Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: Jennifer E. Smith always crafts the cutest contemporary novels that give you those warm fuzzy feelings inside whenever you pick one up. And Windfall is no different. From the moment you dive into this story, you’re taken on a journey with Alice and her best friend, Teddy, who won a large sum of money. Their story showcases both the pros and cons on becoming rich as well as deeply rooted family issues that stick with young adults as they grow older and have to make tough decisions in life. Smith combines both a cutesy romance and a hard hitting commentary on grief and being let down in a story that will leave you smiling at the pages the entire time.
I really enjoyed reading another Jennifer E. Smith book because she doesn’t spend the entire novel focusing on the romance that blooms between two characters. Instead she focuses on their individual problems and the connection they slowly form as they begin to grow closer together. That alone sets a nice pacing for the novel and creates a slow burning romance that always grips my heart. Another aspect of the story that she executes so well are the family relationships and friendships that are prevalent to the story line and the progression of it. They offer such genuine support to Alice and are so loving to her, and I’m always a sucker for a warm family environment shown in stories.
The only aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy as much was Teddy’s personality. He was rash, impulsive, and childish compared to Alice. At points, I felt like Alice had to act like a motherly figure for Teddy in order to have him understand the responsibility of being a lottery winner. Their romance wasn’t my favorite part of the story, and I kind of wished they had stayed platonic. Other than that? This story was a fun contemporary to read because it’s not only fluffy but it also has some important topics mentioned like grief, disappointment, and making large decisions for yourself rather than others. It’s a great summery read that Jennifer E. Smith is known to write.
* I received a physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *