Windfall

Windfall

by Jennifer E. Smith

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Overview

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

This romantic story of hope, chance, and change from the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one JENNY HAN says is filled with all of her "favorite things," MORGAN MATSON calls “something wonderful” and STEPHANIE PERKINS says “is rich with the intensity of real love.”

Alice has never believed in luck, but that doesn’t stop her from rooting for love. After pining for her best friend Teddy for years, she jokingly gifts him a lottery ticket—attached to a note professing her love—on his birthday. Then, the unthinkable happens: he actually wins
 
At first, it seems like the luckiest thing on earth. But as Teddy gets swept up by his $140 million windfall and fame and fortune come between them, Alice is forced to consider whether her stroke of good fortune might have been anything but.
 
She bought a winning lottery ticket. He collected the cash. Will they realize that true love’s the real prize?

Featured in Seventeen Magazine's "What's Hot Now"

Windfall is about all of my favorite things—a girl’s first big love, her first big loss, and—her first big luck.”
JENNY HAN, New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
 
Windfall is perfectly named; reading it, I felt like I had suddenly found something wonderful.
MORGAN MATSON, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything
 
Windfall is rich with the intensity of real love— in all its heartache and hope.”
STEPHANIE PERKINS, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After 

"If you’re looking for your next great read, then you’re in 'luck!'" —Justine Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399559372
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 148,858
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages. She lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @JenESmith or visit her at jenniferesmith.com.

Read an Excerpt

One

When the man behind the counter asks for my lucky number, I hesitate.

“You must have one,” he says, his pen hovering over the rows of bubbles on the form. “Everyone does.”

But the problem is this: I don’t believe in luck.

At least not the good kind.

“Or it could be anything, really,” he says, leaning forward on the counter. “I just need five numbers. And here’s the trick. The big secret. You ready?”

I nod, trying to look like I do this all the time, like I didn’t just turn eighteen a few weeks ago, like this isn’t my first time buying a lottery ticket.

“You have to make them really, really good ones.”

“Okay then,” I say with a smile, surprised to find myself playing along. I planned to let the computer decide, to put my faith in randomness. But now a number floats to the surface with such ease that I offer it up to him before thinking better of it. “How about thirty-one?”

Teddy’s birthday.

“Thirty-one,” the man repeats as he scratches out the corresponding bubble. “Very promising.”

“And eight,” I tell him.

My birthday.

Behind me, there’s a line of people waiting to buy their own tickets, and I can practically feel their collective impatience. I glance up at the sign above the counter, where three numbers are glowing a bright red.

“Three-eighty-two,” I say, pointing at the display. “Is that millions?”

The man nods and my mouth falls open.

“That’s how much you can win?”

“You can’t win anything,” he points out, “unless you pick some more numbers.”

“Right,” I say with a nod. “Twenty-four, then.”

Teddy’s basketball number.

“And eleven.”

His apartment number.

“And nine.”

The number of years we’ve been friends.

“Great,” says the man. “And the Powerball?”

“What?”

“You need to pick a Powerball number.”

I frown at him. “You said five before.”

“Yeah, five plus the Powerball.”

The sign above the counter clicks forward: 383. It’s an amount nearly too big to mean anything--an impossible, improbable figure.

I take a deep breath, trying to shuffle through the numbers in my head. But only one keeps appearing again and again, like some kind of awful magic trick.

“Thirteen,” I say, half-expecting something to happen. In my mind the word is full of voltage, white-hot and charged. But out loud it sounds like any other, and the man only glances up at me with a doubtful look.

“Really?” he asks. “But that’s unlucky.”

“It’s just a number,” I say, even though I know that’s not true, even though I don’t believe it one bit. What I know is this: numbers are shifty things. They rarely tell the whole story.

Still, when he hands over the slip of paper--that small square of illogical math and pure possibility--I tuck it carefully into the pocket of my coat.

Just in case.

Two

Outside, Leo is waiting. It’s started to snow, the flakes heavy and wet, and they settle thickly over his dark hair and the shoulders of his jacket.

“All set?” he asks, already starting to walk in the direction of the bus stop. I hurry after him, skidding a little in the fresh snow.

“Do you have any idea how much this ticket could be worth?” I say, still trying to get my head around the number.

Leo raises his eyebrows. “A million?”

“No.”

“Two?”

