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Displaying 1 - 30 of 870 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
February 14, 2018
I have mixed feelings on this one! Overall I did enjoy it enough to keep reading, but I found myself so aggravated with the main character. He definitely grew a lot in this book, which I appreciated seeing, but it took a looooong time for him to stop being annoying. I also hate the way the female love interest was treated and how she was written. Can somebody say one-dimensional?? Regardless of the issues, there's something about these books that I love. If Andrew Smith decides to write a 3rd book, I'll probably end up reading it, because I'm trash.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,781 followers
September 9, 2015
Find all of my reviews at:

“In his senior year at Pine Mountain Academy, Ryan Dean West came to appreciate things that he’d tried to resist, and one of those things was change.”

Let’s begin this review by noting that it might potentially piss some people off, shall we????

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So yeah. Don’t bother trolling. I have zero of the f*@s to give when it comes to haters of Andrew Smith.

Stand-Off was probably not a great book. But again, I am giving zero of the f*&^s today so it gets 4 Stars anyway. Let’s put a disclaimer or an asterisk in here – these aren’t 4 regular Kelly and Mitchell Stars, they are 4 MOM (boooo hiss, right?) Stars. When I read Winger I felt it was written for me – a grown-up who likes to read “kid” books. When I read Stand-Off it was clear from the start I was reading something that was written for my oldest son.

In this sequel Ryan Dean is a Senior (albeit a 15 year old Senior) who finds himself assigned the next Ryan Dean (a/k/a Sam Abernathy – another 12 year old genius who is starting at Pine Mountain) as his roommate. Ryan Dean doesn’t have time to be the mentor to young Sam, though. He has plenty of things to occupy his time already. His studies – which are on the super creepy side due to the selection of instructors at Pine Mountain, his girlfriend Annie Altman, the rugby team, and this guy he’s been calling Nate (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience). You see, after the loss of Ryan Dean’s BFF Joey, he just has a feeling more awful is waiting in the wings . . . .

What everyone just couldn't understand was the fact that Ryan Dean West was not going to make friends with anyone else this year. What’s the point in friendship? When bad things happen to your friends, it hurts worse than if it was your own heart breaking.”

At that point I was feeling kinda like this . . .

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Alright, so as a Mom (boo hiss) reading this second book I was thinking how this sequel (like most sequels) probably really wasn’t necessary and the actual issue of the PTSD or whatever Ryan Dean was experiencing wasn’t really dealt with in a realistic way (with the lack of parental knowledge and one therapy session and zero details about treatment and yada yada yada), but as a mother of a teenaged boy this book WAS. SO. IMPORTANT.

Andrew Smith has received a serious amount of flak for not writing quality female characters. Here’s the deal. As a mother of boys I’m telling you I need writers like Andrew Smith to write quality MALE characters. And he does it. One author can’t save the damn world – let him excel at what he is great at and leave the rest to a different kind of writer.

Ryan Dean West was kind of an asshole. Guess what? My kid . . . . sometimes kind of an asshole. Ryan Dean was a puny little pee-on who had a sudden growth spurt over the summer and returned to school as potentially hot. Same with my kid. Amazing what gaining a couple of inches in height and losing all your babyfat can do to get serious name recognition in the hallways of the local middle school. Ryan Dean West suffered from inexplicable boners at the most inopportune time and embarrassing homework assignments like giving himself a “TSE” (that’s testicular self-exam, for the layman). Ryan Dean had to deal with friends coming out of the closet and was simply amazing and perfect and accepted them immediately and assured them that he would never spill any beans they would not be comfortable being spilt. Ryan Dean also had a girlfriend that he was sooooo ready to go ALL. THE. WAY. with, but he worried about mutual consent and making sure he obtained said mutual consent before making any sudden moves. And Ryan Dean played sports. A lot. Which, to be honest, Kelly and Mitchell were not superfans of reading about, but again in Mom (boo hiss) world, this was another major selling point to the manchild who isn’t a huge fan of book reading (unless those books are comic books). Also, dear NFL players – quit being pussies. These rugby dudes do what you do and they do it without HELMETS FFS!

