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Winner Take All

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  883 ratings  ·  237 reviews
For Nell Becker, life is a competition she needs to win.
For Jackson Hart, everyone is a pawn in his own game.
They both have everything to lose.

Nell wants to succeed at everything—school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is som
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Imprint
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  883 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
. Oy. Ok. I have a lot of thoughts. And I'm sorry, I hate writing ranty reviews, and I always want to be nice and considerate even in my negative ones. A lot of people will honestly enjoy this book very much, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, probably because of the life I've lived. So maybe its just me.

Before I go any further, I want to leave some disclaimers so you know what to expect. I'm not saying I disagree with the author throwing these heavy topics in the book, because I think it's im
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2018, romancelandia
I am a mega sucker for this kind of YA plot - a prep school, a girl and a boy are in throws of a fight for academic supremacy, the guy is popular and rich, the girl is high-strung and scrappy. Sparks fly, right? Only can she believe him? She is not stupid to think he finds her to be SO SPECIAL from the other girls he’s dated. Or is this some kind of sick game? And if it is, who is going to win it?

A lot of this book worked for me, especially the MC clear-headedness about how this whole scenario i
Aug 27, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
you're probably going to read this book and wonder what's wrong with me and the truth is, I do not know ...more
Y’all this book was a…… a real mess. I’m trying not to get mad at it but you know what?? I was actually excited to read this and it turned out to be actual crap bag full of white feminism and victim-blaming and a metaphorical landfill. Screw this.

I feel completely cheated. There is 1 (one) redeeming quality in this book and that is Nell’s character arc but you know what? It doesn’t even really begin until the book is about 75% over, and then it just seemed rushed and by that point I was just ex
Eliza ☽
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
the couple in this book is a perfect example of two characters who need to be kept literally a country apart from each other

there's flawed protagonists and then there's completely unredeemable terrible people who treat others like shit under the guise of white commercial feminism and ya know what i ain't here for it
Karima chermiti
This book has many elements that actually crave in YA contemporary books so I should’ve love it. But I did not. I liked it but I did not lose myself in it. I’m really sad about because I thought this will be a new favorite of mine so yeah that sucked but what can I say, we don’t always get what we want.

But I digress.

So our two main characters, Nell Becker and Jackson Hart hate each other guts and they don’t shy away from telling the world how they real feel about each other. Nell is a competitiv
"I've been chasing after boys like Jackson Hart at this school for so long. Girls like me have. And this time, we'll all win."

"You sure it's not just you?"

I swallow. "It'll be me first."

Prep school setting, a rivalry between a girl and a boy. The boy is smart, rich, privileged, and uh, promiscuous. The girl is smart, less rich, somewhat less privileged, and ambitious.

I loved this. Not going the full 5 stars cuz the melodrama was a bit too much at times (view spoiler)
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

Since I am a sucker for that "high-achieving rivals first hate each other but then develop feelings for each other-thing" I decided to give Winner Take all a chance, despite its not so good rating here on Goodreads. I must say that this book did totally surprise me in many ways.

The story starts really quick and I felt myself being drawn into the setting and the plot. I was hooked from the beginning and barely able to put the book down for about the first half. I'm not saying the story
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Upgrading this to 4.5 stars.

WOW. This blew my mind and was pretty messed up, not gonna lie. But it was also amazing and made so many brilliant points about being a girl, and power dynamics, and basically this was such a fierce surprise of a book.
Jess (BookObsessedJess)
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 4-stars
I know this took way longer than it should have for me to read this book. In my defense, I hit a high drama point and was experiencing a lot of anxiety in my personal life, so I had to put it on hold and try to become more sane before I picked it up again.

Winner Take All follows the relationship and rivalry between Jackson Hart and Nell Becker. Both of them are driven and determined to win at whatever cost. When they become involved in a romantic relationship, it consumes every fiber o
Ramisa (sentrancedbookworm) Chowdhury
I received a free e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. All views are of my own.

I have no idea what I just read.

I hate writing negative reviews. I hate being negative in general. But this was one of those books I just wanted to stop reading and throw out the window but couldn’t because it was an e-arc from NetGalley and I had in my phone.

The story starts with Nell Becker being appalled by how Jackson Hart, the rich popular playboy, gets away with spewing rubbish in an Engli
The deeply flawed, competitive, and downright unlikable characters were great. I loved the hate-to-love romance. I'm not a big romance person, but that fire between Nell and Jackson was excellent.

But the story itself was too long, without much interesting happening. I may have found it more compelling were it not rich white kids in a prep school full of mostly rich white kids. The message about girls can have it all via Nell didn't really come through because of that. Also? All of the shitty pa
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not even sure where to start. Reading this book was a chore, an absolute dreadful chore.
I'm sure there are people who will adore this book but unfortunately I was not one of them. These characters are awful, they are the worst type of people. They had ZERO redeeming qualities. We are suppose to feel sorry for Nell because she's a scholarship kid in a prep school. It was impossible for me to sympathize wit
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Completely dramatic and angsty but written so well. Every character aside from the dads (but who cares) was interesting but the MC was the most captivating and not because she was likeable. Far from it. As the author said, she wanted a character who was messy and flawed and the MC most definitely is but she’s also real. And damn tough. Thoroughly enjoyable, I’m surprised at the low rating because the writing is impeccable imo. The whole book reminded me of Gillian Flynn’s characters which are al ...more
Sierra Elmore
"I'm not just part of your game, Jackson. I am the goddamn game."


