Winner Take All

Winner Take All

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...

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Title:Winner Take All
Author:Laurie Devore
Rating:

Winner Take All Reviews

  • Courtney

    I went on a little tweet spree about this book. I want the world to read it.

  • Jane

    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.

  • 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….

    I could do this review in all Rihanna Gifs but I won’t. If you want to full effect of how the

    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….

    I could do this review in all Rihanna Gifs but I won’t. If you want to full effect of how the book will make you feel watch the video on YouTube.

    This is not your typical YA love story. This was cutting, sharp, toxic and unputdownable. This broached a lot of different issues, from anxiety, to drugs to drinking to self sabotage. Throughout the whole book I didn’t know whether I liked the MCs, if I liked the secondary characters, if I liked anyone at all.

    BUT! Laurie Devore wrote this book so freaking good that I just did not want to stop reading and “We Found Love” was on a constant repeat in my head because that toxic burn of knowing something isn’t good or right for you and wanting it anyway?

    As a mom of a teen I pray to God my daughter does not have this kind of savage drive to best someone. But she is my mini me so I can’t guarantee that won’t happen. But not anywhere close to Nell.

    And my worst nightmare is being like Nell’s mom. Or making my daughter feel like how Nell felt. I don’t want perfection, I just want someone who knows right and wrong, left from right, north to south. I don’t want my mini me to ever feel like she has to slip some pills or worry about the boy she’s dating cause I would hate him. I mean I might right? God lets pray that doesn’t happen LOL. But not because he’s a rich privileged white kid. He was born into that.

    I won’t try to make her decisions for her though.

    As a mom I don’t want a toxic relationship for my kids. But as a mom who was a teen I know all about toxic love and maybe just maybe this is why I couldn’t wait to see how it ended and then I didn’t want it to end because then it would just be the end….

    As a blogger it really sucks when you can’t formulate into words how great you thought a book was. All you can do is make your friends read it and then make your friend’s friends read it. And then you know, those friends, they your people.

    Mare~Slitsread

  • Jessica (Book_Obsessed_Jess)

    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 life...at whatever cost. When they become involved in a romantic relationship, it consumes every fiber o

    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 life...at whatever cost. When they become involved in a romantic relationship, it consumes every fiber of their being. AND IT IS DELIGHTFUL...and DANGEROUS.

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Actual footage of Nell and Jackson

    A secret is exposed that tears them apart. Then more secrets and lies build up to a crescendo of chaos. Fortunately, both Jackson and Nell have friends who are 100% honest and 1000% done with their nonsense. They call them out when they are being self-destructive and just...generally destructive (

    ).

    I live for books that actually show consequences to dangerous actions.

    PRAISE.

    Side Point: THANK YOU for representing anxiety and depression and low self worth in an honest, unfiltered way.

    If you loved The DUFF, you will LOVE this. Yes, there are some stressful points, BUT it's worth it in the end.

    Thank you to the publishers and those over at NetGalley for giving me an eARC of this book.

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    2.5 stars. 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 thin

    2.5 stars. 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 important to show real life issues, but I'm going to point them out. There's A LOT of sex. Not in detail, but the very topic is woven heavily throughout the pages. Heavy teen drinking. Possible pregnancy. Anxiety + mental issues + depression. Family issues / cheating. (Thankfully, the author put links in the back for anyone suffering from some of those issues. I really appreciated that).

    Anyway, I was SO excited as I was reading the first 30% of this book. It seemed like a fun, angsty, hate-to-love. I'm not the type of person who reads a lot of contemporary - I like to stick to fantasy. But I make an exception sometimes for a really fun hate-to-love story full of crazy drama and blah blah. I really thought that's what I was going to get here. And trust me, that's certainly the theme, but I was left with a sour taste. More on this in a minute.

    I will say this- there are some fun bits to the story, sure. It was addicting and difficult to put down. I certainly felt like I was in Nell's head. And the plot twist with Jackson really threw me - I should have seen it coming but I didn't.

    Anyway...

    Blah. Listen - I get it.

    I know this book meant to challenge that. I know the author wanted to show a flawed heroine and challenge the whole idea of men getting away with crap girls can't.

    But the heroine hardly had ANY redeeming qualities. No, I wouldn't brush aside a male character that was this mean either, so don't even go there. I just had a very hard time with this book because it was all just nasty behavior after nasty behavior, with very few lessons learned (or at least, the whole 'realization of wrongdoing' part was muddy at best. Of course, that's just my opinion. I'm not trying to be hurtful, and maybe this will speak to other people, but it just made me angry. Nell never thought more than a second about anyone but herself and how to one-up EVERYONE. She treated her friends horribly, and yes there were end apologies, but it wasn't enough for me. I kept trying to search for *some* semblance of compassion in her, but I found none. Her only redeeming quality was that she was a hard worker. But so are a million other people.

    And then there was the whole mess with a middle-class girl competing against upper-class rich kids. Yeah, I get that. I was the poor girl (and I mean ACTUALLY poor... as in our family lived off the church pantry donated food and wore clothes from the goodwill one dollar rack that never fit. We were kicked from home to home. And, I went to school with insanely wealthy kids. I know what its like to be made fun of for not wearing brand named clothes, or to be told you're too skinny and you need to eat - when you'd give anything for that lunch money.) I'm sorry, but I didn't feel bad one bit for Nell's sob story over how the rich kids would get anything they wanted and she had to work for it. This was a giant Nell pity party + revenge book.

