Review: How to Win at Highschool

Mar •  26 •  2015

I received this book for free from FTC: Exchange for honest opinion, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: How to Win at HighschoolHow to Win at High School by Owen Matthews
Published by HarperCollins on March 26, 2015
Genres: Young Adult-Contemporary
Source: FTC: Exchange for honest opinion, Publisher
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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 picture of high school hierarchy combines with an over-the-top, adrenaline-charged story line, and Adam's rocket ride to the top of the social order (and his subsequent flameout) is by turns bawdy and sweetly emotional.

I wonder what my life would be like if I had followed the steps taken in this book to win at my high school. I know for sure that my parents would kill me if I had ever done anything like this. But the one question that I would ask myself is…did I really win?

How to Win at High School is the perfect book to read at the point of your senior graduation from high school or when you are just about ready to start your first year at college. I feel that this book touches on so many subjects that high school students face on a daily basis whether it is trying to get in with the popular kids, worry about body image, and of course relationships. The chapters were short and to the point and it reminded me of how James Patterson writes his chapters and it was so refreshing to know that I could finish a chapter in case I had to take a break to do something instead of trying to read 15 pages in a 30 second span. The chapters flowed, the characters brought the story to life, and it is a story well wrote.

Adam is a kid that you would want to tell him to get a reality check on life. He is considered a loser and for him he is not okay with that. So he comes up with a plan to win at high school. I feel that he is trying to find himself throughout the novel constantly and it is a continuous battle with himself in trying to achieve this goal. He does push people away that do care about him and instead of winning he is losing.

The relationship view in this story for me is a perfect representation of one that can be seen in high school and it shows the reader how wanting power can make you lose the things that matter most.

Overall Owen Matthews writes an amazing representation of high school and shows how winning can equal losing. I highly recommend this book to all readers in the upper grades. How to Win at Highschool is a compelling piece of fiction.

Happy Reading!






  1. Kate @ Ex Libris
    Mar 26, 2015

    I got his is the mail from HC, but I had never heard of it. It sounds interesting. I’ll have to move it up my list.

  2. Oh something I would have passed up. It sounds like a book full of growth.