Windfall
Let luck find you.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.

Windfall Details

TitleWindfall
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017
PublisherDelacorte Press
ISBN039955937X
ISBN-139780399559372
Number of pages414 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Glbt, Family

Windfall Review

  • Kaylin
    April 10, 2017
    2.5 StarsOverview: Alice is in love with Teddy, her best-friend of nine years. She buys him a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday and they win millions. That’s the premise of this book, and based off that brief description, you probably have an idea where the story is headed. And you’re probably right. No surprises here, really.I received an ARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Delacorte Press for the opportunity! Pros: The teenagers feel like teenagers. T 2.5 StarsOverview: Alice is in love with Teddy, her best-friend of nine years. She buys him a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday and they win millions. That’s the premise of this book, and based off that brief description, you probably have an idea where the story is headed. And you’re probably right. No surprises here, really.I received an ARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Delacorte Press for the opportunity! Pros: The teenagers feel like teenagers. There are discussions about growing up and the real world that blended seamlessly with Alice’s narrative voice. It was relatable and felt real.This is all very... aware? I'm not sure how to phrase what I mean. This was my first book by Jennifer E. Smith, and I've heard her books are fairly light. Completely wasn't expecting the characters to get called out on their behavior, or the MC to be explicitly aware of her relationships. Everyone is flawed, and these flaws are discussed. Relationships have problems and the characters communicate.A surprisingly strong focus on family that I really enjoyed. Especially since it's a more unconventional family. I loved the end. The last page itself was fantastic. Completely wrapped up the story without showing too much. Andends with a bang. Cons It’s all just so predictable.As soon as Alice buys the ticket, you know it’s going to win. (Even if the blurb didn't give it away) As soon as Teddy wins you know he’s going to let it go to his head. Then it will continue like every other feel-good book. And winning the lottery should never be boring. It took almost 20% of the book for them to even realize they'd won, then spent another large chunk talking about it. We were a third of the way through the book before the money actually entered the picture. Alice has a brief romance with a random side-character. He wasn’t particularly well-developed, and it’s clear he's her Teddy-stand in. This whole dynamic was boring and cliché to me.Leo’s whole character really felt like a cliché itself-- token gay best friend who loves art. I mean, I definitely want more LGBT representation, so it feels weird to complain about this, but it was so painfully obvious he was only there to further Alice’s story. For instance, there are many references to Leo’s boyfriend, Max. But their relationship is never really fleshed out, we are just constantly told how “perfect” Max is. I get Alice is a sweet and nice and kind person and all that jazz. I don’t need to see her volunteering some place new every other chapter to comprehend that. There were several aspects of her character I liked, but she was too-much of a goody-two-shoes. Who seriously turns down millions of dollars without hesitating? No one’s that ‘nice.’ In Conclusion As strange as this sounds, I will definitely be checking out more of Smith’s books. The writing was there, the plot was just boring.
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  • Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
    April 12, 2017
    Actual rating: 2.5 stars. When you write about someone winning the lottery, there are certain places that your mind goes. The winner spends frivolously on a yacht and a robot butler, runs into trouble with credit card companies, and after losing a significant chunk of cash, realises that they should channel their inner Ellen and pay it forward to the deserving public. That's pretty much what happens to Teddy. 'Windfall' does nothing new with the plot of rags to riches. More dramatic things could Actual rating: 2.5 stars. When you write about someone winning the lottery, there are certain places that your mind goes. The winner spends frivolously on a yacht and a robot butler, runs into trouble with credit card companies, and after losing a significant chunk of cash, realises that they should channel their inner Ellen and pay it forward to the deserving public. That's pretty much what happens to Teddy. 