Review: Stand-Off

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay…I think I landed on about 4 stars when I hit two thirds of the book complete earlier today while waiting for my car.

Not that Stand-Off is in any way a bad book. It was great! But, for me, I think some of what made Winger so great was missing.

Of course, Ryan Dean is now a senior, and his whole world just isn’t what it used to be. For one thing, he no longer has his best friend, Joey Consantino. For another, his other friends aren’t quite his friends anymore. At least he has Annie Altman, his older girlfriend. (He may be a senior, but he’s still only fifteen.) But now we’re having to deal with The Abernathy? Sam Abernathy, Ryan Dean’s twelve–yes TWELVE–year old freshman roommate.

It’s like this whole massive $#!+ storm that just keeps growing and growing and….ARGH! I wanted to pull my hair out sometimes because Ryan Dean’s life seemed to never achieve the fixable status, hovering around the zero-forever-because-this-is-way-too-much-for-me-much-less-a-fifteen-year-old level. This hole seemed about 63 feet deep and there was just no way to get out of it.

Thankfully, there were moments of Ryan Dean being weird or that ever so lovable loser that he is that made me laugh or cringe, like the Ryan Dean of fourteen year old Pine Mountain junior fame. Moments, just like in Winger, that just made me laugh out loud just enough to have people in the waiting room give me an odd look.

I liked the addition of Nico Constantino (Joey’s younger brother) coming into the mix…I liked seeing that relationship with RDW grow from tragedy. I think he fit right in with what was going on at PM and with RDW coming to terms with what happened the previous year. I adored Spotted John and Seanie, two of Ryan Dean’s rugby teammates, and how they sort of stayed within the realm of friends.

What I didn’t like…well, it’s not much. For me, I thought the story was slow in the beginning, then someone stuck in this time lapse piece where everything felt fast forward and I sort of felt like I was going to be missing BIG CHUNKS of the story. In the end, I wasn’t…Ish…Actually, in the end, I was hoping for some sort of “see you later” rather than a flip to what is the actual end. I feel like there was so much more missing from Ryan Dean’s world, but that’s just me really enjoying the drawings, and the random funny stuff that really made this story worth a read.

Just don’t expect Winger in all his glory…

The Stand-Off does just fine on his own, though.

*A SPRING CLEANING READ – APRIL 2016* : Two books down for the planned reading this month, three plus to go.

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