“Three hundred and eighty-three million,” I tell him, then add, in case it isn’t entirely clear: “Dollars.”

“That’s only if you win,” he says, grinning. “Most people get nothing but a piece of paper.”

I feel for the ticket in my pocket. “Still,” I say, as we arrive at the three-sided shelter of the bus stop. “It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?”

We sit down on the bench, our breath making clouds that hang in the air before disappearing. The snow has a sting to it, and the wind off the lake is icy and sharp. We scoot closer together for warmth. Leo is my cousin, but really he feels more like my brother. I’ve been living with his family ever since I was nine, after my parents died a little more than a year apart.

In the hazy aftermath of that horrible time, I found myself plucked out of San Francisco--the only home I’d ever known--and set down halfway across the country with my aunt and uncle in Chicago. Leo was the one to save me. When I arrived I was still reeling, stunned by the unfairness of a world that would take away my parents one at a time with such coldhearted precision. But Leo had decided it was his job to look out for me, and it was one he took seriously, even at nine.

We were an odd pair. I was wispy and pale, with hair like my mother’s, so blond it took on a slightly pinkish hue in certain light. Leo, on the other hand, had inherited his liquid brown eyes and messy thatch of dark hair from his own mom. He was funny and kind and endlessly patient, whereas I was quiet and heartsick and a little withdrawn.

But right from the start, we were a team: Leo and Alice.

And, of course, Teddy. From the moment I arrived, the two of them--inseparable since they were little--took me under their wing, and we’ve been a trio ever since.

When the bus appears, its headlights hazy in the whirling snow, we climb on. I slide into a seat beside the window, and Leo sinks down next to me with his long legs stretched into the empty aisle, a puddle already forming around his wet boots. I reach into my bag for the birthday card I bought for Teddy, then hold out a hand, and without even needing to ask, Leo passes over the heavy fountain pen he always carries with him.

“So I ended up stealing your idea,” he says, pulling a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. He twirls them between his fingers, looking pleased with himself. “Another perk of turning eighteen. I know he doesn’t smoke, but I figure it’s still better than the IOU for a hug he gave me.”

“You got a hug?” I say, looking over at him. “I got one for a free ice cream, which I somehow ended up paying for anyway.”

Leo laughs. “Sounds about right.”

I pin the card against the seat in front of me, trying to keep it steady against the bouncing of the bus. But as I stare at the blank interior, my heart starts to hammer in my chest. Leo notices me hesitate and shifts in his seat, angling himself toward the aisle to give me some privacy. I stare at his back for a second, wondering whether he’s just being polite or whether he’s finally guessed my secret, a thought that makes my face burn.

For almost three years now, I’ve been in love with Teddy McAvoy.

And though I’m painfully aware that I probably haven’t been hiding it very well, I usually choose--in the interest of self-preservation--to believe that’s not the case. The one consolation is that I’m pretty sure Teddy has no idea. There’s a lot to love about him, but his powers of observation are questionable at best. Which is a relief in this particular situation.

It took me by surprise, falling in love with Teddy. For so many years, he’d been my best friend: my funny, charming, infuriating, often idiotic best friend.

Then one day, everything changed.

It was spring of freshman year, and we were on a hot dog crawl, of all things, a walking tour that Teddy had mapped out to hit all the best spots on the North Side. The morning had started off cool, but as the day wore on it became too warm for my sweatshirt, which I tied around my waist. It wasn’t until our fourth stop--where we sat at a picnic table, struggling to finish our hot dogs--that I realized it must have fallen off along the way.

“Wasn’t it your mom’s?” Leo asked, looking stricken, and I nodded. It was just an old Stanford hoodie with holes in both cuffs. But the fact that it had belonged to my mother made it priceless.

“We’ll find it,” Teddy promised as we began retracing our steps, but I wasn’t so sure, and my chest ached at the thought of losing it. By the time it started to pour we’d only made it halfway back through the day’s route, and it was quickly becoming clear that the sweatshirt was a lost cause. There was nothing to do but give up on it.

But later that night my phone lit up with a text from Teddy: I’m outside. I crept downstairs in my pajamas, and when I opened the front door, he was standing there in the rain, his hair dripping and his jacket soaked, holding the wet sweatshirt under his arm like a football. I couldn’t believe he’d found it. I couldn’t believe he’d gone back for it.

Before he could say anything, I threw my arms around him, hugging him tight, and as I did I felt something crackle to life inside me, like my heart was a radio that had been full of static for years, and now, all at once, it had gone suddenly clear.

Maybe I’d loved him long before then. Maybe I just hadn’t realized it until I opened the door that night. Or maybe it was always meant to happen this way, with a shivering boy holding a damp sweatshirt on my front stoop, the whole thing as inevitable as day turning to night and back to day again.

It hasn’t been easy, loving him; it’s like a dull throb, constant and persistent as a toothache, and there’s no real cure for it. For three years I’ve acted like his buddy. I’ve watched him fall for a string of other girls. And all this time, I’ve been too afraid to tell him the truth.

I blink at the card in front of me, then jiggle the pen in my hand. Out the window the night is cloaked in white, and the bus carried us farther from the heart of the city. Something about the darkness, all those flecks of snow hurrying to meet the windshield, dizzying and surreal, makes me feel momentarily brave.

I take a deep breath and write: Dear Teddy.

Then, before I can second-guess myself, I keep going, my pen moving fast across the page, a quick, heedless emptying of my heart, an act so reckless, so bold, so monumentally stupid that it makes my blood pound in my ears.

When I’m finished I reach for the envelope.

“Don’t forget the ticket,” Leo says, and I slip it out of my pocket. It’s now bent, and one of the corners has a small tear, but I lay it flat against my leg and do my best to straighten it out. As Leo leans in to get a better look, I feel my face flush all over again.

“Teddy’s birthday?” he says, peering at the numbers, his glasses fogged from the warmth of the bus. “Kind of an obvious one . . .”

“It seemed appropriate for the occasion.”

“Your birthday. Teddy’s basketball jersey.” He pauses. “What’s eleven?”

“A prime number.”

“Very funny,” he says, then his eyes flash with recognition. “Oh, right. His apartment. And nine?”

“The number of years--”

“That you guys have been friends, right,” he says, then turns to the final number. I watch his face as it registers--that awful, conspicuous thirteen--and he snaps his chin up, his dark eyes alert and full of concern.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” I say quickly, flipping the ticket over and pressing it flat with my hand. “I had to think fast. I just . . .”

“You don’t have to explain.”

I shrug. “I know.”

“I get it,” he says, and I know that he does.

That’s the best thing about Leo.

He watches me for a second longer, as if to make sure I’m really okay; then he sits back in his seat so that we’re both facing forward, our eyes straight ahead as the bus hurtles through the snow, which is thick as static against the windshield. After a moment, he reaches over and places a hand on top of mine, and I lean against him, resting my head on his shoulder, and we ride like that the rest of the way.

Three

The inside of Teddy’s apartment is warm and almost humid, the small space filled with too many bodies and too much noise. Beside the door, the old-fashioned radiator is hissing and clanging, and from the bedroom the music thumps through the walls, making Teddy’s school photos tremble in their frames. The single window by the galley kitchen is already fogged over, and someone has written TEDDY MCAVOY IS A across it, the last word rubbed out so that it’s impossible to tell just what exactly he is.

I stand on my tiptoes, scanning the room.

“I don’t see him,” I say, shrugging off my coat and throwing it on top of the haphazard pile that’s sprung up on the floor. Leo picks it up, knotting one of his sleeves to one of mine so that our jackets look like they’re holding hands.

“I can’t believe he’s doing this,” he says. “His mom is gonna kill him.”

But there’s more to it than that. There’s a reason Teddy doesn’t usually have people over, even though his mom works nights as a nurse. Their whole apartment is only two rooms--three if you count the bathroom. The kitchen is basically just a small tiled area tucked off in the corner, and Teddy has the only bedroom. His mom sleeps on the pullout couch while he’s at school, a detail that makes it glaringly obvious they don’t have the same kind of money as most of our classmates.

But I’ve always loved it here. After Teddy’s dad walked out on them, they had to give up their spacious two-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, and this was all they could afford. Katherine McAvoy did what she could to make it feel like home, painting the main room a blue so bright it feels like being in a swimming pool, and the bathroom a cheerful pink. In Teddy’s room each wall is a different color: red, yellow, green, and blue, like the inside of a parachute.

Tonight, though, it feels less cozy than crowded, and as a cluster of junior girls walk past us I hear one of them say, her voice incredulous, “It’s only a one-bedroom?”

“Can you imagine?” says another, her eyes wide. “Where does his mom sleep?”

“I knew he wasn’t rich, but I didn’t realize he was, like, poor.”

Beside me I can feel Leo bristle. This is exactly why Teddy never has anyone but us over. And why it’s so strange to see dozens of our classmates crammed into every available inch of space tonight. On the couch, five girls are wedged together so closely it’s hard to imagine how they’ll ever get up, and the hallway that leads to Teddy’s room is clogged by the better part of the basketball team. As we stand there, one of them comes barreling past us--his cup held high, the liquid sloshing onto his shirt--shouting, “Dude! Dude! Dude!” over and over as he elbows his way toward the kitchen.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Windfall"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jennifer E. Smith.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Windfall 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
AReadingRedSox 6 months ago
I absolutely loved this one and am bummed that I waited so long to read it! Everything about this book was so great—the family dynamics, the friendships, the romance, the heartache, and the challenges Alice faces. A really excellent, well developed read! This would be my favorite of Jennifer E. Smith’s if not for THE COMEBACK SEASON, as that will always be my favorite of hers because, of course, it’s about baseball. :)
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you won the lottery? We’ve all asked ourselves that question, haven’t we? Jennifer E. Smith writes a realistic story about three teenagers, Alice, Leo, and Teddy. Teddy is turning seventeen and is legal, at least for the buying and winning of lottery tickets. Alice, who has liked Teddy for years as more than friends, buys him a lottery ticket for his birthday and against all odds, those numbers she chose makes him a winner. The winning of that ticket sidetracks her plans of finally telling him how she feels. Some of this book is pretty predictable. I mean, what would you expect of a teenage boy who wins the lottery? Yep, he goes crazy with the money, buying everything in sight and treating all of his friends. What makes this story unique are the intricacies of these kids personalities and back stories. Alice had been adopted by her Aunt and Uncle at age nine after her parents death. She struggles with feelings of self worth, wanting to please the memory of her parents with everything she does, that you begin to wonder who Alice really is and what Alice really wants out of life. Leo is gay and is going through a long distance relationship with his boyfriend who is a year ahead and has already gone off to college. Teddy, the winner of the lottery, is actually the son of an addicted gambler who abandoned he and his mother stealing all of their savings. Funny enough, Leo has the most normal storyline. One that quite a few of us have gone through and can relate with. It’s Alice and Leo’s story that drives this book and Ms. Smith did a good job of taking a big subject like winning the lottery and intricately weaving emotion, heart, and heartbreak through the glitz and glam of Teddy’s prize. If you are a fan of YA contemporary romances then you need to pick up this book. It is chock full of emotions but I’d rate it PG in physical contact, safe for any audience.
Seoling More than 1 year ago
I’ve always been a fan of Jennifer E. Smith’s books – they were just a little kitschy, a little romantic, and a lot of fun. I’d heard mixed feelings about WINDFALL and I finally gave it a chance. It didn’t hurt that I was in LOVE with the cover and thought it was very different from her old covers (which were nice, but this definitely beats those). I went into reading it feeling a little skeptical, but I quickly drowned in the feels and angst that were happening between Alice and Teddy. I am a huge sucker for a contemporary where angst meets angst angst and more angst (I happen to think Jenny Han and Cath Crowley do a fantastic job of this) and then rewards me with some solace in the end after being in so much pain for so many pages. Surprisingly, WINDFALL was a fast read for me (only because I needed to know what happened). I absolutely love the topics that Smith covers beyond the typical romance. There’s themes of family, friendship, coming of adulthood, volunteerism and just a general sense of what you put out into the world is what you get back. I was touched by all the human interactions and the way that the characters developed a sense of…wanting to do good as the story progressed. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a story where someone wins the lottery and then what comes thereafter. It was so interesting to read what Smith’s perspective was on how it affected Teddy and Alice. Of course, there are typical reactions, but then delving past what happens when someone who’s not exactly well off financially – what goes on from there? What happens to that person when he’s realized that there’s just so much money and there’s more to buying cars and going down to Cabo and wrecking jet skis? There’s just MORE. The relationship between Alice and Leo were one of my favorites in WINDFALL. I loved that they were obviously not brother/sister, but acted and portrayed as such. Their bond is the type that I would have loved to have had growing up (I, alas, am an only child) and wish I had someone, especially a brother who had my back. I liked seeing them help each other