One thing this book taught me was… I wasn’t ready.
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 6/5 stars from me.