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Anyway, rant over. Haters gonna hate, but when it comes to me and Andrew Smith I want him to . . . .

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and I thank him for writing young men like Ryan Dean and their realistic (although sometimes terrifying for a Mom (boo hiss) to read about) voices.


This is out today. I have it. I LOOOOOOVED Winger and I love Andrew Smith and have gotten into interweb battles when haters were trying to besmirch his honor. I also hardly ever read the second book in a series because they always suck . . .

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Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,796 reviews485 followers
September 9, 2015
I love Ryan Dean West. I would have never guess that I would enjoy reading a book about a 15 year old boy as much as I did. This book had the same kind of humor mixed in with heartfelt moments that were found in the previous book. I have to say that I think I enjoyed Winger a bit more than this book but I still felt like this was a solid story. I do think that you will need to read Winger prior to this book to really understand the impact of the things that are happening.

This story picks up at the beginning of Ryan Dean's senior year. He is now 15 and a lot of things are different at school this year. A lot of his friends have graduated and don't play a part of this story. Ryan Dean is shocked to find himself with a freshman roommate in a tiny little room. Not just any freshman, a 12 year old freshman. Ryan Dean is anything but impressed especially when his roommate, Sam Abernathy, demonstrates a few of his rather quirky behaviors. The rugby team has to make a few changes this year as well. A large portion of the team graduated so there are lot of spots to fill.

I wasn't sure that Winger needed a follow up book. It was such a moving book that stands alone on its own. I still think that you can read that book and never pick this one up and be completely satisfied with the story. I did really like seeing how the events of the first book impacted the lives of the characters in the future. I think that is one of the real strengths of this book. These characters are not as okay as they would want you to believe and I really liked the way that they watched out for each other and helped each other through everything. I don't think that this book would work well as a stand alone novel.

I liked watching Ryan Dean grow in this book. He has been through a lot and doesn't always make the right choices. One thing that I love about Ryan Dean is that when he realizes that he was wrong about something, he is not afraid to admit it and apologize. When his friends give him some advice, he takes it and tries to heal.

This book had a lot of funny moments. I didn't find any laugh out loud moments but I did have a grin on my face for large portions of the story. I liked the artwork even though there wasn't as much of it as in the first book. (I read an ARC copy so it is possible that the final copy has more artwork than the version that I read.) This story didn't have any really shocking moments but it was overall a worthwhile read.

I would recommend this book to fans of YA who enjoyed the first book in the series, Winger. This is the second book by Andrew Smith that I have read and I am planning on reading some of his other works very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Initial Thoughts
I love this book!! Ryan Dean West is just a fabulous character and this book had that same magical balance of funny and touching moments as Winger.
Profile Image for Glire.
745 reviews529 followers
Shelved as 'to-finish-someday-maybe'
September 14, 2015
ACT. 08/12/2014.

Andrew Smith just share this pic on his Instagram account.


A matching cover? I approve.


Winger #2?!


Profile Image for Estefani.
151 reviews57 followers
March 7, 2016
5 Stars

Review also on Fiction Jungle

I adored Winger. I loved Stand Off. I know some people practically detest Ryan Dean, I don’t think he’s misunderstood, I think you just like him or not, but I completely enjoy reading this funny, engaging, annoying, irritating, sometimes idiotic and always horny character.

This one wasn’t as impactful as Winger was, obviously, but it did had that same awesomeness that made me fall in love with the first book. These books have a subtle undertone of longing that is one of the things that captivated me in the first place, I think Andrew Smith explores that perfect mix between characters, plot and subjects and knows how to perfectly capture that specific hard, sad and unfair part of life. I cannot tell you enough how real his characters are, whether they are unleashing an army of giant grasshoppers or just dealing with normal life issues.

“…outside of Annie Altman I felt like I didn’t have a single true friend in the world, which made me miss Joey even more and made things worse at the same time too.”

I particularly loved that we see an evolution of Ryan Dean in Stand-Off without taking away the character’s essence, he seems more mature and more focused.

