Let luck find you.
Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.
At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.
As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Part of a Series: No. Standalone.
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press Books For Young Readers
No. of Pages: 414 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Family
Massive thanks to my friends at Penguin Random House International for sending a review copy of this book my way, and for allowing me to host a local blog tour. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
The best friends turned lovers trope is a kind of story that I have loved ever since I became a reader. I love the way authors first introduce us to very good friends who turn out to be falling for one another. However it may be written, I always end up feeling giddy all the same. I honestly think that you could never go wrong by reading books that are, by nature, light and fluffy. And with that said, I believe it’s fair to say that I am more than elated to share with everyone today my thoughts on Jennifer E. Smith’s newest book, Windfall.
You might have read this on my previous reviews, but this time around, I legitimately adored Jennifer’s new set of characters! They were all lovable, and easy to root for (except for Teddy who has picked on my nerves for almost 3/4s of the book, but that’s a matter for a different paragraph) from Alice who must be hugged and protected at all times, to Sawyer who was actually the one I was most intrigued with. Even all the side characters had stories to tell, however short, and it satisfied me to see just how their stories will be heard by readers who I hope will love them as much as I do, if not more.
Now, let’s talk about Teddy. As I’ve mentioned, I loathed Teddy for almost 3 quarters of the book. Honestly though, it didn’t really start that way. At first, I thought Teddy was just your ordinary best friend / athlete who’s there for you if you need a buddy to walk home from school with, but as it turns out, he had this attitude to him after he got his prize money that I just didn’t like. I mean, I think it’s kinda hard to remain down-to-earth if one ever wins money as much as Teddy did, but still, I think he could’ve handled his situation a whole lot better, especially in terms of dealing with Alice and their relationship. I did like how he improved towards the ending of the story, though. I didn’t believe for a second that a person (whether he / she be fictional or not) could instantly change within a just a few pages, but I have to point out it was a nice try in Jennifer’s part.
One last thing I wanted to talk about was how this novel gave so much attention to the relevance of families. I adored the relationship Alice had with her Aunt and Uncle, and albeit I felt like there were lots of things that she could have done to help them in some way, I’m still impressed with how close and well bonded they turned out to be in the end. The same goes for Teddy and his beloved mom. This take on family ties was impressive and so on point! I just can’t help but be moved. The emotions were waaaay to real.
“As I’ve mentioned, Windfall is about two best friends who are thrown into a huge rollercoaster ride following a huge lottery victory. But more than that, it is also about different kinds of friendships, and family, and how life can sometimes throw us into something unexpected, but can also turn out for it to be something that we need in order to move on with life. It has it’s flaws, but it’s definitely perfect and recommendable in every other possible way. Now, I can only hope to read another story as wonderfully put together such as this one.”
Characters – 4.50
Plot – 4.50
Writing Style – 5.00
Pacing – 4.50
Ending – 4.00
TOTAL – 4.50 / 5★
“We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.”
“This is going to change everything. I don’t mean it the way I usually do. I don’t mean that change is hard or scary, though it’s definitely both. I mean only to say this: that sometimes, through good luck or bad, through curses or fate, the world cracks itself open, and afterward nothing will ever be the same. All I mean is that this seems like one of those times.”
I have 5 finished paperback copies of Windfall, thanks to my lovely and generous friends from Penguin Random House. Now, for a chance to win one, just answer this question via the comment section:
When was the last time you considered yourself lucky, and why?
The most creative and heartfelt answers will get the prizes! Contest ends on June 6, 2017, 11:59PM. Good luck, and may the odds be in your favor!
Blog Tour Posts:
Be sure to check out this space as I will be updating it once the other reviews from my lovely blogger friends are up!
Jem’s Review at The Bibliophile Confessions
Allie’s Review at A Literary Wanderer
Nicka’s Review at Read by Nicka
Bianca’s Review at Stay Bookish
Fay’s Review at Bibliophile Soprano
Shealea’s Review at The Book Shelf Bitch
About the Author:
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of eight books for young adults, including WINDFALL and THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 33 languages.