‘Winger’ scores a try


Thor Hauerbach

“Winger” is centered around Ryan Dean West, and chronicles his life as a 14-year-old high school junior.

Before I start, a try is what you call a score or a goal in rugby.

I kind of find that ironic, because all Ryan Dean, the main character, seems to do is try, and the only scores he can make are when he plays rugby.

Nevertheless, Winger is a really good book. I honestly thought I wouldn’t like it as much because it looked like a book geared towards boys (yes, I admit to judging a book by its cover), but I was surprised to find that it was relatable to a fault.

…(yes, I admit to judging a book by its cover), but I was surprised to find that it was relatable to a fault

— Chelsea Santos

Ryan Dean West is a 14-year-old high school junior in love with his 16-year-old best friend, Annie Altman. I mean… how much more reverse-Romeo-and-Juliet can you get? (Is this a possible cliché?)

Anyways, the mechanics and character dialogue are very realistic. Basically, all Ryan Dean talks about seems to be sex and/or how much he is in love, which pretty much summarizes everything teenagers talk about (stereotypically). And if you aren’t sold on that, charts/bar graphs/comic strips are nestled between Ryan Dean’s narration every few pages or so.

Overall, the story surpassed my expectations for a book I’d originally presumed to be completely unrelatable. I won’t spoil anything, but the ending is definitely bittersweet. Okay, maybe bittersweet is somewhat of an understatement — I cried (given, I cry at everything, all the time). I partly blame the fact that I only read the book provided that Ed Sheeran’s album, “x,” was playing.

Nevertheless, the book ends with Ryan Dean giving one of the best closing statements I’ve ever read. “Almost nothing at all is ever about sex, unless you never grow up, that is. It’s about love, and maybe, not having it.” He continues later on, saying, “The same words that make the horrible things come also tell the quieter things about love.” He then elaborates on the significance of words. “I found out something about words. There are plenty of words I can put on paper, words I can see with my eyes and scribble with my hand, that I never had the guts to say with my mouth.”

And that goes for not just him, but everyone.