Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 8, 2015
“Amicus certus in re incerta temporum cernitur.”
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?
I have to disagree with people who said that they like Winger more than this book. Well I, for the record, likes Stand-off better than Winger. In comparison to the first book, it has more depth. It is the aftermath of what happened to Ryan Dean in Winger. This is one of those books which I’m glad to have a second book.
I do not like the 1/3 of this book but soon it dawned on me that the author really wants the reader to sympathize with Ryan Dean. I found it rare to feel the same emotions as that of the characters and seeing as the author just did that impressed me. Moreover, I really like the depth of how the story turns out and how it ended. The ending feels real, it would remind you that some things are left without a closure and some wounds heal on its own.
Although it has the same writing style and same simpleness in its plot and the book as a whole, it is much more. The character development of Ryan Dean is visible and his coping up stage is not rushed. I surely recommend this duology! It is fast-paced and fun to read. You would surely laugh out loud in some parts.
P.S. Have you heard about the 3rd book for this not-so-duology-anymore? I’ve seen it on Goodreads. There is no synopsis yet but the author is planning to write the 3rd book with a different character (no more Ryan Dean😔) but it is still set in Pine Mountain and I have the feeling that I know who will it be.