Title: Stand Off
Author: Andrew Smith
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Date Read: January 8-14, 2016
It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.
Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?
So you know how when you’re holding a book and you already know it’s going to be a 5-stars read?
That was Stand Off for me.
After reading Winger late last year, and belatedly realized there was a sequel, I was ecstatic to buy Stand Off, ASAP. Winger cracked me up so bad and I already knew the next book won’t be disappointing. Though, of course, after how things ended with tears in the first book, I was wondering how Andrew Smith would make this as funny as it was.
Stand off was just as funny. Ryan Dean is just as whacky and clever and romantic and as perverted as ever. (LOL) So he had one goal in his last semester. To find out if Annie Altman’s best friend just had sex. Yeah, perverted as ever, Ryan Dean.
Reading this, I started giggling. GIGGLING!!! I got giggles for someone like Ryan Dean. Can you believe that? And he’s a pervert. But smart. And romantic. Damn it!
I also love love love the character development in this book. All from the new and old characters. Each of them felt so real, it’s like you’re sitting there and they’re right in front of you just doing whatever it is they’re doing. And thinking about Seanie? God. I’m still laughing whenever I remember his coming out. That was so awkward. I definitely did not see that coming. Though Ryan Dean’s already been suspicious about Seanie’s sexuality since Winger, he was just as stunned, and I can’t believe I’m imagining this Poker Face meme that he must have had.
I did regret something after reading this. I’m going to warn you all and save you from public embarrassment. DO NOT READ THIS IN PUBLIC/CROWDED/QUIET PLACES. I’m not saying it’s inappropriate to read this somewhere else other than the safety box called your bedroom. I’m just saying, if you don’t, you’re saving yourself from a great deal of public attention and pointing at the book saying, “it wasn’t me”. I read mine in the school library, and I didn’t stop laughing until one of the librarians actually came up to me, shushed me and standing beside her was the school discipline officer. I had to deal with a huge amount of attention while I’m being disciplined about laughing too loud in a room filled with students studying (More like students using free wireless internet connection). So there, I said it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Oh! And one more thing. I’m making this one huge spoiler. Don’t hate me.
Joey is in love with Ryan Dean. *insert giggles*
I have to say this loud and proud. I saw this one coming. But it felt so good to finally have your theory proven. I was crazy about Joey, you know. He was the rainbow and ice cream in Winger. So yes, it broke me how things ended with Joey in Winger. But I’m so glad we get to see bits of Joey in Stand Off. And I’m extra glad for Ryan Dean finding connection to Joey through Joey’s younger brother, Nico. Stand Off’s been extra funny and will definitely crack you up, but it feels good to have those bits of reality in the story. How life actually still goes on after someone close to you passes, and how you’ll have to deal with that, how scared you’ll be to meet more people and how scary it would be to risk having to deal with the same heartache twice, so you just decide to turn your back on someone new, instead of staying with them and talking to someone because you need it.
So anyway, I’ve seen tons of people from my Instagram feed posting books including Winger, but I rarely see Stand Off. So if in case you read Winger before, I highly recommend reading this sequel. The first book, Winger, made me laugh like a mad man. Stand Off being just as, or probably more funny, I don’t even know my mental state anymore.
*** I’m just putting this here for Seanie and Spotted John.
You’re welcome, Ryan Dean.