Nope, this blogpost is not about “Book of Mormon”, it’s just that the word “hello” kind of automatically makes me think of this song so that’s why. And hey, I’m blogging again even though my last post was not very popular at all. I just have things to blog about so here I am! Plus this is, as you may have noticed, an english blog post and that’s all to do with me posting a review of an english book very soonish and hopefully I’ll get the author to read it by sending him a link on Twitter. One can hope 😉
But first and foremostly I want a rearrangement of my mind, because it’s focusing on stupid things. I had my last day with work-practice at the Ark-store last friday and have been all “oh, life is unfair, everything wonderful ends and that is dumb and oh, why can’t it just be a job-opening there because I’m meant to work in a book store, it’s totally my destiny and I loved the people I worked with (especially the boss, we’re totally from the same planet), the location was practical and I had somewhere to go” and it’s idiotic because come August I’ll get the experience of trying out another book store and now I should live in the moment and focus on vacation. Everything will work out for the best, maybe there will be a job-opening there someday and if not I’ll get practice somewhere else and in the end I will get hired in a book store, I know that. It takes time and lots of applications maybe, but in the end it will happen. And there is Facebook so I’ll keep in touch with people and now I should actually enjoy my vacation instead of obsessing (I’m driving my mom crazy lately). And what my mind really should focus on is creating, I need to write, draw, make things and hopefully my mind will focus on things like that instead very soonish. Or I’ll go crazy. Who knows 😉
But now this blog post will be all about “Winger”, a reeeeally great book I finished on Sunday. I’m going to review it now and then blog again on saturday and have a wonderful time everybody. Hope you like the review:
«Winger» by Andrew Smith
I knew I would like this book. It had a blurb on it by A.S. King who is probably my favorite author, it had illustrations, it had a boarding school-setting and it had great reviews so all in all I knew I was in for a good experience. And I did like it; I loved it actually, right off the bat. I found it to be entertaining, fascinating and totally one of those books which I gave a kiss now and then, whispering “hey book, I love you”; wanting the whole world to know that I could be so lucky. And still, beyond the fun and the quirk, it was also deep and sensitive and had one of the most real lead characters I’ve been acquainted with. But then there’s this feeling that something will happen and a sense of foreboding and I was kind of hoping that the feeling of inevitable doom was wrong, but of course it wasn’t. And I’m not about to spoil anything, I just feel like this book, oh my God, this book! Now I kind of want to just buy everything Andrew Smith has ever written and I kind of love him and kind of wonder how in the hell I will be able to write this review in a non-spoilerific that still gets everyone intrigued enough to visit Amazon.com because this book deserves it. It’s tragically beautiful and wonderful and fun and amazing and hey, book, I love you, I’m kind of angry with you at the moment because oh my God, what the hell, but I forgive you anyway and Andrew Smith is brilliant.
Okay, now this review is going to make more sense and be more normal-ish. I think so anyway. First of all, I really like Ryan Dean West who tells the story. He is a bit annoying in the “fourteen year old junior in High School who is really smart, but also really stupid and extremely obsessed with sex and hot women”, but that also makes him incredibly real and there is so much more to him beyond his perversion. He is a great friend for example, clever and interesting and you totally want the best for him even if he can be an idiot a lot.
And then we have other characters and while they don’t become as real as Ryan Dean West (it’s told through his perspective anyway so that kind of explains itself), they still are interesting and totally enjoyable to read about. And I adore Joey, he’s probably my favorite character in the whole book. He’s so grounded and down to earth and is the voice of reason in a world of crazy. And he is also gay, but it’s just a part of him and he’s never stereotypical, he just happens to be into boys instead of girls, that happens.
I also like Annie and how, while she’s described through the obviously partial eye of a boy who loves her, we still get the feeling that there’s more to her than what we see. I’d actually love to know her even better. And I like that the jerks for the most part is still humane enough that you get them. But most of all this is Ryan Dean’s story and he tells it brilliantly
There’s something about the way this book is written that I love, I adore the way it’s just so real. It reminds me of earlier mentioned A.S. King, but also John Green, David Levithan and “Perks of being a wallflower” and still, it’s also a voice that’s completely unique. Andrew Smith is exceptional, I see that now and there are these moments in this book when you read something and then it’s so incredibly well put that you fall in love a little more. I mean, seriously:
“You know, nothing ever goes back exactly the way it was. Things just expand and contract. Like the universe, like breathing. But you’ll never fill your lungs up with the same air twice. Sometimes, it would be cool if you could pause and rewind and do over. But I think anyone would get tired of that after one or two times.”
That’s perfection! And other than that we have gems like:
“But, through everything, I think what strikes me most is how a guy can be going along, sailing on a particular course (even if it sucks), and he’ll think everything is so steady and predictable, and then BAM! someone steps on his balls, or he gets into an uncontrollable fistfight with one of his best friends.
“Or even worse things than that.
“And you can’t see around corners, so you just have to deal with it and try to stay afloat.
“I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head’s in a toilet.
And, in my prayer, I made sure to include specific thanks for the fact that the school year hadn’t started yet, so the porcelain was impeccably white – as soothing to the eye as freshly fallen snow – and the water smelled like lemons and a heated swimming pool in summertime, all rolled into one.
Except it was a fucking toilet.
And my head was in it.”
(So poetic and still so laugh out loud-funny that it?s probably not the smartest book to read in public transportation.)
“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.”
“Almost nothing at all is ever about sex, unless you never grow up. It?s about love, and, maybe, not having it.”
I suddenly felt really awkward being here, in my bed, alone in my room, with a gay guy. And then I immediately got pissed off at myself for even thinking shit like that, for doing the same kind of crap to Joey that everyone else did, cause I knew what it felt like too, being so not-like-all-the-other-guys-here. And I don’t mean I know what it felt like to be gay, because I don’t, but I do know what it felt like to be the only one of something. Heck, as far as I know, there’s just got to be more gay eleventh graders than fourteen-year-old eleventh graders, anyway.
I wondered if it bothered Kevin Cantrell, though. Joey and Kevin had been roommates for two years, and no one ever talked shit about Kevin or wondered if he was gay, because everyone knew he just wasn’t.
I am such a loser.
I’m not going to, but I could probably have quoted the whole books because it’s THAT intensely quotable and deep, funny, smart and wonderful and therefore I adore it.
This is a book about rugby, friendship, love and most of all about growing up and it’s a book that everyone should read and that is now totally among my favorite books ever. And I don’t feel like this review is doing this book justice at all, but then again it’s kind of impossible to make sense when you reeeeally like something.
So now I’m going to give this book 6 on a scale where 6 is the highest and post some of the wonderful illustrations Sam Bosma has made to the book, which adds to the text and are a great bonus 😉 Here we go!
I adore the style everything is drawn in. It’s kind of manga-ish, but also western and it’s all brilliant 🙂
The comics are supposedly drawn by Ryan Dean West 🙂
On the back page of the cover. I still do love how it’s blurbed by A.S. King <3 She’s awesome (dearest reader, you should totally read her books too)!