Windfall Review

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Title: Windfall

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Source: Public library

How I Found Out About It: Goodreads/Blogging

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What would you do if you won millions and millions of dollars from the lottery? Me, I’d probably donate at least half of it to those in need, spend some of it on travelling the world (and on buying new books while at it!), and then save all the rest for my future.

I know my answer was pretty typical, and the answer to this question is basically what Jennifer E. Smith covers in her story Windfall. I adored the premise, the characters, and all of the fabulous morals that this story has, and I am totally going to be recommending it!

As you could have easily guessed, this novel does revolve around a lottery ticket. In fact, this is a ticket that protagonist Alice buys for her friend Teddy as a birthday present, which turned out to win him millions of dollars. Although the two of them have been supporting each other for ages through family crises, all of the money seems to be drifting the two of them apart. Will it be the end of their friendship forever, or will they return to each other as better people?

Though I did not think that Alice was really the most interesting character I’ve ever read about, she thought positively in ways that many people wouldn’t and her generosity was amazing. You know why? She bought Teddy a lottery ticket for his birthday and when he won, she insisted that he keep it all! She did not get jealous or anything- even though there were a couple disputes about the money because of both of their guilt, she seemed a-OK with everything by the end.

I liked Teddy as well, but like Alice, he too was flawed. He stayed humble about his winnings for the most part, but I found that he went a bit crazy on the spending. But hey, everyone has their own ways of managing their money, and I guess Teddy can do whatever he wants with his millions.

What drew me into this book in the first place was both the fact that I have devoured many of Smith’s other novels and my curiosity about the premise. Never have I read a book about winning the lottery, and seeing what teenage book characters would do with the earnings just intrigued me so much. Though a bit longer than it ultimately needed to be, it was very fast-paced and riveting and it absolutely had me on the edge of my seat!

Probably my favourite thing about this book is that it explored the domino effect of kindness- once you perform one kind gesture, it will go on and on and reach dozens more people. You may never think much of a tiny move such as holding the door open for someone, but little do you know that by doing that, you could hugely impact someone’s life. In this story, I was very happy to read about many similar events that mirrored this grand moral. 

All in all, that stunning cover definitely did live up to the gorgeous story inside. In spite of their flaws, the characters were fabulous, the concept was unique, and the coming-of-age element was pure gold. Contemporary lovers, if you haven’t gotten your hands on this beautiful novel yet, then I suggest you do so as soon as possible! I promise that you will be extremely captivated and inspired to do good deeds.

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