In Stand-Off Ryan Dean comes back to Pine Mountain to start his senior year, kind of unmotivated and emotionally detached, on top of that his new roommate Sam Abernathy aka the Abernathy is a funny, moving, uplifting, friendly and caring 12 year old boy (and the most adorable character ever). As Ryan Dean starts excluding him from his life more and more, he slowly realizes that the Abernathy is exactly what he need and wants.

I’m really thrilled that we’re getting another Winger book, Andrew Smith confirmed via his Twitter account, the third installment back in August of last year. See this Thirst For Fiction post! He also said there may be a middle grade series about Sam Abernathy too!

I don’t know about you, but a book about Ryan Dean West in college can be a bit scandalous, and I can’t wait for it.

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Profile Image for Juanpa.
67 reviews69 followers
December 30, 2015


At first, Andrew Smith's books seem to be the kind of books that will keep you laughing out loud all the time, but when you least expect it, he crashes your heart with no mercy.

Stand-Off follows Ryan Dean's senior year and how he manages to graduate after the tragedy that happened the previous year.
What I loved the most about this book is that Ryan Dean grew up so much, he is now way more mature than the previous book, and it's really sad to see how he copes with his feelings while trying to understand them.

This book is just classical Andrew Smith: quirky, funny, weird, sad, depressing, full of love, simply amazing.

But I have to admit that I was NOT OKAY after finishing this book. Winger had such a shocking ending, so I wasn't prepared for what happens in the last chapters of Stand-Off. I kept wiping my tears but they wouldn't stop running down my face. I seriously love this series and I hope there are more books because I swear I'll never get tired of Ryan Dean West and his amazing, compelling, truly-incredible friends.



And I gotta say something: I'm completely sure that Andrew Smith is one of the best YA writers nowadays, and it really pisses me off that other shitty books get way more atention than his awesome books, so PUT YOUR SHIT TOGETHER PEOPLE.
Profile Image for Aria.
59 reviews16 followers
Want to read
April 3, 2015
Winger #2?

Winger #2?


*cue instant fangirling*

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You know why there's an image error?

It's because there's not a single gif or image in the world that can show my excitement.
Profile Image for Jon.
599 reviews627 followers
May 18, 2015
I can't say much about this because the release date is so far away. What you should know is that this book is awesome, heartbreaking, sexy and just so much fun. Andrew Smith has written yet another masterpiece.
Profile Image for Shannon A.
675 reviews532 followers
September 19, 2015
This book was pretty good. Didn't love it quite as much as Winger, but it was an important follow up. We find Ryan Dean in his senior year following the aftermath of the end of his junior year. Stand-Off still gives you plenty of classic RDW moments to make you laugh and roll your eyes but the book overall had a much more serious tone. Ryan had a lot to learn and conquer in Stand-Off and I enjoyed reading about it :) Andrew Smith has hinted to a possibility of more books in the Winger world, which I would most likely pick up. I could see him taking Ryan to college or staying at Pine Mountain Academy with new characters!
Profile Image for Gordon Ambos.
Author 3 books67 followers
January 18, 2022
TW: Panikattacken, Trauer/Tod

Noch besser als der erste Teil. Ich bin so froh, dass ich diese Bücher immer noch so doll liebe wie vor 7 Jahren. Mein Herz ist in Pine Mountain und jetzt will ich unbedingt die Middle Grade-Bücher aus Sams Sicht lesen. Liebe, liebe, liebe.
Profile Image for ashley.
174 reviews706 followers
November 6, 2018
I went into this excited yet cautious. I loved Winger so much, I was worried this would fail in comparison - but it didn't (not really!). It was quite different - seeing as Ryan Dean is now WITH Annie, and no longer in O-Hall, and of course he is now dealing with a hole new set of issues (those of you who read Winger know what I'm talking about, i.e. the part where tears spilled from my eyes). The difference in content in no way changed the tone of writing (which I loved!) or the spunk of Ryan Deans voice (which I loved!)

In all, I thought this book touched on some serious issues in a way that people can relate to and understand and it kept true to the voice of Winger, yet also allowed for some growth (seeing as people do that as they grow up!).

