Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
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Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for the last few years, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. She and he are alike: both are outsiders, both know tragedy. She lost both her parents when she was nine and now lives with her cousin. Teddy’s mother is barely able to hold it all together, forced to grapple with the weight of gambling debts incurred by his father, who abandoned them years ago.
Then, on Teddy’s eighteenth birthday, Alice buys him a lottery ticket, and to their astonishment, he wins $145 million. In an instant, their lives are completely upended. But what at first seems to be a blessing soon starts to feel like a curse. As Alice and Teddy deal with the ripple effects caused by that one little ticket, they learn more about themselves than they ever could have imagined, and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect. Now if only Teddy can see through his windfall and back to the ones who love him.
NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased/pre-ordered for my collection.
Inspiring, heartwarming, and incredibly moving, WINDFALL is a story about love and loss, and about good luck, bad luck, and no luck. It’s about being true to oneself, about taking chances, about moving forward, and about making a difference. It’s an utterly enchanting and totally addictive read that is sure to make every reader smile and make them wonder how their lives might change with a windfall.
Alice never imagined that the lottery ticket she bought for Teddy, her best friend and secret love, on his birthday would change everything. It was supposed to be a gag gift from one very unlucky person to another. But when it turns out to be one of three winning tickets for over 140 million, it’s not only Teddy’s circumstances that will be radically altered, her entire world is at risk of being turned upside down.
As much as she wishes he had never won, she is just as thrilled that he had. But it complicates things. For him. For her. For them. And with just how difficult her life has been already, she’s not really sure she can roll with the changes or deal with the fallout that comes along with such a big payout. Especially when it seems like her relationship with Teddy is what’s on the line.
Jennifer E. Smith didn’t write a simple good luck, happily-ever-after love story – WINDFALL was so much more. The money didn’t magically erase all of Alice and Teddy’s problems. It didn’t rewrite their pasts. It provided opportunities, but it also created problems where none had existed before. And it forced them both to confront things they’d managed to avoid for a long while.
What she did write is a story that has depth and emotion and complexity. A story that is uplifting, that provokes thought, that is achingly sad and beautiful and is also heartfelt and hopeful. She introduces two characters who are connected because of the tragedies in their pasts, but whose current good fortune could tear them apart. She writes about family, and friendship, and generosity, and second chances, and difficult choices, and possibility, and unrequited love.
And she puts it all together in a story that is meaningful and romantic and endlessly readable.
WINDFALL is an absolute must for those who believe in luck over fate, who are curious to meet someone who would contemplate turning down millions to avoid upsetting the status quo, who love stories that offer ideas for consideration, and who prefer a story they can devour in one sitting.
About Jennifer E. Smith
JENNIFER E. SMITH (@JenESmith) 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 spent years working as an editor on a number of bestselling books, including Ballantine’s New York Times bestseller Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages, and four of her novels are currently in development for film. She lives in New York City.