    Let me tell you - she didn't have nothing, but by the way she acted, you would think she did. She didn't have to worry about if she had enough money to eat lunch. She had a home that had air conditioning and heat. She was able to participate in physical activities. She had rich friends who actually genuinely loved her.

    She had SO MUCH PRIVILEGE. So much.

    And her relationship with Jackson? My gosh. She gave him so much shit about not opening up, but when he finally bears his heart to her, she literally BITCHES AT HIM FOR IT lol. Like... girl.... come on. I don't know what Jackson saw in her. Sure, he did some messed up stuff, and maybe this is just my opinion, but she was way worse. Maybe I missed something or misinterpreted something. Idk.

    Yes, girls and boys should be held to the same standard. But I don't have to like Nell. She was just plain mean. If she were a boy, I would feel the same way. I like my fair share of problematic guys and problematic, flawed heroines. I'll admit that. But I found that I could at least relate to them in some way, or feel for them. I just didn't feel for Nell.

    Anyway, lol, like I said, I think a lot of people will like this book. I don't regret reading it and there were some really fun parts and great lines, but blah. I am just mentally exhausted. And a bit angry.

    ~

    ~

    ~

  • Rachael

    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

    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

    , and then it just seemed rushed and by that point I was just ex

    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

    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

    , and then it just seemed rushed and by that point I was just extremely capital-D Done, anyway. I feel like I wasted four days of my life reading this, all because I wanted to finish it to see if the problematic issues in it were resolved (haha they

    ).

    Listen,, for a book that was supposed to shoot down slutshaming and be super empowering, there was a

    hidden in between the pages.

    Interesting, Nell, since you spend the ENTIRE NOVEL slutshaming girls and blaming the victims of unhealthy/abusive marriages.

    Let’s start with slutshaming and the “I’m not like other girls” mentality. There’s a scene at the beginning of the novel where Nell and her friends are going to a party, and Nell describes her outfit for the night like this:

    Like,,, dude,,,, why?? Why are you hating on girls just so casually?? This ain't challenged, either!!

    . And then Nell goes on to talk about this girl Tristan.

    And before people come at me saying “but wait!! Nell changed!!” I know Nell’s opinion of TRISTAN changed, but the smack that Nell and her mother talk about “other girls” in general does not. Nell is entirely condescending (calling a girl saying she prefers Jane Austen’s novel “trite” in a sarcastic way), shames another girl for making out with Jackson (not resolved), and straight up

    Jackson’s mother for staying in an abusive relationship. In fact, the rushed resolution of this novel caused for me to not see much of Nell’s personal growth at all.

    Okay. Listen. The victim-blaming that takes place in this novel is entirely non-subtle and I’m surprised that no one else has called it out yet. When Jackson opens up to Nell about his father emotionally abusing and cheating on Jackson’s mom, thiS IS NELL’S FREAKING REPLY AND IT MAKES ME SO VERY

    I mean, you’re kidding me, right? This isn’t real. Lol I wanted to stop reading right then and there but you know what!! I didn’t! Silly me, I thought that this would be an aspect of Nell’s character development, but this issue is literally

    You don’t have the privilege of calling yourself a feminist book if you are going to spout crap like this. Fun fact: a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship isn’t “allowing” themselves to be “disrespected.” In what world is it Jackson’s mom’s fault that her husband is cheating on her? Why is it on her to fix this?? I’m seriously so

    right now that I can barely string my words into coherent thoughts. Like, people legitimately still say crap like this?? I wouldn't be mad if this had been a part of Nell’s character arc but it’s not. It’s literally never mentioned again. I’m so pissed.

    Another thing that really ticked me off about this whole thing was just how incredible white and straight this novel was. The entire book, Nell’s ENTIRE narrative, revolves around the fact that everyone treats Nell differently because she is middle class and a girl. I was getting so freaking

    of hearing Nell whine all the time, and you wanna know why? a) she’s white, b) she’s straight and cis, c) she is going to a

    and pretty much KNOWS that she is going to get a volleyball scholarship to a good school, d) her family isn’t poor. They’re upper-middle class. They just live in a super upper class town so Nell thinks they’re poor.

    And yet the novel makes Nell’s external struggle to be so much more than it actually is. The book only

    acknowledges racism. In one instance, when someone in Jackson’s friend group gets hurt while they are all doing something stupid, Jackson acknowledges his privilege and tells their friend Columbus that he’ll take the fall for him because

    In another instance, Nell’s friend Michonne calls Nell out for her BS by saying,

    . However, these are literally

    . Michonne and Columbus are the only two poc characters inside the entire novel, and have about 20 minutes of combined screen time, tops.

    The writing wasn’t that good either. This book implied nothing. Whenever someone was saying something sarcastic, the exposition popped in with

    Like,,, I know, okay, I wasn’t born yesterday.

    and

    So bottom line is, don’t waste your time on this book. I feel cheated. I want those four days of my life back. It wasn’t worth it.

  • Deejaye

    Thank you to Net Gallery 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 wi

    Thank you to Net Gallery 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 with her at all, she was a rude moralist. Jackson wasn't any better. He played games and toyed with people. It was awful. I was hoping this would be a fun snarky love-hate relationship but I was sorely mistaken. This relationship was on the verge of being volatile. I hoped it would get better but it doesn't. Unfortunately for me this whole book was a miss.

  • Laurie

    you're probably going to read this book and wonder what's wrong with me and the truth is, I do not know

  • Jen Ryland

    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

    I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.

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