03 July 2016

Winning

Author: Lara Deloza
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

'I don't love playing a damsel in distress, but I hate breaking a nail even more.'

Lexi has one goal in life: winning the honor of homecoming queen.  With a mother who has forced her into beauty pageant after beauty pageant after beauty pageant (she has a shelf and a closet full of trophies to prove it), it's no surprise Lexi wants the crown of the school as well.  And when newcomer Erin, who already won the honor at her previous school just before she transferred, looks to be an honest competition for Lexi this year, the gloves come off.

I kept waiting for one of the characters to become likable.  I kept waiting for some humor to be added in to balance out the bitchy, unlikable characters who only care about popularity.  I kept waiting for her to finally get the newsflash and realize this is a high school homecoming.  It's about as important as winning a $2 scratch off lottery prize.  After all her issues with her mother, you would think she would do everything in her power to not be her mother instead of being her shadow and following in her footsteps.  But nope.  All Lexi wants is to win homecoming queen, no matter what.  Wow.  Who thought that would be a good idea for a main character in a novel, especially if it isn't a comedy?

The book likens itself to Mean Girls.  And if you take all the humor out of Mean Girls and get rid of Tina Fey, I guess it kind of is. But without humor, it's just a petty plot without a moral to the story that reminds me of how trivial high school was (and how desperate the people were who thought it mattered so much).  But it was at least mildly entertaining, laughing at how asinine it all was.  I just wish one - just one! - of the characters hadn't been so flawed.

Let's do a quick breakdown, shall we?


Sam is perfectly happy letting Lexi treat her shit just so she can hover in Lexi's shadow.  She doesn't complain at all when Lexi just decides she's not going to give her a ride to school anymore.  She's fine with doing Lexi's homework for her.  She doesn't complain one bit about being treated like dirt.

Sloane is bulimic and doesn't really stand up for herself.  Lexi ruined her high school life by spreading rumors about her an ex-boyfriend, but Sloane is still rather cordial with Lexi since they are in Key Club together.  That is, until she snaps and goes all Mean Girls plot on Lexi.  I'm thinking there was probably some in between she could have gone for, instead of basically becoming what she hated about Lexi.

Ivy is tortured and confused, but is happy to go along with Lexi's plan, even though she knows it's not out of the kindness of Lexi's heart that she's decided to help boost Ivy's popularity all of the sudden.  And even though something terrible happened to Ivy in the past which made her go a little mental, and even though she says anything that even reminds her remotely of it makes her sick to her stomach, the next second she's in a situation like that and it doesn't faze her one bit!  Really don't understand.

The only really likable character is Erin, and - oh yeah - she isn't a narrator.

I'm not sure exactly why I thought Lexi would try to redeem herself at the end of the novel, or why I thought she might change for the better.  But the ending is so true to her character that it made reading the entire novel pointless, because nothing good seemed to come out of it at all.  Which is just like high school, I guess (she gets points for being realistic).  But why would anyone subject themselves to reading that for fun?  I'd rather read high fantasy instead.  Give me dragons!

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