by Jennifer E. Smith
Pages: 320 paperback
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Received From: Macmillan Children's Books
Received From: Macmillan Children's Books
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.
I'm on a bit of a contemporary binge at the moment and this new book by Jennifer E. Smith was the perfect addition! There was something charming about Windfall that had me hooked from the very first page and I didn't want to put it down. I think everyone has wondered what they would do if they won the lottery but I don't image anyone expects it to unfold quite like this!
Alice is hopelessly in love with her best friend Teddy (can’t blame her, I’m a little in love with him to) and on his 18th birthday she buys him a lottery ticket as a laugh. However, the gods of sods law decided it would be fun if this lottery ticket happened to be the winning one, making Teddy 140 million dollars richer than he was when he was 17. Throughout the course of the book Alice's relationship with Teddy is pushed to the limits as you see the way in which money changes Teddy and the people around him. All Alice wants is to see him do something special with the money but when she turns down her half she looses her say on what comes next. With college just around the corner, family drama and a past that would break anyone’s heart will Alice and Teddy make it to the end of the book with their friendship in tact? Only one way to find out!
I loved this book so much! There was something about these characters that just made my heart swell! Between Alice and Teddy they have had the worst of luck (not that Alice believes in luck) in life so far, with both of Alice's parents dying within 13 months of each other and Teddy getting the short straw on fathers. I think one of the things I loved most about this book was the relationship between these two! Teddy screws up a lot and Alice is set in her ways but together they bring out the best in each other. They fight, they make up, they disagree on things but they always have each other’s back with the important things! I have a bit of a crush on Teddy so I'm trying hard not to keep the gushing to a minimum.
There is also a big emphasis on random acts of kindness within this story. If you haven't heard of this then Google it but in short it’s simple, small acts of kindness for no reason other than to make someone else's day a little bit brighter. Whether that is a simple hello to a stranger or buying someone a coffee, these small deeds make someone’s day. There is enough bad shit going on in the world right now, which is why I think I admired this book so much. Yes its fiction but it brings to light a movement that still a lot of people don't know about. Random acts of kindness and simply passing it forward helps more than people imagine and this book highlights the significance of the smaller gestures.
Overall, this is the perfect book for anyone looking for a contemporary YA. It is my favourite Jennifer E. Smith book to date (and that's saying something because The Geography of You and Me had me swooning for days). It has a strong emphasis on friendship and family, dealing with your past and making a difference to your future. It had moments that made me want to slap certain characters but mostly is made me smile. So if you haven't read it yet I whole-heartedly recommend it.
I received this book as an ARC from Macmillan Children's Books to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.