My only comment, in a negative way, is that I felt the end was a tad rushed. I wanted to see more in the last 20 pages - but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I think I still like Winger more, but it's hard to top that book, so...

(I can't decide is this is a straight 5/5 or a 4.5/5, but I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed Winger!)
Profile Image for maria.
569 reviews354 followers
September 16, 2015
This ARC was provided to me from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars rated up


I hate to admit that I jumped onto the Winger bandwagon a little late in the game. I kept seeing it around and I kept hearing other bloggers talk about how amazing it was, but for whatever reason I kept putting it off. Earlier this year I finally had the opportunity to read and review it and I must say I fell in love with Ryan Dean West and his story very quickly. Fast forward to a couple of months later and I was contacted by Simon & Schuster Canada who offered me an ARC of the sequel to Winger titled Stand-Off. Of course I immediately accepted and although it took me a little longer to read due to a crazy couple of weeks, I finally got around to finishing it and I must say, I think I may have liked it even more than Winger!

As mentioned above, I fell in love with everything about Winger. So when I heard that there was going to be a sequel, I was a little worried. Winger had such a strong an emotional ending that it was hard for me to picture where the story could go from there and if it would even be beneficial. I was worried in the same way I get worried after connecting deeply with a film only to have it ruined by a terrible sequel. I am so extremely glad that this was not the case with Stand-Off.

Stand-Off deals with the aftermath of Ryan Dean losing his best friend to an extremely terrible incident that still makes me angry just thinking about it. Ryan Dean is clearly and understandably struggling to get past the loss of his best friend and is dealing with some pretty dark emotions.

Stand-Off starts off with a darker and more serious undertone than that of Winger, but if you are familiar with the writing style of Andrew Smith, you know that there is always a little bit of quirky comic relief just around the corner.

Enter Sam Abernathy, Ryan Dean’s new 12 year old freshman roommate. In typical Ryan Dean West fashion, nothing seems to go the way he intends which leads to some hilarious internal monologue. The introduction of this new character provides the story with a new relationship between two characters that are more similar than they think.

I think that Stand-Off dealt with the concept of loss from the point of view of a young teenager very well. The idea of N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) was a unique and relatable way to deal with the concept of anxiety. I love that Andrew Smith was able to depict this in such a way, especially within the comics and illustrations from Ryan Dean’s imagination.

Both Winger and Stand-Off deal with everyday social issues that everyone can relate to. I believe that both these stories are beneficial for anyone who has suffered from the loss of their best friend or anyone who suffers from anxiety and/or depression. I highly recommend both of these novels as they will remain a personal favourite for a very long time.
Profile Image for Beth.
2,935 reviews199 followers
December 1, 2015
In this sequel to Winger, fifteen-year-old Ryan Dean West is now a senior in high school and is still dealing with the aftermath of what happened at the end of the first book (no spoilers here!). Not talking about it however has resulted in some psychological torment that seems to be playing out most noticeably in his dreams and in his drawings, which once used to bring him solace. Now his rugby coach wants him to play a position that will no doubt dredge up a lot of painful memories despite the fact that he still doesn't know how to handle his own grief.

To make matters worse, Ryan Dean has been given a twelve-year-old freshman roommate, Sam Abernathy, who has his own psychological issues to deal with. No matter how hard Ryan Dean tries to be a jerk to Sam, he can't seem to shake the kid, and they turn out to be quite the comedic odd couple throughout the entire story.

I'm going to come out and make a bold proclamation right now: Ryan Dean West is my favorite character in all of YA literature. He is hilariously dysfunctional and even though he claims he only swears in his head, not out loud, this book, along with Winger, has a whole lot of swearing going on -- and you know what? I absolutely love that about it! Andrew Smith is the poet of expletives.

The addition of Sam Abernathy, Ryan Dean's equally dysfunctional twelve-year-old roommate, makes this a novel you will no doubt be laughing out loud while reading. And that is the genius of Andrew Smith. While you are busy laughing, there is also a great deal of heart and healing going on. As Smith recently said at a dinner I attended at NCTE, he felt like he needed to write a sequel to help readers move on from the trauma that occurred at the end of Winger. And with Stand Off, he achieved that in spades.

