WINNING by Lara Deloza


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Alexandra has one goal: becoming Miss America, a goal her mother could not reach. First, however, Alexandra has to win Homecoming Queen.

She’s always the most popular girl in school with both students and faculty. Alexandra makes sure of that. Her entire life consists of scheming for advantage and training for beauty pageants, constantly pushed to win by her alcoholic mother. When a threateningly perky new girl in school arrives, Alexandra deceptively promotes school-outcast Ivy for the title and works to transform her into a beauty queen, all the while intending to destroy Ivy at the last minute and step in to take the crown for herself. Alexandra’s best friend, Sam, willingly does her bidding but begins to suspect Alexandra’s scheme. Meanwhile, Sloane, who detests Alexandra, and Erin, the new girl, team up to take Alexandra down and save the emotionally fragile Ivy. Deloza allows Alexandra, Sloane, Sam, and Ivy to share the narration responsibilities. Alexandra freely reveals her schemes to her readers, and the other characters are likewise candid. Sam’s out but downplays her lesbianism until she meets another girl and starts a wild affair, a relationship that the book completely accepts. The story becomes a character study not only of Alexandra, but also of the other girls, eventually revealing that Alexandra has at least one admirable quality.

A queen bee and her hive, dissected. (Chick lit. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 28th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-239669-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016


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