STAND-OFF by Andrew Smith
Kirkus Star

STAND-OFF

From the "Winger" series, volume 2
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fifteen-year-old Ryan Dean West, who skipped two grades in school, returns for his senior year at an Oregon boarding school in this follow-up to Winger (2013).

During his junior year, Ryan Dean started a relationship with kind, smart, beautiful Annie and endured the horrific loss of his rugby teammate and best friend, Joey, after he was murdered for being gay. Coming back to Pine Mountain Academy after the summer, he finds, much to his dismay, that he's been assigned to a tiny dorm room with a 12-year-old adorably earnest freshman, Sam, and the gradual, wonderfully weird (and grudging, on Ryan Dean's part) friendship that develops between the two is at once poignant and hilarious. He also grapples with shattering anxiety attacks, and though his love of drawing comics persists, a shadowy figure he calls Nate (an acronym for the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) continually rears his head in them now, which troubles Annie, who thinks he should talk to a psychologist. Intense rugby scenes transcend exposition, and Ryan Dean's brainy, self-deprecating wit shines, as when he muses after being jolted to the ground during practice about an imagined ice cream flavor called Failure-Pain Swirl. Bosma contributes Ryan Dean’s spot illustrations, comic strips, and charts, and occasional footnotes further add to the narrative fun

A brave, wickedly funny novel about grief and finding a way to live with it, with sweetly realistic first sexual experiences. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4814-1829-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2015




Kirkus Interview
Andrew Smith
December 2, 2014

Andrew Smith’s young adult novel Grasshopper Jungle is set in the small town of Ealing, Iowa, where Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is not your everyday novel of the apocalypse, though it has the essential elements: a (dead) mad scientist, a fabulous underground bunker and gobs of messy violence. In fact, Grasshopper Jungle is so evocative, it ended up on our list of the Best Teen Books of 2014. We talk to Smith in this week’s Kirkus TV interview about the end of the world and other fun topics! View video >

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