Review | Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted April 4, 2017 by Asheley in review / 0 Comments

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Review | Windfall by Jennifer E. SmithWindfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2, 2017
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher
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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 received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

my review:

I can’t say that I’ve ever thought about winning a lottery, but Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith will give readers the opportunity to daydream about just that. Eighteen-year-old Teddy ends up winning 141 million dollars from a ticket given to him by his best friend Alice and suddenly, his life completely changes. 
Teddy isn’t a stranger to hardship. He lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother because his father gambled all of their money away, then left. When Teddy wins enough money to change their lives, he is elated. And, of course, he begins to make changes to their lives instantly. But does the money change him instantly? Teddy doesn’t think so – but Alice might think a little differently. She adores Teddy for who he already is, so when he suddenly begins to act differently, dress differently, and toss money around like he’s always had it – well, it makes her pretty uncomfortable. 
Alice knows hardship too: she lost both of her parents within about a year of one another. When they died, she had to move from her home in California to live in Chicago with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. She has grieved them since they died, and ultimately she has trouble discerning whether or not she is living her best life or the life she thinks her parents would have wanted for her. 
Ultimately, Teddy has to figure out how he wants to spend the money and who he wants to become as a person with money. And Alice has to work out her feelings for Teddy and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. It may not seem so, but this is all interconnected and it is wonderful. 
I love the way the author takes these topics that really could be super-heavy and places them in her story gently so we don’t feel overburdened with sadness or grief or anything like that, but we are indeed fully invested. She makes the story fun and funny but at the same time, she doesn’t shy away with all of the “serious” that Teddy and Alice are going through. The universe has dealt them some pretty crappy hands and we are here to witness their story. There are no twists here to shake up the story. What we are getting is exactly what is on the page, and I love that. 
This is a story with a romance, but that doesn’t push romance in our faces. It is there, but it doesn’t overshadow anything. This is great, because the way the romance portion of the story works out is weaved into the rest of the plot. Alice experiences feelings that are a little clumsy and awkward and full of that longing that we all know, and Teddy’s actions often (but not always) make us want to say WHAT ARE YOU DOING! but everything comes together so well. In the meantime, there are great family relationships written in (LOVE this) and these characters have wonderful support systems to help them through everything. I really did love seeing how this one worked itself out. And I couldn’t put this book down while I was reading, which is pretty standard for me reading a book by this author.   

About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


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