Winger by Andrew Smith is about Ryan Dean West, a 14 year old junior at a private boarding school who plays rugby, is in love with his friend Annie, and is hilarious, but extremely immature and shallow when the book begins. He definitely evolves as the book progresses.
I finished Winger yesterday. Honestly for the first half (or maybe even more), I wasn’t that into it. I thought it was funny, and I was definitely planning on adding it to my classroom library because I think the crude, teenage humor and relationship problems will appeal to my students. I honestly didn’t like the main character Ryan Dean West very much and I just couldn’t really connect to it. The second half of the book is SO GOOD. It gets much, much deeper, but still keeps the humor (although it’s definitely still crude). Without giving anything away, it takes a huge turn that I didn’t see coming at all. I will absolutely be adding this to my classroom library and recommending it to students (with a definite language and crude humor disclaimer). Stand-Off, the sequel to Winger, is scheduled to be released September 8, and I have it on my To Read list!