This one was outstanding. Ryan Dean definitely grew up a bit since last year but lost none of his charm. All of his reactions and new behaviors were so real and believable after the loss of his friend,(the babe) Joey Cosentino. Everything from how he treated his new friends and his roommate, reacted to some truths about Joey, tried to communicate with Nico, being forced to become the new Joey… but not be the new Joey, and seemed to develop a PTSD friend he called Nate, it was perfect. Ryan Dean seemed like a very real teenager before but now I could almost feel him sitting in front of me and telling me the story.
I must say, I have never been a teenaged boy, but I really hope that as pervy (Ryan Dean self proclaimed) as he is, I hope all teenaged boys are like him. He treats people withe respect and he doesn’t care at all about sexuality. He dislikes people based on their personalities, and then, still doesn’t talk shit about them. He steers clear of the people giving him problems. He’s really great, he may say some dumb things sometimes, but he’s a really good guy. He has his flaws but intolerance is not one of them.
I applaud Andrew Smith for writing this book with such profound realness when it came to the aftermath of Joey’s death, and how it affected everyone around him. I also applaud him for giving us a strong male lead who doesn’t have to be strong and prove his masculinity by putting people who are different down. Ryan Dean might be a bratty, kooky teenager, but I think he’s a decen tole model for kids despite that.
The only thing I was disappointed about was that Ryan Dean was no longer called Winger. But. If that was the worst thing, you understand why you need to read it. 😀
Please read this, and if you haven’t read Winger, the first book about Ryan Dean, please do. You won’t regret it.