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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  212 reviews
House of Cards meets Election in this wickedly entertaining story about an uber-ambitious high school junior.

Whoever said being nice would get you to the top?

Certainly not Alexandra Miles. She isn’t nice, but she’s more than skilled at playing the part. She floats through the halls of Spencer High, effortlessly orchestrating the actions of everyone around her, making peopl
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Kate It's not about lesbians but there is a subplot involving lesbians.…moreIt's not about lesbians but there is a subplot involving lesbians.(less)

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Some girls are born to wear a baseball cap without an ounce of irony. Think of those long-legged, gamine creatures whose tans are never fake-baked, whose shoulders are broader than those of their boyfriends, and who tend to have a pair of blindingly white sneakers they save for “dress up.”

Some girls are born wanting so desperately to blend in that they spend hours trying to coax their locks into one of those messy-bun-and-elastic-headband combos that are so on-trend.

I am not like any of thos
Wendy Darling
If Regina George wanted to be Homecoming Queen, there'd be hell to pay for anyone who got in her way.

This is pretty much the premise of the WINNING, which is immensely readable and keeps you on your toes. Just when you think one girl is about to swindle another, the other girl almost always manages to see it coming and turns the tables. I liked that we saw various different POVs, and that one of them was the Queen Bee herself, Alexandra Miles. She's a ruthless, manipulative schemer without an o
Natalie Monroe
"It's my job to size people up. To see what's hiding beneath the surface—and then use that to my advantage.

You see, I'm not like any of those girls.

No, I was born to wear a crown."

All those fantasy books comparing themselves to Game of Thrones might as well throw in the towel. This is the next Game of Thrones. A no-holds-barred, claws-out fight to the death for dominance of Spencer High.

Alexandra Miles is the undisputed queen of her high school. Think overachieving Regina George with more
Elle (ellexamines)
“I can't,” she moans. “I can't— I'm not—”
“Gay?” I finish for her.
“No,” she says. “It's not that. I'm not... out.”

Yes, the blurb makes this sound like pettiness and Mean Girls. And not to shit on Mean Girls, but this book is a whole lot darker. With less humor, more character development, and more intrigue (definitely more intrigue) this barely compares. The only thing they have in common is being awesome


This book is about two girls, Lexie and Erin, competing for the crown of
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was fun, and I'm sorry it's not getting more attention, especially with one of the POV characters being a lesbian who actually gets some. There was definitely more I wanted out of it - the POV divisions/who gets how much airtime and for what didn't really work for me (I didn't need Ivy or Sloane, personally, and I kept waiting for Erin, which I wanted for about a billion reasons), and the lack of depth of the characters kept me from having the right read on the plot until it was over, but t ...more
Taylor Knight
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked the concept of this book but I think it could have been better executed.
I didn't hate the characters but I also wasn't super into them. They all seemed pretty much the same and I couldn't really get invested in what happened to them. I liked the writing a lot though. I'd definitely be interested in other books by Lara Deloza.
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm actually surprised to say that I liked Winning more than I thought I would. It reminds me of Mean Girls and Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars! I think it was a interesting to read about such an unlikeable character, who would stoop to such extreme lengths to get what she wanted. Pretty typical teen shenanigans BUT there were definitely a couple of things that surprised me! ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is a lot like if mean girls (the comparisons are inevitable and remarked upon in the book itself) was a drama - a lot smarter and more nuanced (if less funny). i love dramatic, bloodthirsty high school politics, and this definitely delivered. one thing i liked stylistically was that all the different characters' pov chapters really felt like different characters with their own voices (which is not something a lot of authors do imo). on top of all this, theres a lesbian couple with a happy e ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
So I started by hating all caracters (yes, all of them), rolling my eyes every time I met another high-school cliché and blaming myself for choosing yet another YA when I know that I am too old for them. But at some point I got into the great Alexandra's scheme and forgot to roll eyes and question my poor decisions. I guess it's obvious that this book is compared to the "Mean girls", but this comparison doesn't do it justice. "Winning" is not only way meaner, but also a bit less shallow and at l ...more
Jen Ryland
Jun 07, 2016 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
Mean girls and a cutthroat competition for homecoming queen. I read about 50 pages and while this did have its entertaining moments, I also feel like I've read/watched a lot of similar stories (Mean Girls, Glee, Heathers...) and at some point I realized that I just didn't care who was homecoming queen.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Thanks to the publisher for providing a free advance copy of this book for me to review.
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from YA Books Central.
*Sam is lesbian; Erin is either lesbian or bi, but it’s never specified
*Lexi’s mom is drug-addicted

About five years ago, Charlie Sheen had a meltdown and coined phrase after phrase. One of them was “winning” and it seems apt that this novel has the title it does. Why? Because Winning the novel is just as ridiculous and terrifying as Sheen’s downward spiral and will have you reacting in many of the same ways.
mikayla bree
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
3.5 stars.

Winning had an enticing narration style that made you root for every character, even Alexandra. It was a nice variety of characters, each with their own motives. The end of the story was a little underwhelming, but I can live with that, since everything had been resolved.
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor

I consider Wining to be a pretty unique book. It's hard to come across books with the supposed "villain" as the main character, but it's even hard to find books where that "villain" is unapologetic. It was interesting for me to see all the scheming and ruthlessness done just to achieve the results that the school's "queen" wants.

