Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith


Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 414

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.


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I loved how the lottery was blended into the main characters’ daily life and how it brought them together, even if much of that was not in the happiest terms. Yes, they won millions in the lottery, but it’s not a rainbows and sunshine kind of book. The reader is introduced to a harsh reality of what can transpire when given too much, too quickly.

“But there’s another part of me that understands what might be about to happen–that our whole world coud very well be cracked wide open–and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that yet.”

 Alice tries her hardest to love and keep it under wraps for the sake of her and Teddy’s friendship, but also being broken and confused by it all. Then Teddy takes on everything as the money starts becoming a reality in his mind. He is then filled with what he thinks he needs or deserves after a hard life that he has had to endure. It causes a riff between the two of them and they are tested throughout Windfall.

I found that the story-line might have been a little predictable, but it didn’t change how much I enjoyed this book. I knew it was a novel that I would like, but didn’t realize just how much until I took it all in. It isn’t just about teens who have won the lottery at too young of an age, but how they end up on a path like theirs. The hardships they have lived with, have driven Teddy and Alice to make the choices they have made.

“My eyes are burning now, and the room feels much too small. I shake my head, unable to look at him, desperate for this conversation to be over. ‘We’re talking about millions of dollars here,’ he says, as if I’m not quite grasping the scope of it. ‘You’d never have to worry about anything again. It’s the kind of money that would change everything. Everything.”

It might have many tough situations to deal with, but that’s what life is, and growing from it, becoming a better person through it. That’s what Windfall is all about, the twist and turns that life throws out and what we do with them. This one just happens to involve two teenagers who just turned eighteen and are 141 million dollars richer, well fifty three million after tax. And, the other half of this read does have those rainbows and sunshine’s I was hoping for.

***I received this copy from Penguin Random in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***


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