Book Recommendation: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

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Title: Windfall

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Published: May 2017

Rating: ★★★★ 

Summary: Alice doesn’t believe in luck, especially after the bad dosage of it that led to her being orphaned, but she decides to buy her best friend and recent love interest, Teddy, a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday as a nod to the rite of passage. When Teddy hits the jackpot and wins $141 million, Alice is starting to wonder if she should have bought the ticket at all. Money like that can change people and she fears it will change Teddy and their relationship.

Why I Am Recommending: The last time the Powerball Jackpot hit record amounts, like many foolish Americans, my husband and I bought lottery tickets. After we purchased them and dreamed about what we would do with that amount of money, I started to panic. The thought of having such a fortune scared me and made me realize that it would change everything about my life and the relationships I have. Luckily, or unluckily, we didn’t win, but in this book they do and it changes everything. It was interesting to read how coming from nothing then having more money than imaginable transforms someone, especially when that someone is only eighteen. Watching Teddy go through the initial stages of being a millionaire was painful. Every time he made a bad choice or you could tell someone was using him for his money, I couldn’t help but wince. Teddy is part of a trio a friends, including Alice (narrator), and Leo. Alice and Leo are there with Teddy through all of this and trying hard to reconcile this situation themselves. I loved this book because it portrayed this group of friends in such a relatable way. As I have ranted before, friendships are often so pivotal in a YA book and so it is important for an author to portray authentic relationships. I thought that Jennifer Smith did a really nice job weaving the friend group together as a cohesive and believable component of the story. Alice especially seemed like someone that could be real. Her fears about the lottery mimicked my own. Experiencing her angst as she worries about the possible loss of her best friend and the person she is starting to love caused angst in my own heart. This was a heartwarming story that was well-rounded and included a sweet and innocent first love arc. I breezed through this one. I will definitely be adding other books by Jennifer E. Smith to my TBR.

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