?!

There is a good amount of language and sexy times referred to in this book, but not too graphic- mostly Ryan Dean talking about his junk (wait for the fateful rugby game/ball sack incident!). I think this is such a good story it spans gender and age groups, but the humor also ranges from clear gutter humor to really sophisticated wit. I mean, Ryan Dean is a seriously smart guy! But he is also super young! So it just makes sense that he would embody both- the immature doofus who can't stop thinking about sex, and the sophisticated wit that leaves you speechless! I really enjoyed this story, and the end really knocked me for a loop. I am looking forward to the sequel and more of Ryan Dean and his hilarious antics!

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