Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published May 2, 2017, by Delacorte Press.
YA > Contemporary, Romance
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.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review!
I haven’t been quiet with my love for Jennifer E. Smith and her books. If you know me at all, you know she’s one of my top three favorite contemporary authors (right up there with Jenny Han and Kasie West). So, my expectations for this one were quite high, and I’m thrilled to say that she has done it yet again!
Windfall was everything I wanted it to be: adorably sweet, emotional, and addictive. Just like her other books, Jennifer E. Smith put her characters into an uncommon situation (Winning the lottery? I wish that was a commonality!), yet finds a way to make the story believable and real. Her writing is lovely, and the story is one that you won’t want to put down. Plus, there’s a friends to more romance! What’s not to love?
While the focus of the book was on Alice and Teddy’s tumultuous relationship after the big win, I also enjoyed their respective personal struggles. Alice, who lost both of her parents when she was young, is living with her Aunt, Uncle, and Leo, her cousin. She’s dealing with choosing a college, her extreme sadness resurfacing when she starts to become unsure if Stanford is really where she wants to go, despite being the school where her mother was set to study, and near their home. And Teddy, handling his newfound wealth, after living with only his mom, since his dad left them as a result of gambling away their life savings, and the coincidental reappearance of his father in his life.
But of course my favorite part of the book was Alice and Teddy, their friendship, and eventual romance. Their relationship is tested, but I loved seeing them be there for each other, as friends first. Their wariness to start anything showcasing that they both truly cared so much for each other they wouldn’t want to ruin their friendship.
Overall, Windfall is another winner! It’s such a cute read that left me with a smile on my face! If you’re a Jennifer E. Smith fan, or just love an adorable story, this is your next favorite book!