Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery [NOOK Book]

Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery

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Money can’t buy you love. But it can buy many other very nice things.

Lia’s mum is a nag, her sister’s a pain and she’s getting nowhere in pursuit of the potentially paranormal Raf.

Then she wins £8 million in the lottery, and suddenly everything is different. But will Lia’s fortune create more problems

than it solves?

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery - but what’s it really like? Find out in this hilarious story by Keren David, nominated for the Carnegie medal.

Check out the fabulous Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery microsite at
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A really funny and thought-provoking tale of a teenage Lottery winner — and the inevitable chaos that follows." — Bookseller

"This astringent, insightful satire is a major treat. Tart, funny, and fast-moving, with a touch of rueful realism and a lot of heart." — Kirkus Reviews, Best Teen Books of 2012

"Wise, funny, ingeniously plotted and deeper by far than its chick-lit type exterior suggests." — Jewish Chronicle

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When her friend buys her a winning lottery ticket, 16-year-old Lia strikes it rich, making her eight million pounds wealthier. The self-centered teen, who lives in a London suburb, initially succumbs to the expected pitfalls of instantaneous money, making frivolous purchases, lavishing gifts on friends, and becoming a media victim. Even as she gets caught up in her new life, she's also struggling to accept her best friend's growing devotion to Islam and the strains it puts on their relationship. Of course Lia has a love interest: the mysterious Raf, who shows up at school with black eyes and sleeps in an office in an Internet café. Lia's not sure what to make of the secrets surrounding him-she even spends much of the book wondering if he's possibly a vampire, angel, or some other kind of supernatural being. The novel's pace is adequate, but it really picks up halfway through as Lia begins to learn more about Raf and herself. Some plot twists are trite, and certain elements of the Lia/Rafael relationship feel a little too convenient. The writing is appropriate to the age range, though a brief, non-graphic sex scene may skew the book toward a slightly older audience. A solid choice for libraries looking to expand their chick-lit collections.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Lia Latimer is more than ready to take her future in her own hands when she wins eight million pounds in the lottery. She'll drop out of school, buy a flat, leave her annoying family behind. What could go wrong? Plenty, of course, and watching it unfold in this astringent, insightful satire is a major treat. Her father's struggling bakery needs a cash infusion; her mother would like a boob job; sister Natasha longs for singing lessons. Jack (the winning ticket was his 16th-birthday present to Lia) wants an Italian motor bike; his mother demands half Lia's winnings. Some seek support for worthy causes, but unlike Shazia, who won't let Lia give her anything (Islam rejects gambling), most classmates expect presents. Financing their shopping spree (£7,000) doesn't prevent a Facebook-fueled anti-Lia movement. Her romance with mysterious, gorgeous Raf is a bright spot--unless he's just after her winnings. Lia (self-centered control freak, yes, but smart, honest and likable) makes a refreshingly assertive heroine for affluenza-ridden times, discovering that too many choices can be almost as immobilizing as having none. The text is peppered with British terms and cultural references, but readers raised on Harry Potter should have no problems. Tart, funny and fast-moving, with a touch of rueful realism and a lot of heart. (Fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907666780
  • Publisher: Lincoln, Frances Limited
  • Publication date: 8/4/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • File size: 498 KB

Meet the Author

Keren David was brought up in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, U.K., and went to school in Hatfield. She left school at 18 and got a job as a messenger girl on a newspaper, then turned down a place to read English at university to take an apprenticeship as a junior reporter. She was freelancing as a reporter on the old Fleet Street by her mid-20s and, after living and working in Scotland for two years, was appointed as a news editor on The Independent at the age of 27. She worked at The Independent for six years, moving from news to become a commissioning editor on the Comment pages. She and her family then went to live in Amsterdam for eight years where she was editor in chief of a photo-journalism agency. On returning to the UK in 2007 she decided to attend a course on writing for children at the City University. When I Was Joe started out as a project for that course. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It might be magic, it might be destiny. Or it might just prove that the universe is completely random.

It doesn’t matter. You’re rich.

My mother kicked me out one minute after I won £8 million.

She didn’t literally manhandle me over the threshold, she just stood there, arm pointing at the door, tears pouring down her face saying, ‘Just. Get. Out. Now.’ in a voice that sounded like she was taking huge gulps of vodka in between each word.

Actually, she was gargling red wine that evening. Burgundy, to match her lipstick and toenails.

It was totally random, this eviction. One of those fights that we‘d been having a lot round about then. I thought they were all her fault. She seemed to think they were all mine. We’d been bickering all evening, and I was trying to stay cool and calm and totally reasonable. But the more I laid out my case for her to hand over twenty quid, the more quivery and emotional she became. It was completely unfair.

My little sister Natasha had struck gold when the evening was young and Mum was getting ready to go out for a party, humming Beyoncé, trying on earrings and admiring herself in her Karen Millen purple satin sheath dress. All Nat had to do was tell her how great she looked and Mum plunged into her diamanté clutch bag and handed over £20.

By the time I realised I was in desperate need of cash, having over-celebrated my birthday earlier in the month, Dad had announced that he had man flu. Their party outing was cancelled and Mum was back in her jeans, sulking in front of The X Factor.

‘You’re not actually doing anything, Lia,’ she said, picking at her Weight Watcher’s Shepherd’s-Pie-free Pie. ‘Why should I give you money? You’ve had your allowance for this month.’

I opened my mouth wide. ‘But . . . you gave Nat twenty quid. That’s so unfair. . . I want to go shopping tomorrow. I need twenty quid as well.’

I did need money. I always needed money. There was a fabulous 1960s leather jacket at my favourite stall in Camden – I’d dragged Mum there on my birthday, begged her with tears in my eyes to buy it for me, but she’d said she wasn’t paying £80 for someone’s tatty old leftovers. I couldn’t believe it – that jacket was a bargain. She just couldn’t bear letting me make my own decisions, she’d become downright mean and controlling over the last year or so. It was probably something to do with getting old – maybe she was bitter that she was getting all dried out and wrinkly while I looked reasonably OK in a good light and with the right leather jacket.

Anyway, that leather jacket was my latest ploy in the battle to get the attention of Raf, gorgeous, mysterious Raf, my latest crush. I had £40 all saved up. If I could get another £20 . . . and then hit Dad for some more the next day. . .

‘Natasha needed money to go out with her friends. It was an unexpected expense. And she doesn’t get as much allowance as you do. Come off it, Lia.’

‘You’re only giving her money because you’re desperate for her to have friends,’ I said. I knew it was a little mean to point this out – it was really tough for Natters when she fell into the grip of bullies last year – but that still was no reason to award her totally unearned and unfair bonuses.

‘Don’t be so vile,’ said Mum.

I took a big bite of spaghetti, slurping like a Dyson to pull in all the random threads.

‘Must you?’ she asked, with her bulimic face on.

‘Well, it’s true. You think Nat needs a load of extra financial help to bribe people into being friends with her. “Come on, everyone, popcorn’s on me!” Actually it’ll just make her look desperate. No offence.’

I really didn’t mean to be offensive. I could have given Natasha a lot of help with school politics if anyone had listened to me. Of course, no one ever did.

Anyway, I was older than Natasha by a full eighteen months and two days. Seniority should count for something. Anything she got, I should get more.

‘It’s not fair,’ I said again, totally pointlessly, I knew. Whenever I pointed out basic, obvious, total inequalities my parents just rolled their eyes and said,

‘Life’s not fair, Lia, anyone ever told you that?’ Possibly the most annoying phrase ever spoken.

Mum was getting a bit red in the face, and sloshing wine into her glass. I helpfully pointed out that her mascara had run a bit. She accused me of nicking her super-expensive waterproof wand. I blinked rapidly– to disguise the evidence – and launched into a full Oh my God, how can you accuse me of stealing, OMG, your own daughter defence.

’And anyway,’ I finished, ‘if you just increased my incredibly tiny allowance then I’d be able to buy my own.’

‘Oh, change the record, Lia,’ she said. ‘What’s wrong with you earning some money? Dad’s offered you a Saturday job.’

‘Oh please,’ I said, ‘I’ve told you. I’m not interested.’