through dilemmas and huge conflicts, but still keeping their own bond strong and at the forefront of the relationships in the story. I will say that I was much more interested and invested in WINDFALL in the first half rather than the second half. It started to get a little lackluster, especially as Teddy began to veer into a not so glamorous path as a multimillionaire. I’m not sure it was just how it came off to me, but the story just seemed to grow a bit lackluster and become less meaningful by the end. I was disappointed at how the ‘card’ situation was handled because I hoped that it would be confronted and become part of the turning point in WINDFALL. But instead, it’s held off until the last chapter and doesn’t give me enough…EMOTIONAL EFFECT. Nevertheless, I really thought this was a cute story and am happy to add it to my J.E.S. collection.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author. It was recommended to me by someone. I found it an easy read, and it focused on something I had never really given too much thought. How would it really be to win a big payout on the Lottery? The story flowed easily, and I found myself hoping for good things for all the characters.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
This book’s summary in a nutshell: a) Best Friend Romance (AKA – MY ACHILLES HEEL OF ALL CONTEMPORARY PLOTS) b) WINNING OVER A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS IN THE LOTTERY. c) Lives have been changed forever The minute I read Windfall’s summary, I knew I WANTED IT. Which is why, after having binge read this book in 1.5 days, I’m sitting on my bed, typing out this review, slightly in love I’m unable to open another one because IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD. My Thoughts: 1. Like I said, I love the idea behind this book. Who doesn’t win the lottery with the hope that they will WIN ALL THAT MONEY and live the life they’ve always dreamed of? Almost NOBODY. Add a best friend romance in the mix and I’m SOLD. 2. One of the first things that struck me about this book after I actually began reading was how grounded a character Alice was. I always like these kinds of fictional girls better and I instantly connected with her. Also, TELL ME ABOUT UNREQUIETED FEELINGS! 3. Another things I LOVED SO SO MUCH about this book was the presence of strong, sturdy parents. Alice’s aunt and uncle and such amazing people that only want the best for their son and orphan niece who they’ve taken in as their own. They were the PERFECT PARENTS AND I LOVED THAT YA is finally getting some. 4. I should mention that they Harry Potter reference almost had me in tears. SERIOUSLY. It warmed my heart and YOU NEED TO READ THIS. 5. I also loved my boys, Leo and Sawyer. I love big brothers in any kind of setting and Leo was only slightly awesome. I wish we got to see more of Max, of that Leo and Max will have a book of their own because SWOON. Sawyer was also a fun, stand-up kind of guy and I loved his humour. 6. Surprisingly, the one thing I thought I’d LOVE was the one thing I didn’t like about the book – and that was Teddy and Alice together. For starters, Teddy wasn’t my favourite person. I didn’t have a specific problem with him BUT with all the other great characters, he probably ranked last for me in this book (which is even more surprising because he’s exactly like my best friend IRL.) More than anything, I didn’t feel a spark between the two of them or anything but a forced romance. Harry Potter references guaranteed to make your eyes shed a few tear drops, the lottery, family and brilliant characters – Windfall is one amazing book you should get your hands on!
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
Windfall is a fun and surprisingly emotional read about friendship, unexpected chance, and finding yourself. We follow Alice Chapman, who’s in love with her best friend, Teddy McAvoy, and gives him a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday. Everything changes when he wins. I thought this was a really great story that pack an emotional punch! Things I Liked: I found that all of the characters were exceptionally human. They all felt like real people; flawed and confused and struggling in the midst of a massive change. Alice is still closed off after the loss of her parents, but she wants to start living for herself instead of their memory. Leo is struggling between going to college with his boyfriend, or following his dream to art school. Teddy is coming out of an impoverished life and into the lap of luxury. Each character is struggling and growing. They made bad and stupid decisions and have regrets, but they are honest and care and try. They all just felt incredibly real to me, even if the situation is extravagant. I also really loved all of the dynamics in the story. Alice and Leo have an incredible faux sibling relationship that’s so supportive , but includes some classic bickering. I loved her relationship with Uncle Jake, who like her is more closed off about the loss of his brother (her father), but they really help each other heal. I loved Alice tutoring Caleb and helping him have that support after he lost his parents. I love that Alice and Teddy have a rich history, that has the chance to face challenges and grow. Again, everything felt very authentic to me. Things I Didn’t Like: I feel like Sawyer turned into a friendzoned dudebro who was pissed that Alice didn’t like him, because she’d never have a chance with Teddy. He got all