Currently Reading: Stand Off by Andrew Winger.


It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.
Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?

From the author of the National Book Award–nominated 100 Sideways Miles, which Kirkus Reviews called “a wickedly witty and offbeat novel,” Stand-Off is filled with hand-drawn infographics and illustrations and delivers the same spot-on teen voice and relatable narrative that legions of readers connected with in Winger.


I quite liked Winger. Sure, it did feel like it was trying a bit too hard at times but it felt enough like Adrian Mole with some edge that it kept me riveted. Plus, that whopper of an ending did, predictable though it was, pack quite a bit of punch.

So, of course, when I saw this sequel at the library, in spanking new condition too, I immediately picked it up. So far, it’s been a breezy read, even if I’m already instantly annoyed with Ryan Dean and also cringing in anticipation of awkward episodes coming up.

Dear reader, have you read Winger or Stand Off? What did you think?


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