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winger by andrew smith


winger by andrew smithSometimes a great book sneaks up on you, humbly disguised as a merely good book. Here’s an example from the movies: I liked The Sixth Sense quite a lot, right from the start–but [SPOILER ALERT] when it turned out that Bruce Willis’s character had been dead the whole time–I loved it instantly. In that moment, the movie ceased to be good and became capital G Great.
So it is with Winger by Andrew Smith.

Smith cast his characters into a complex world and, as I sped toward the end of the book, I felt mildly disappointed in the simplicity of the third act; all these beautifully loose ends were being tied up far too neatly. With his smooth prose and effervescent humor, the author had lulled me into a false sense of security.

Because the end is not simple or neat. Not at all.

The powerful thing about a well-seeded ending is that it can transform the content of a book retroactively. With his last 40 pages, Smith managed to transmute what had been a work of YA fiction into what I can only describe as literature. Winger’s hero, Ryan Dean West, will never be the same after the end of the book, and neither will I.

Read my reviews on Goodreads

andrew smith, book review, winger, ya

Jeff Garvin

Author of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN and THE LIGHTNESS OF HANDS. Cohost of THE HERO'S JOURNEY podcast. Rock musician, D&D geek, aspiring revolutionary.

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