About the Book:
Meet Ryan Dean West, a fourteen-year-old junior boarding school for the rich in the Pacific Northwest. After an unfortunate occurrence, he finds himself boarding in Opportunity Hall, a dorm for troublemaker boys. Not only is he removed from the comfort of his regular dorm, but he’s also rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. Ryan Dean must navigate his time in school while nursing the immense crush he has on his best friend Annie, who for the most part sees him as just a little boy. Ryan Dean spends his year coping with rivalries and pranks until the unthinkable happens, and he is forced to find out what’s most important.
Miss Riki’s Review:
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. Ryan Dean West has quickly catapulted himself into my top five favorite YA characters, and is by far the most interesting teen boy I’ve read in a long time.
I’m a sucker for a book that sends a character on a journey of some sort, especially when that journey is primarily emotional, and in this book, Ryan Dean begins as one slightly annoying and irreverent teen and ends up a whole new man. The emotional journey that Smith takes this character on is heartfelt and wonderful and I absolutely loved seeing Ryan Dean grow up in so many ways within the pages of this book.
Besides Ryan Dean, this book is chock full of a wonderful cast of secondary characters and I loved every one of them, from burly Chas to manic pixie dream girl Annie, and of course Joey. Oh, Joey. My heart is still broken over his storyline. (I won’t spoil it here for you- but it’s devastating).
This book is the ultimate in boarding school books, full of the crazy antics of teen boys and the revolving door of loyalties and rivalries that come along with it. The book is equal parts laugh out loud fun and tear-jerking heartache, with a delightful cast of characters and one exemplary main man hell bent on surviving.
I loved Ryan dean so much, I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel STAND OFF set to be released shortly.