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Stand-Off, by Andrew Smith - review -

September 28, 2015


You know, I didn't believe it when people said that Stand-Off was as good as Winger. Winger is one of my favorite book and I could not imagine how anything could top it. But here I am, in awe of this sequel.
Every time I try to review one of Andrew Smith's book, I end up babling because there is just so much to say, s
orry in advance guys.


In this book, we come back to Ryan Dean West starting his last year of high school as a fifteen year old senior. His love and relationship with Annie has not changed, but his living arrangement did. Since the death of Joey, his former best-friend, O-Hall has been shut down and Ryan Dean is back in the regular dorm with none other than the Abernathy kid, a twelve years old boy with a Mario bed cover. But then again, Ryan Dean has a Fluffy Unicorn on his… But that's the least of his worries, with Nate on the loose and all.

I loved Stand-Off so much it's ridiculous. What I really can't get over is how it exceeded my expectations! I'm pretty sure Winger was suppose to be a stand alone. The ending was perfect in every way; it gave us enough details to be satisfy and yet, enough room to imagine the rest ourselves. It's not a secret that I was a bit sceptical getting into this book.

Oh boy was I worried for nothing!

Winger had such a great cast of characters that I was scared to be disappointed. I didn't want anyone to try and take Joey's place, or even Chas for that matter! But we got to meet incredible new people instead: Sam Abernathy and Spotted John.

Sam was a mini-Ryan Dean. He's starting high school at the age of twelve and everyone thought it would be a great idea to put him in a room with the only other kid to have done the same thing, our dear Ryan Dean.
Sam was the perfect comic relief for this book. He was so nice and clueless and, yes, adorable, that I couldn’t help but smile and laugh out loud at every scene he took part in.

As for Spotted John, he was GREAT! I love how Andrew Smith always includes diverse characters in his books. We had Joey that was gay in Winger and now, we have Spotted John. What was great was the different approach used with both characters. Joey was Ryan Dean's best friend and he was out to the team and all. Spotted John is Ryan Dean's teammate and we learn that he is gay because he hits on him! Those moments were hilarious!

Annie, Seanie and JP all came back and it was really cool to see them change too.

This is why I love this book so much: character development.

Ryan Dean went through such a transformation in this book and it was simply beautiful to read. He's trying to deal with Joey's death but he can't quite manage and creates Nate instead : Next-Accidental-Terrible-Experience. He's also having troubles opening up to Annie, and he's in complete denial of Sam Abernathy presence. Through Stand-Off, he faces real teenage struggle and he makes real teenage choices that are not always right, and I just adore him.

Ryan Dean is the perfect character: he is flawed and real and relatable, and this is why Andrew Smith is so fucking good at his job.

He is a pure literary genius, no kidding.

I will read any and every book he writes.

You should too.