Review to come! Hopefully! We all know I''m terrible with ACTUALLY reviewing books!
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Sometimes I read books and can’t help but make playlists to go with them. Sometimes I read epic books and sometimes they are just… ok.

This book is my 1st 5 star of 2018.

This book was soooo fucked yo!

This book was all this….


Yellow diamonds in the light
I was standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive



It’s the way I’m feeling,
I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go


I could do this review in all Rihanna Gifs but I won’t. If you want to full effect of how the
Donna Hines
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
An egotistical world of thinking that men can get away with much more than women and not need to apologize. Just look at our current state of affairs for the perfect example of such vulgarity and inappropriate actions that are now deemed the 'new norm'.
However in Winner Takes All there is also plenty of flawed characters without many acceptable and or redeeming qualities to brag about leaving a sour taste for readers who were hoping for an epic heroine.
Especially if we look into the action and b
Jen Ryland
Jan 28, 2018 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
I read about 50 pages and, while this seems somewhat promising it just didn't grab me that much.

Will be giving this away so someone else can try it - watch my social media for details if you are interested.

Read more of my reviews on or check out my Bookstagram!

I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.
Samantha (WLABB)
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, ya, arcs
Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was a dark read, as expected, but it wasn't the story I was expecting. This was solidly Nell's story in my opinion. It was a tale of girl, who had been broken by the standards imposed by society, the pressure to achieve, and the demands of her overbearing mother.

•Pro: I found myself fully engrossed by this book. I found myself wanting to read just one more chapter, because I had to see where this was all going.

•Pro: I think people are going to find Nell unlikable, however
julianna ➹
This whole book is a freaking metaphor and I loved it. Throughout the first 30% of this book I was kind of doubting Laurie Devore's magic but... haha. no. SHE IS MAGICAL, IT IS CONFIRMED.

This book outlines the differences between how girls and boys are treated in society, and... it was infuriating to read. I got seriously pissed at like, 70% of the school for being like this and then I also thought about how I am technically, like this even just a little, even though I don't want to be? Because
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-releases
This one missed the mark for me. Full review to come.
♥️♥️ Lanae ♥️♥️
I REALLY SHOULD write a review for this one. Maybe i will later, but for now let me just say.... We definitely need more heroines like the one in this book in Young Adult. And I'm not saying that because the MC is likable (she got on my nerves) but's so rare to come across a female MC who is not only the imperfect teenage girl most of us women were at some point... but unapologetically so. this book was sex-positive, team f*ck your double standards & I zoomed straight through this. ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, yabc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via NetGalley as a reviewer for YA Books Central.

The phrases “beautiful disaster” and “bad romance” but NOT the well-known novels that use those phrases for their titles. Five different Emilie Autumn songs, “Did You Imagine” by Lumidee, and “I Want My Tears Back” by Nightwish. These are just a few of the things that Winner Take All is associated with in my head because all of those things fit the book’s events a
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-bad, the-dirty
"Because it doesn’t matter how far I’ve climbed. It’ll never be quite enough. I’ll always be just a little bit less to them. The girl who can’t accept her fate. Who won’t stop fighting."

TW: neglecting parents, abuse, alcoholism, racism, depression, sexism, panic attacks, slut-shaming

Unpopular Opinion Time 🐸☕️

Well. This was a fucking mess to say the very least.
I don’t even know where to start for this Rather Random Review™️ if I have to be honest.
I’d say that, in general, the message was intere
alice (arctic books)
DNF at page 57.

I was excited to read this book at first because I love competition-like books that end in romance. However, it wasn't what I expected and just felt a bit.... preppy and mediocre. It's strange to have those two words in the same phrase, but this one didn't capture me as much as I hoped it would.

Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked it! I know a lot of people were upset about some of the mind games but it was in the copy so was expecting it. I like that Laurie Devore pushes her charactes to the edge and they go to really dark places. It makes for a compelling read and I find her books so compulsively readable. Can't wait to see what she does next!

Idk if I'll review because I don't really review anymore but maybe because I did like it a lot!
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**
Winner Take All is a young adult contemporary by Laurie Devore. It was a really interesting read for me. There were parts of it that I liked and parts of the story that I didn't love as much, but I will say one thing about this novel, it really made me think. Even the characters that I didn't love, made me think. And for that, I enjoyed Winner Take All. It was different than I expected, but not necessarily in a bad w
Jessica McAllister
Jan 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-read-2018, arcs
When I read the synopsis for this book I thought I was really going to enjoy it. I am a sucker for hate to love relationships (no matter how unrealistic they may be). However, this book made me cringe and roll my eyes and flat at scream at it. There were so many things that I disliked about this. First of all the main character Nell was so unlikable. She had few if any redeeming qualities. She would react in such toxic ways to the other characters especially towards her best friend Lia and Love ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula  Phillips
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I was drawn to this book by the bright colors on the cover, and that does sound corny since there are matches on the cover of the book. In this book, we meet Nell who is very competitive and seems like your strong feminist type who won't put up with anything. She is in to win and currently sits at second on the grades scoreboard. Her mother is the first female principal of her school and she feels it is her responsibility to be the best. Coming first is Jackson, he is the guy everyone wants to b ...more
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