Spoils

Spoils

by Tammar Stein
     
 

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When Leni's family hit the lottery, life got . . . well, strange. Leni's parents built a mansion fit for royalty; they enrolled their daughter in the fanciest, most expensive private school in Florida; and they even bought Leni a dolphin for her 12th birthday (she made them take it back). But all of that extravagant living has caught up with them and the lottery money

Overview

When Leni's family hit the lottery, life got . . . well, strange. Leni's parents built a mansion fit for royalty; they enrolled their daughter in the fanciest, most expensive private school in Florida; and they even bought Leni a dolphin for her 12th birthday (she made them take it back). But all of that extravagant living has caught up with them and the lottery money is about to run out—except for the large trust fund Leni will inherit on her 18th birthday, now only a week away. Leni is prepared to give her parents the money until her sister, Natasha, confesses a shocking secret—one that threatens to destroy their entire family. Leni has been ordered to fix it, but how?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
01/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—In this stand-alone companion to Kindred (Knopf, 2011), Leni's family is in trouble. Several years ago they won 22 million dollars in the lottery, but now it has all been spent, except for the million dollar trust fund that Leni will receive when she turns 18 in a few days. She can tell that her parents expect her to give them the money, but as she watches how they spend in anticipation of the windfall, she worries that she really can't solve their problems. Her deeply troubled older sister blames herself for all that is wrong with the family and warns Leni to get rid of the money. An angel named Michael appears and tells Leni to "Fix it." She must figure out what "it" is that she's supposed to fix. Stein's strong writing and well-drawn characters make this titles one of those novels that seem to have it all: a little romance, intrigue, both an angel and a devil, family disaster and love, a strong female character, and a fast -moving, smooth plot. Subtlely infused themes of being careful what you wish for and that money can't buy happiness give the novel an added intensity. The thoughts of characters not directly related to the main plot who dream of how an infusion of money would solve their problems add depth to the story. A satisfying read.—Janet Hilbun, Texas Women's University, Denton, TX
VOYA - Donna L Phillips
Who has not fantasized about winning the lottery? Leni's family is living the nightmare that follows after they squander their winnings, except for the last million set aside in Leni's trust. It will become hers to save, spend, or give away on her eighteenth birthday, now a week away. Using a familiar trope, Stein reveals the not-so-shocking news that the lottery win was not the result of luck but rather of older sister Natasha making a deal with the devil to hang on to a boyfriend leaving for the army. Leni surveys the wreckage of her family's bad decisions and decides to use her inheritance to help right the wrongs of a brilliant (and attractive) classmate falsely accused in a cheating scandal that cost him a coveted scholarship. Throw in an environmental twist, with the two helping a professor involved in research to make algae the next biofuel, and you have a novel that will keep an assortment of readers turning pages in spite of its in-your-face treatment of themes that readers of Stein's earlier novel Kindred (Knopf, 2011/Voya April 2011) will recognize. In alternate, italicized points of view, both the devil and archangel Michael contemplate the same victims/beneficiaries whose paths have crossed Leni's along the way. One mildly annoying ambiguity—what did Natasha relinquish in her deal with the devil? We may not need to know, but this reviewer suspects many readers, like me, will be left dying to know the details and disappointed not to find out. Reviewer: Donna L Phillips

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307974310
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
12/10/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
File size:
956 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

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Meet the Author

TAMMAR STEIN is the award-winning author of the young adult novels Kindred, High Dive, and Light Years, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in Florida with her family and bilingual dog.

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