However, the thing is, I wasn't really able to enjoy this book that much. At first it was entertaining and refreshing, but as the story went on, it just became dragging.
Andreea Pop
Dec 30, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: cover-love
That cover is totes adorbs.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel as if this book is unfinished. I love the way the characters ended up banding together to show the "mean girl" what was up, but the ending left me unsatisfied...what is the retaliation? Did she learn anything? I would be interested in seeing a sequel or at least some kind of epilogue or bonus story/chapter that shows us how Alexandra fairs after the events in the book. ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.)

I'm usually not much into "high school drama" (it's often too over the top for me, or perhaps my high school years were just too quiet and boringly normal, who knows), but this novel was quite pleasant to read, and what could've been total cliché characters were surprisingly fleshed out and interesting, in spite of fitting tropes.

Alexandra Miles is the expected Queen Bee, the one who'll no doubt become Homecoming Queen, like she
tracy thai
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
On one hand, this is delightful.

I love Lexi. She is so wickedly devious.

On the other hand, this is a book where a bunch of jealous bitches, including adults who should know better, treat an ambitious, determined teenage girl like shit because she has an alcoholic mother.

Lexi is too likable for that ending to feel triumphant. Instead, all of these side characters don't hold a candle to how charismatic she is, and it is a chore to wade through their bullshit. So what we got is a book that punis
Why the hell should I care about Alexandra Miles's opinion of me? I think it has something to do with her freakishly strong magnetism. She's like the sun. You never really stop wanting to feel that warm, buttery light on your face. Even if you've been burned by it.

There's a good possibility that I'm being overly generous with my rating of this book for two main reasons: 1) My self-proclaimed guilty pleasure is trashy teen high school drama books - I absolutely DIED over reading PLL, and I bi
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
I'm not actually sure I know where to start with this book. It was good in a I'm - scared - of - overachieving - girls kinda way. I felt like I was reading Mean Girls, but about Homecoming.... Anyone who lives in America, can you please enlighten me as to whether your schools are really like they are portrayed? If they are, I'm so glad I grew up in England!!

Alexandra Miles is our Grade A Psycho Girl who uses and abuses people to stay at the top. She tries to hide her horrible ways behind a sick
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Looooooooooved the alternating viewpoints in this book, because they really kept everything moving and tense, and loved all the cute lesbian makeouts. A really fun, quick read, with great characters.

Can't quite put my finger on what fell short for me (view spoiler)

Really looking forward to what Delo
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads

Mean Girls meets Election with a side of House of Cards in this story of one high school girl’s quest to win the crown: the homecoming crown that is. From fourth wall breaking to teen movie makeovers and epic betrayals, Winning is the guilty pleasure read to end all guilty pleasure reads — get ready to set aside all your plans when you pick up this one!
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
God, I didn't think it was possible to write contemporary Game of Thrones about a high school. I haven't read something like that...well...probably ever! I don't get it,why it is not all over the booktube or goodreads. I always thought people liked such kind of books. I hope it will get more hype in the future, because it is really worth it! ...more
I'm really surprised this book isn't getting more attention! It was so much fun and made me have feels, even for the worst characters. It was like Mean Girls and She's All That, with a touch of Clueless, but it was all a tiny bit darker. ...more
Deanna Schwartz
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it

Read this book RIGHT NOW! It has a whip smart protagonist, hilarious schemes, and lesbian sexy scenes! READ IT!!!!
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Lenni Jones
My expectations were low, and they were pretty much met. This book didn't amaze me or anything, it was just something to listen to. It was a unique book, but the character that it centered on the most was the villain of the story, and I didn't really like that.

If you follow me, you know I don't support the LGBT community, so I was disappointed by the presence of an LGBT character. Additionally, there were a lot of inappropriate parts that I was disappointed by.

Audio-wise, I thought the actress
Brittany Allyn
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Should I love books like this, where girls are mercilessly tearing down other girls, as much as I do? Probably not, but oh how I do love them. The best ones though, like this one, weave in the tragic backstories, messy friendships, and girls fighting for each other as hard as they fight against each other, until it’s a mess of trying to figure out who you’re really rooting for and against. I wish it hadn’t ended so fast though, the Homecoming dance was only the last 5 pages at most, and I wanted ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was refreshing to finally get a point of view from the bully, in books and movies it's usually about the poor girl/boy who has been picked on.(view spoiler) I don't like the habit of revealing cards until the very end. (view spoiler) ...more
Crisanda (Sapphire)
4.5 stars

Never waste a moment of your effort serving someone else's goals.

For a book that was all about clichés, Winning sure was different. This is the first time I've read a book where I disliked all the characters and still loved the book. It was gripping right from the start. I loved that we got to peek into the psyche of the Queen B*tch Alexandra. Villain stories always fascinate me. I did think that there was way too much planned drama for just a regular high school, but the book was s
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Crazy for Young A...: Winning by Lara Deloza → Start Date: July 2nd, 2016 5 12 Jul 02, 2016 08:27PM  

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