Huh. So when you said in your last post that I had given Winger 5 stars on Goodreads, my immediate response was “Really?” And I went and looked it up, because I honestly don’t remember it as a 5-star type of read. I must have been swayed by the fact that it was a lot better than anything else I was reading around the same time!
So what was it about Winger? Well, as you can see from the post I wrote not too long after I had read the book, I liked the relationship dynamic between Ryan Dean and the two girls. You have a good point about the one-dimensionality of Megan, but I actually saw that as the one-dimensionality of Ryan Dean’s approach to girls at the age of 14. And that seemed perfectly reasonable to me. But I do agree with you that I was never totally convinced that these 16- and 17-year old girls were so interested in the 14-year-old Ryan Dean.
I’m with you on the Joey story line. He was way too perfect (if one can be “too” perfect!) and I felt somewhat manipulated by what you call his martyrdom. I also agree that the ending felt rushed and incomplete.
So obviously I’m not the one to defend this book, despite my earlier enthusiasm. In fact, I don’t remember all the details well enough to bring up counter-arguments, even if I were so inclined.
And that actually says something interesting about the process of evaluating books, doesn’t it? Or at least it demonstrates the importance of re-reading when one is responsible for giving awards! Our immediate feelings of being engrossed in a book can often give way to more realistic analysis once some time has passed.