Just because Dad couldn’t think of anything better to do with his life than take over the family bakery, didn’t mean I had to devote every Saturday to pushing Danish pastries. I supposed I might decide to take over one day . . . one day far, far in the future. When I was about fifty and my life was over. But not every Saturday. That was bringing the inevitable far too near.

Mum rolled her eyes. ‘You have the perfect Saturday job lined up for you, but you’re too lazy to take advantage. Anyway, keep the volume down. Your dad’s not very well.’

‘Yeah, right,’ I said. ‘Poor old Dad.’

We both knew he didn’t really have flu. He was just permanently tired from getting up early every day – baker’s hours, he called them – and allergic to most of her friends. Understandably.

‘Not that you care about anyone except yourself,’ she said, whoosh! out of nowhere.

I played an invisible violin. I could’ve been on Britain’s Got Talent. The Amazing Lia! She mimes and winds up her mother at the same time.

Mum tutted, and said, ‘You really are horrible; I don’t know what’s happened to you.’

My mother’s decided to hate me, that’s what’s happened to me, I thought, but I couldn’t think of a way to say it that didn’t make me sound pathetic. Instead I studied Heat. It’s incredible how rubbish you can look and still achieve celebrity status.

‘Anyway, Lia, it’s cheeky of you to be asking for more cash because I think it was you who nicked that tenner from my purse on Thursday. I’m not made of money, you know.’

I yawned. What a fuss about nothing. How dare she accuse me of theft when I fully intended to pay back that trifling sum? I needed that money. I’d run

out of lip balm. It was practically a medical emergency.

There didn’t seem to be any hope of extracting any cash from her padlocked purse, so I went on the counter-attack just for the hell of it.

‘You’re the selfish one. What’s so special about this party, eh, Paula? Crushing on a random pensioner?’

I’d been experimentally calling my parents Paula and Graham recently, instead of Mum and Dad. It was working quite well, I thought. It certainly got their attention. That’s possibly because their real names are Sarah and Ben.

‘Don’t call me Paula,’ she snapped. And then she yabbered on and on, and the lottery results came on the telly. And I listened with half an ear because I had a ticket. In my school bag. I couldn’t be arsed to go and find it, because I knew you never win these things.

‘I’ve had enough,’ said Paula. ‘You’re just taking the piss the whole time.’

‘Thirty-four!’ said the announcer. My bra size. Or my Nana’s house number, as I told the press.

‘Yeah, right,’ I said.

‘You treat this place like you’re staying at the Ritz and you’ve got a load of personal slaves. You treat my purse like a hole in the wall machine.’

‘Number seventeen!’ said the announcer. My friend Shazia’s house number. It sounded right. Yes. Seventeen.

‘You’re foul to poor Natasha.’

‘It’s character-building for her,’ I muttered. In the background the ball marked 23 rolled down the tube.

Twenty-three. My dream age. No more education and free as a bird.

‘Other girls don’t treat their parents like you do. Other girls are nice to their mothers.’

‘Mmmm . . . really?’ I asked. Forty-one rolled into place. Paula’s next birthday. And she thought I didn’t care.

Four numbers. Four numbers correct. That’s got to be good, I thought. That’s got to mean something.

Maybe I’ll win a couple of hundred. But I needed to check . . . find the ticket. . .

So I said, ‘Look, Paula, could you shut off the chit chat for a mo?’

That’s when she started screaming. She slammed her Burgundy down on the glass coffee table – could’ve been a bloodbath – and shrieked, ‘That’s it!

I’ve had enough! Apologise!’

I hardly noticed. I sat frozen, eyes glued to the telly, watching three little balls roll into place.

Thirteen. Raf’s birthday. A personal triumph of detective work to find that out – Raf wasn’t the sort for birthday celebrations. When it all became public I

had to pretend that I’d chosen it because we used to live at Flat 13 when I was a kid.

‘Number eight!’ Jack’s birthday. September eighth. I was sure I had eight.

Seven. My lucky number ever since I joined the Brownies on my seventh birthday and decided that it was the happiest day of my life. Kind of ironic because the Brownies housed a secret terror cell that made my life hell for the next two years. They were the Pixies and they hated little Gnomes.

‘You’re just ignoring me! You’ve got no respect!’ she was bellowing, while I stopped thinking about the poxy Pixies and started checking and rechecking the numbers frantically in my mind. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh. . .

