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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  668 Ratings  ·  174 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.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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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 those
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It’s my job to size people up. To see what’s hiding beneath the surface—and then use that to my advantage.


2016 provides us with such surprising, diverse new contemporary stories, that I’m not entirely sure I want 2017 to come knocking at my door.

I am speechless. I’m frowning, trying to remember the last time I fell so deeply in love with a contemporary book and I just… can’t… remember. Fantasy novels are the ones to usually steal my heart, but then Winning came along and broke the unbreaka
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 bi
Cait • A Page with a View
It was like Mean Girls meets Pretty Little Liars, but could've been better executed.

"Alexandra Miles is the Regina George of Spencer High School, but a thousand times worse. Because at least Regina was unapologetically, unabashedly bitchy. She didn't try to camouflage her evil under a veneer of sweet or nice, unlike some people I know.

I like unreliable narrators. I like stories with LGBTQ main characters who get normal storylines (like not being murdered). I was homecoming queen in a small tow
Elise (TheBookishActress)
“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 p
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
Shelves: diverse-books
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
Shelves: read-in-2016
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!
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-ch, mean-girls
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
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.
Diversity Rating: 2 – It’s a Start!
QUILTBAG: 4 (Sam is lesbian; Erin is either lesbian or bi, but it’s never specified)
Disability: 2 (Lexi’s mom is drug-addicted)
Intersectionality: 1

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 ridicul
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.
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 Deloza
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!!!!
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
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!
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
{Tracy Thai}
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I am – and always will be – Queen Alexandra Miles.”

This was a YA story about a girl desperate to be Homecoming Queen.

Alexandra was really quite a calculating character who planned for things really well, it was just a shame that she used her skills to take other people down! I did feel strangely sorry for her though, especially given her father’s death and the fact that
Lauren R.
Settled on 4.5 stars. Seriously read this book if you enjoy and/or are fascinated by unlikable, terrible characters. Just wow. I'm really torn about a rating because it was so ridiculously addicting, like a trainwreck, but also so frustrating at the same time. The author did a really great job of making these awful people SO interesting; it's literally Mean Girls to the millionth degree. I loved the build-up and the edge-of-my-seat, pit in my stomach feeling the entire time. I'm also trying to f ...more
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!
Florian Ques
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I've read this book three weeks ago I think, and to be straight-to-the-point, I quite enjoyed it. It was a fun, mindless read. Although the ending felt rushed to me, I liked the characters enough to keep a good memory of this piece. I love myself a good mean girl, but Alexandra felt a bit bland to me, especially at the end of the story. Perhaps a mean girl is efficient when you aren't in her head so that you don't know what drives her to be like this, I don't know.
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.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
I really enjoyed this. Quick and entertaining. Definitely a must for fans of Mean Girls and Heathers. Review closer to release date.
I've always liked books with unreliable, truly twisted narrators and this book executes that perfectly.

I was a little cautious going into this at first because it's incredibly difficult to find a novel that actually shows manipulation that feels authentic. Teen novels often have this way of creating mean popular girls without providing enough background to explain why they have any social clout. But this book really dives into it and allows for a fascinating character study within an equally fa
This book was just so dang captivating, I could not put it down. Recently, I've noticed that my taste has been moving towards more contemporary books, and this book really stood out to me. I loved the protagonist so much! An anti-hero is always fun, but being in her head for most of the book really highlighted her. It would have been so easy to make her the complete villain of the story and write it from the perspective of the other girls, but this way the author had to describe her motivations ...more
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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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