Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review ~ How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 528
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
Using Scarface as his guide to life, Adam Higgs is going from zero to high school hero.

Adam Higgs is a loser, and he’s not okay with it.

But starting as a junior in a new high school seems like exactly the right time to change things. He brainstorms with his best friend, Brian: What will it take for him to take over Nixon Collegiate?

Adam searches for the A-listers’ weak spot and strikes gold when he gets queen bee Sara Bryant to pay him for doing her physics homework. One part nerd, two parts badass, Adam ditches his legit job and turns to full-time cheating. His clients? All the Nixon Collegiate gods and goddesses.

But soon his homework business becomes a booze business, which becomes a fake ID business. Adam’s popularity soars as he unlocks high school achievements left and right, from his first kiss to his first rebound hookup. But something else is haunting him—a dark memory from his past, driving him to keep climbing. What is it? And will he go too far?

How to Win at High School’s honest portrayal of high school hierarchy is paired with an adrenaline-charged narrative and an over-the-top story line, creating a book that will appeal to guys, girls, and reluctant readers of every stripe. Adam’s rocket ride to the top of the social order and subsequent flameout is both emotionally resonant and laugh-out-loud funny. 
Source: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

How to Win at High School was a quick read. I know it doesn’t sound like it because it has over 500 pages, but each chapter/section was only 1-2 pages long. It was kinda like reading a novel in verse, but the writing wasn't quite verse-like (not in the way that I've read before). The writing style was really cool! And different. It definitely took some getting used to.


The book was pretty good. Things just got crazier and crazier as time went on. The levels at which Adam (Pizza Man) went to be popular--to be noticed, to be a "god"-were insane. He was such a selfish character. He was out of control and so desperate. He hated being Pizza Man. He just wanted more and MORE and MORE. He eventually became a person that he didn't like--hell, that no one genuinely liked. I sure didn't like him as a person, butI liked the character building. I liked reading his story.

This book was about being yourself and not worrying about what everyone else thinks. If you do that, you'll be happier than being someone else and trying so hard to be popular. That’s the message I received, and it helped me really like the story. I like it when good messages are pulled off well in books. 

The ending went a bit too quick for me. It was a little rushed and didn't seem to conclude the story as well as it should have. Adam’s character growth could’ve been demonstrated stronger in this part.

Overall, How to Win at High School was decent. I didn’t have many expectations at all for this one, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it!

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
105 Challenge

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