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.
Gosh, I really loved this book.
I don't think I've ever seen anxiety and depression written in a way that I so totally relate to before reading this book. WINNER TAKE ALL is unapologetically brutal in it's portrayal of how a series of bad decisions can have awful consequences- mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I loved the main character, Nell. Her fierce competitive attitude is something high-school me could have definitely related to. I've seen other reviews saying Nell is "so unlikeable" and I 1000% disagree with this. I think what made Nell such a great character to me was that she reads like a REAL person. Someone who is great at somethings, and really sucks at others. She deals with her anxiety in a very human way that I thought was so well written.
Jackson is such a great love interest. He isn't there as a side-charter just to prop up Nell's story, he has a story and issues of his own that bleed onto the page and while, yeah, he can act pretty crappy sometimes, it again reads like he's a real person. The complexity of these characters gave them so much life and took this story above and beyond. Even their friends and family, while not having nearly as much time on the page, felt fleshed out and well-rounded.
I can definitely see myself picking up WINNER TAKE ALL again from time to time. It's one of those books that is just sticking with me, like The DUFF or P.S. I Like You. I highly recommend this one and definitely think it'll be on my favorites like for 2018, and I can't wait for more of Laurie Devore's books!