Read my entire review on my blog.
Profile Image for ily .
455 reviews634 followers
Want to read
October 8, 2015
Me: Is this a sick joke??? do you really expect me to read the sequel after you murdered my favorite character in the first novel????
Andrew Smith: Well--
Me: Damn it, I'm in.
Profile Image for Mary.
995 reviews426 followers
Want to read
July 13, 2016
Oh, gosh. I can't even. There are too many feelings. I'm so excited for more adventures of Ryan Dean West aka the wild boy of Bainbridge Island, but that ending!
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,727 reviews260 followers
October 17, 2015
Ryan Dean West is now back for his senior year at Pine Mountain, but instead of focusing on his future all he can think of is his past. The rugby coach expects him to play the position of his lost teammate Joey as fly-half (aka stand-off) and act as team captain, his drawings don't help any more either and he is fully expecting N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) to blindside him at any moment, and to top everything off his new roommate is a twelve-year-old freshman named Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with terrible claustrophobia and a crush on Ryan Dean's girlfriend, Annie Altman. When Ryan Dean finally meets Nico, Joey's little brother, it seems like Nico is trying to avoid him, making him more paranoid than ever. How will Ryan Dean make it through his final year at Pine Mountain with his sanity intact?

Winger by Andrew Smith is one of my favorite books, and was easily one of my favorite reads of 2013, so needless to say I was beyond excited to get my hands on the sequel, Stand-Off. To my sheer delight, Stand-Off delivers in every way, and is as good if not better than its predecessor. Ryan Dean West is my favorite character here, and his roommate Sam is a close second followed by Nico (who is decidedly not Joey). Despite everyone's quirks they all seem like they could walk right off the page into the real world. One of my favorite things about this novel is that it can be both laugh-out-loud funny and dead serious while not coming across as forced. Ryan Dean is one of the funniest characters I've read in a long time who also has to deal with the aftermath of the gut-wrenching complications of real-life.

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith is a powerful coming-of-age contemporary YA novel that ranks as one of my favorite reads of this year. If you haven't read Winger and/or its equally amazing sequel, Stand-Off (or anything by Andrew Smith for that matter), what are you waiting for?
Profile Image for Dylan.
547 reviews226 followers
March 22, 2016
There are no words to express how much I loved this book.
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
721 reviews255 followers
January 21, 2020
This sequel was everything I never knew I wanted.

Ryan Dean goes through so much character growth in Stand Off, it was amazing to see how far he has come since book one. Nico, Spotty-John and Sam were all hilarious and loveable new character additions, it was so wonderful to see them interact with Ryan Dean.

By unpopular opinion, I loved this book even more than Winger. I thought it was incredible how much Joey impacted Ryan Dean's life; I couldn't get enough of his new journey towards getting better and discovering friendship and love. The echo of a conscience in Ryan's mind that was Joey's judgement nearly broke me.

Also, can I mention that I either teared up or started crying every time Joey was mentioned? I wasn't ready. Especially not for the revelation Nico told Ryan Dean at the end.

Overall, this was an incredible instalment that did not fail to capture teenage hurt, friendship and love really accurately. Being a teen myself, I found it amazing how Andrew Smith illustrated Ryan Dean's thought process so realistically. Amazing book.

Profile Image for Rizal.
152 reviews24 followers
October 21, 2015

It was so good and really nicely wrapped up. So much feelings about this one, sad, happy and contented. I really gonna miss Ryan, Sam and Nico (Especially Sam). I really loved the kindness and 'quirkiness' of Sam Albernathy. He is so adorable and ugh, I just want to hug him tight like a squishy baby panda. All the things he did was so likable (at times can be annoying) but cutely annoying.

I really felt a pang to my heart when Nico (Joey's brother) told Ryan about the thing that Joey want to asked/told Ryan before. The revelation was quite surprised to me. I think that was the reason why Nico felt a little disconnected with Ryan but it was all good later on.

