Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published: May 2, 2017 by Delacorte Press
Source: ARC from publisher
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. [goodreads]
Oh this book. Jennifer E. Smith has a way with words that can creep up on you when you least expect them, and burrow somewhere deep inside. While reading this story, I found myself completely connected with the characters and their fortunes, as well as their misfortunes. This is way more than just a novel about two young teens winning the lottery and living out their wildest fantasies. It's about self discovery, growing up, and realizing who you want to be. I ached for both Alice and Teddy. One minute I was rooting for them, while the next I was completely okay with them following different paths. This story has a way of catapulting the reader forward, only to slow everything down and take a long, hard look at what one might do in this unique, yet thrilling situation.
I'm a goner when it comes to romances, so naturally I kept a watchful eye on Alice and her young love for Teddy. I appreciated how Smith doesn't present their romance as the center of the story, yet keeps it right there, allowing so many other facets to propel the story forward. It was interesting to see the ups and downs on how someone of eighteen really would spend that enormous amount of money. To anyone, a check that grand could open so many sealed shut doors. However, I really found myself connecting with the struggles that a human being would experience while deciding on just what to do with that sort of cash.
If you're a fan of Jennifer E. Smith's work, then this novel will not disappoint. I feel she shines at her brightest with this one. If you're new to her, then by all means, let me be the one to introduce you. Her storytelling is so captivating and vivid, yet real and honest. I adored this novel and the unique, yet so profound narrative it weaves. This is a must read!