‘Umm, Paula. . .’ I said, cautiously.

That’s when she started yelling and pointing.

Telling me she’d Had Enough, Could Take No More. And I couldn’t find the words to tell her what might have happened, and I couldn’t stand the embarrassment if it turned out that I’d got the numbers wrong. What if I’d picked Poor Little Natasha’s birthday instead of Jack’s? What if I’d forgotten my own bra size?

So I said, ‘Fine. All right. I’m going, I’m going.’

And I grabbed my denim jacket and pulled on my fake Uggs and picked up my school bag.

And I left home – me and my £8 million ticket.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2012

    I won Keren David's Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery from Libr

    I won Keren David's Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery from Library Thing, a signed copy of it actually, which I was pretty stoked on life about! :)

    It's taken me a couple of months to read it, but I've finally gotten to it, and am really glad!

    This book really caught my eye, because of the word: Lottery. Who doesn't want to win the lottery, right?? I sure would! I don't know exactly what I would do with all that money. Personally, I think I would be really scared because I'd be afraid I spend it all and then have no money again! And has anyone else heard of the curse of winning the lottery?? I am seriously not making this up! Here's an article explaining what I'm talking about! It's scary! Especially for a superstitious person like me!

    Anyway, so Lia is main character in Keren's new book, which was released this year in the US and last year in the UK. Lia is sixteen, and she wants is a vintage leather jacket she saw hanging in a downtown market place...that is before she wins 8 million pounds from a winning ticket her best friend bought her for her birthday!!
    What can be more exciting??!!
    However, things quickly turn bad.
    Lia's best friend, Jack,...the one who bought her the ticket, has a mother who wants to sue her for half of the winnings, even though all her son did was buy the ticket, Lia picked the numbers (and it was a birthday present!!). Lia's other best friend, Shazia, isn't allowed to accept any gifts from Lia, because it is against her religion. A bunch of people start using Lia so they can get free stuff (expensive free stuff!). And just when the guy she's been crushing on...a guy who might just possibly be a vampire...shows interest, he starts backing off.
    All these problems, doesn't even include her parents! Her mother just keeps mentioning ways to spending Lia's fortune, including handing over her credit card bill all of a sudden (totaling over 8,000 pounds!!) which was spent on hair extensions, nails, shopping at top notch boutiques! And then there's Lia's dad who wants Lia to pay for the bakery expansion, which he's been looking forward to for years; and then her sister who wants singing lessons (over 400 pounds a month!), even though she can't sing to save her life!

    Lia's life has just gotten extremely complicated!

    My thoughts:

    Overall, I liked this book. I think it was an easy, fun read. I had a problem with Lia's attitude at the beginning. She seemed really spoiled, and extremely disrespectful towards her mother, calling her a "cow" and other terrible things. I mean, her mom was a bit overly taken her daughter's money for granted, thinking she was entitled to spending it on herself too; but still it is her mother! And her mother and father did a great job raising Lia and her sister, Natasha!
    However, Lia definitely changed positively as time went by in the book! She started realizing just how much money can change your life! How people get jealous, and say terrible thing, including putting up a Facebook page bashing her, how your friends change, how YOU change! It's pretty intense!
    Raf, Lia's guy interest, was pretty odd too. But when everything gets explained at the end, it makes a bit more sense.
    Overall, if you are looking a fun easy read, possibly if you're specifically interested in a book about a 16 year old winning the lottery than I think you'll like this one! :) I think it's worth reading!

    The Romance Bookie :)

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    Lia is your typical teenager in London until her best friend buy

    Lia is your typical teenager in London until her best friend buys her the winning lottery ticket. From the moment she realizes that she has won over 8 million pounds her life is sent into a tail spin. Her friends have interesting reactions and her family went over the deep end, there weren't many people who weren't trying to get something out of her.

    Although there was a blatant lesson to be learned, I enjoyed that there was more to this story then learning the value of one's life with and without money. The reactions of her family members were all of the place and it was quite entertaining to see where the whole family dynamics would end up. I also enjoyed that there was other drama in her relationships that wasn't money related at all.

    The perfect YA read to pass onto a younger reader who thinks that everything could be solved with a little more money.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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