I honestly thought that this could be much longer (maybe because I refused to let this end) but I still can appreciate this and be very happy with how things ended.

I loved this. So much.

(Really miss Joey though)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt).
577 reviews52 followers
January 6, 2016
One thing this book taught me was... I wasn't ready.
At all.
I was right to be scared of this book. Just opening it up made me cry all over again. The last book destroyed every part of me and threw my life completely off kilter. It shattered me like no other book has ever done before. I know these characters are all fictional but this is what happens when you love a character as much as I loved one in this story. When you wish the BEST (and more) for them. When you want them to be ridiculously happy because if anything, they're the ones that deserve it the most. When you just want to see them smile and laugh because that means that you can be happy too. And then Andrew Smith comes in and says 'NO' to all of the above. You just have to roll with the punches and hope that someday, somehow, the re-shattered pieces of your heart will mend themselves. Stand Off opened up all the wounds I received from Winger and poured acid in them.
In this book we got to see the aftermath of what Winger threw at us. We see Ryan Dean struggling with his grief and trying to move on from it. His emotions were so raw and awful that it was torture not being able to hug it out with him. I grieved alongside him and related completely to his inner struggle.
We are also introduced to a new character, Sam Abernathy. I admit, I didn't like him at first but he grew on me by the end. I sympathized 100% with Ryan Dean's wariness of befriending him. Ryan Dean's character development was amazing and powerful. He made me so incredibly proud because of it.
I had also guessed what Ryan Dean was trying to find out about Joey but that didn't make it any easier to read about it. It destroyed me all over again and I couldn't stop sobbing all night after reading it.
This book was as ridiculous, hilarious, and emotional as Winger. What Andrew Smith did to me is atrocious. There is no way I can move on from all this grief he poured upon me. Now every time I look or even think about these books, I will lose my sanity all over again.
This book gets 6 stars from me.
Profile Image for Lori.
911 reviews598 followers
July 30, 2016
I really love Ryan Dean. But to be honest, that's pretty much most of what I loved about this book. Winger was one of my favorite books when I read it last year and I think part of the appeal was how original it felt and how the characters felt so real and grabbed me from the start. Going into Stand-Off, I already knew the characters and was nervous about what the sequel would be like. But I was still crazy excited to get back to Pine Mountain and get more of Ryan Dean and his crazy situations. I'm definitely glad I had the chance to read this one. But I did't love it as much as I loved Winger. I did really like and appreciate the character growth I saw in Ryan Dean and enjoyed the new characters but the repetition that seems to be a sort of theme of Andrew Smith books bothered me more in this one than the first and when I got to the end, the whole book didn't have nearly the same impact as Winger. I definitely think you should read it if you're a fan of Winger or Ryan Dean. Because Ryan Dean is the same in this one but also so different. This book does give closure on the events of the last book and I was happy to see Ryan Dean get the chance to move on, but I won't be thinking about this one nearly as much as I think about Winger.

Pushed back from January to September? That sucks. I'm so excited for this book!

Also, I'm sure this will be an unpopular opinion, but I'm really not a fan of the cover for this book.
Profile Image for Braiden.
359 reviews206 followers
May 12, 2015
If you needed closure after Winger, or thought there was more to Ryan Dean West's story at Pine Mountain, Stand-Off will help you with both of those like a passionate social worker.

It is grievous and pitying, but also hot and incredible and funny, packed with heart and TSEs.

It illustrates the strengths of old and new relationships, whether they be of love or mateship, to help us through dark times, to help us become happier, more free, and to realise that we cannot remain alone to deal with our thoughts and feelings forever.

What I find sensational is that Stand-Off, two years on from Winger, still has exactly the same voice (of Ryan Dean), a style that is considerably different to the novels that have come between the two, such as The Alex Crow or 100 Sideways Miles or Grasshopper Jungle. Andrew Smith understands the power of voice to craft entirely likeable and distinct characters.

What I find depressing, however, is that I have to wait a bit longer for Andrew's next book donation in this reality. But what helps is that the electronic proof had partially completed comics, so I'll just have to do a re-read upon release with a stunning finished copy in my hands.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 870 reviews