by Billie Bloebaum, December 31, 2013 5:10 PM
Ryan Dean is a fourteen-year-old high school junior who is doing his best to navigate adolescence and all its highs and lows. And you know what? Synopsizing this book doesn't really do it justice or explain why it's my #1 pick. Andrew Smith gets teenagers. He writes teen characters that are awesome and imperfect and completely identifiable. With this book, Smith manages to perfectly capture that ineffable something about the high school years that made them both the best and worst of times, and he will make you feel it all just as deeply as Ryan Dean, whether you want to or not.