Winner Take All
Author: Laurie Devore
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Synopsis: 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 somehow one step ahead. They’re a match made in hell, but opposites do attract.
Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. But when a devastating secret exposes their relationship as just another game, how far will Nell go to win?
Visceral and whip-smart, Laurie Devore’s Winner Take All paints an unflinching portrait of obsessive love, toxic competition, and the drive for perfection.
I haven’t read How to Break a Boy, but it’s been on my list for a while. When I heard about this book, though, I was really excited to read it because it sounded like it was going to be a really fun story that had interesting characters.
Winner Take All was one of those books that feature characters that you aren’t entirely sure that you are going to like because of their personalities, but really end up liking a lot because they’re just so devious and self-centered, making them just flat out fun to read. Every now and again I really love characters who are only out for themselves – it’s interesting and a nice change from goody-two-shoes type characters who are always trying to make everyone else’s lives better (nothing against those types of characters, I just like a change every now and again!). That’s the case here with the two main characters, Nell and Jackson. Nell and Jackson are always out to be the winner, no matter what. So when they end up falling for each other, it gets a bit difficult for them to try not to outdo each other in everything, until they realize that they can’t.
The story in Winner Takes All is more or less character driven, and offers readers a display of toxic love and a relationship that is not the healthiest out there, because the two parties just clash. It displays how flawed we can be as humans, to know something isn’t good for us, but to keep on going back or to stick with something because we just crave it all that much. In this case? Both Nell and Jackson crave winning, just about as much as they crave each other.
Winner Takes All was a really quick read for me because of how much I was able to fall in love with the story and the characters. I pretty much had it read in a single day, and I thought it was really well written and engaging.
I really loved the opposites attract trope that was highlighted in this book, as well as the romance that blossomed from it. As a reader, I knew that it wasn’t the kind of romance that would do well, but I couldn’t put the book down anyway. I was completely captivated by how bad the characters were for each other, but I loved their love story anyway.
This book is the kind of book I would turn to when I need to read something a little different or even to get out of a reading slump. This is not the kind of book that makes you expect a happy sunshine-and-rainbows type relationship, but that’s okay too, because every now and again you want something a little different, and this book does that well!
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thank you!
Laurie Devore was born and raised in small town South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University. She now lives and works in Chicago, where she misses the charms and contradictions of the south every day. In her spare time, she reluctantly runs marathons, watches too much TV, and works a “y’all” into every conversation. How to Break a Boy is her first novel.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of WINNER TAKE ALL, US Only.
Ends on February 13th at Midnight EST!