why don’t you like me like I like you, and it felt really annoying, especially after he was such a sweetheart the first few times we see him. The penultimate chapter felt weirdly out of place. It honestly felt like it should have been the last chapter because of the wrap up style narrative with all of the characters. I’m a character driven reader. I can trudge through a boring plot with a smile on my face as long as I care about the characters. And I really found these characters compelling. Yes, Teddy was annoying after winning and his exuberant spending made me roll my eyes. Yes, Alice was self righteous and judgemental about how Teddy was acting. Even through these little frustrations, I still felt like the characters were acting like real people. I believed their emotions and interactions. This was a really quick and fun read for me - and I love a good contemporary!
YAandWine More than 1 year ago
A wonderful new look at luck, philanthropy, love, and forgiveness, WINDFALL is quite simply lovely. The writing is lovely. The characters are lovely. The story itself is lovely too. The main character, Alice, reminded me so much of Jennifer E. Smith herself, who is such an amazing and charitable person and truly believes in, and practices, random acts of kindness. I really enjoyed seeing a main character who is so genuinely good. It was honestly so refreshing. Alice is the kind of character you want to aspire to be more like after reading the book. I adored Teddy's character as well, and watching him struggle through the changes brought into his life after winning the lottery was absolutely fascinating. It truly makes you think about how you would handle that situation if you were ever in it and what the best thing to do would truly be. There are so many different ways in which people can be good, and this book truly explores that while still being ever bit as sweet and swoony as fans of some of Smith's other books like THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRT SIGHT have come to expect from her.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this fun story. The first thing that really got my attention was the cover of this one. Isn't it gorgeous? After reading the description, I knew that this was a book that I would need to read. I just love the premise. I don't really play the lottery but anytime the jackpot is at an outrageous level, I do buy a single ticket. I know that odds are that I will never win but from the moment I put the ticket in my pocket until the numbers are drawn, I can dream about it. I have some pretty big dreams when it comes to lottery winnings. Usually by the time I find out that I didn't win, I have thought of twenty different plans for handling the money. While I read this book, I really thought about what would I have done if I had that kind of money as a teenager and it wasn't pretty. Alice, Leo, and Teddy have been best friends for a long time. Alice has been living with her cousin Leo and his family ever since her parents died. Alice decides to get Teddy a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday just because he is now legally old enough to buy a ticket. Teddy is having party in the small apartment he shared with his mother and the whole group celebrates his birthday. The next morning when they hear the numbers that were drawn, they are in for a big surprise. Alice lost both of her parents when she was only nine years old. She tries to make them proud through her actions. She volunteers at a variety of organizations and is very focused on getting into the college of her dreams. Leo is trying to decide which college he really wants to go to along with figuring out his relationship with Max. Teddy didn't really have a lot of plans before winning the lottery and he has a lot to figure out once he does. I liked the characters in this story and thought that they felt realistic. Teddy handled everything better than a lot of adults would have but he was impulsive enough that it felt genuine. Alice was very reserved and not quite sure if she was making the right choices. Leo was supportive of his friends but also having a hard time making some of the important decisions that need to be made at this stage in his life. This story really hits on all of the highs and lows of coming into a sudden fortune. There is also a small bit of romance to keep things interesting. All three of the main characters learn a lot about themselves and each other over the course of the story. They do open up about a lot of things that have been unsaid for a long time. I would recommend this book to others. It was a fun read that moved quickly. This is only the second book by Jennifer E. Smith that I have read but I do enjoy her writing style. I hope to read more of her work very soon. I received a review copy of this book from Delacorte Press via Blogging for Books.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Windfall is a fun, fast YA read. Some parts are predictable, but overall the premise of this book is unique and entertaining. One thing this book makes you do is think. What would I do if I won the lottery? Would I change? Through the ups and downs, the story makes the reader examine their own views, ideals, and desires. I enjoyed this story, but Alice bothered me a bit. I sympathized with her—to a point—but she tended to be too weak for my taste. I wanted to “toughen her up” and give her more oomph. Thank you to the publisher and BloggingForBooks for my complimentary copy.