'Windfall' does nothing new with the plot of rags to riches. More dramatic things could have happened in regards to his big spends, but in the end, it works out fine for him. He's got tons of cash. The end.I guess what makes this story different, but also infinitely more banal, is the main character, Alice. She's the one who buys the ticket and gives it to Teddy, and also happens to be in love with him. Alice is the perfect girl, with a good work ethic, always giving her free time to her local soup kitchen or junior reading program and acting as Teddy's conscience once a giant check falls into his hands. The only thing that gives Alice's character any grit is the fact that she's an orphan, being raised by her loving aunt and uncle. But goodie-two-shoes characters are never fun to read about. They can come across as judgemental and have a superiority complex because they're just SO selfless. This was Alice to a T. The romance between Teddy and Alice is bland. Alice loves Teddy, but Teddy doesn't know it, and he's always trying to give her half the winnings but she won't take it (??? not even going to get into how ridiculous her reasoning is) Teddy, really, is a bit of a jerk. He only gives money away because he feels he has to, not because he genuinely wants to. Maybe that's the word for both the characters: neither of them felt genuine. Best character was definitely Leo, but he was just The Gay Best Cousin™ so pushed to the sidelines whenever Teddy and Alice were hanging out. Also, Sawyer, who was introduced as a second love interest and felt like a much better match for Alice and I'm salty about how she treated him. Overall, I thought this story could have been pushed a LOT more. The ending was sweet, and the character relationships were interesting, it's just the characters themselves that fell flat. This is a story that relies so heavily on dialogue, and when it's the same repetitive conversation of 'take the money', 'I don't want the money', 'Fine, I'll spend it how I like', 'No, you can't! Be good with the money.', 'Okay then, take the money.', 'I don't want the money'...I just lost interest.
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  • Rachel Reads Ravenously
    April 28, 2017
    3 stars We've all had that thought. You know, what you would do if you won the lottery? The choices and actions you would make. This book answers that question, but more like if you won the lottery at a young age.When Alice buys a lotto ticket for her best friend Teddy on his 18th birthday, the very last thing she expects is for him to win. But he does, making him the youngest lottery winner ever. Since both Alice and Teddy had a less than privileged upbringing, Teddy is overjoyed with his good 3 stars We've all had that thought. You know, what you would do if you won the lottery? The choices and actions you would make. This book answers that question, but more like if you won the lottery at a young age.When Alice buys a lotto ticket for her best friend Teddy on his 18th birthday, the very last thing she expects is for him to win. But he does, making him the youngest lottery winner ever. Since both Alice and Teddy had a less than privileged upbringing, Teddy is overjoyed with his good fortune. They promise things will never change, but money has the ability to change everything....I enjoyed this what if scenario in a teen book. I think most adult readers going into it can predict what will happen, but for younger readers it's a good lesson on greed, responsibility and friendship. I had a hard time putting this one down, it's a very interesting concept and reads very quickly. What I didn't really care for was Teddy himself, I found him to be selfish and undeserving of most things in his life. And Alice seemed to be a bit of a doormat heroine.This book will make you want to go out and buy a lotto ticket! A fun, fast read for any age. An arc was provided by the publisher Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    April 25, 2017
    Windfall was an enjoyable contemporary read, with a depth to it I wasn't expecting. I think what made this such a pleasantly surprising read, was the fact that the romance wasn't the main focus. Instead the focus was on other aspects; such as family, friendship, love, loss, money and grief. I personally wasn't too invested in the romance itself (I personally would have much preferred it, had it been platonic) but what I did love, was the different family dynamics and the discussions on what fami Windfall was an enjoyable contemporary read, with a depth to it I wasn't expecting. I think what made this such a pleasantly surprising read, was the fact that the romance wasn't the main focus. Instead the focus was on other aspects; such as family, friendship, love, loss, money and grief. I personally wasn't too invested in the romance itself (I personally would have much preferred it, had it been platonic) but what I did love, was the different family dynamics and the discussions on what family means. It was fantastic to have a cast of characters who, despite having been through a lot separately and not always seeing eye to eye, were all incredibly supportive and caring. Positive and warm family relationships in books get a big tick from me and the family dynamics in Windfall definitely warmed my heart. The variety relationships throughout this book was wonderful, making it an interesting and lovely read. Although I didn't entirely warm to the characters, I liked that they were each an individual, with their own troubles and not simply a vessel for a romantic plot. If you're looking for a cute but not so fluffy contemporary read; with discussions of family, grief, friendship and growing up, Windfall is something I'd definitely recommend!
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  • Susane Colasanti
    April 19, 2017
    Jennifer E. Smith brings us yet another sweet, sensational story to fall in love with. WINDFALL explores the complexities of friendship, family, and finding your place to belong. Beautifully written and brimming with emotion, this charming book becomes an instant fave.
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  • Kirsty Hanson
    April 24, 2017
    What would you do if you won £140 million? This is the question that kept circling around in my head as I read this book. That's a lot of money. And me saying that it's a lot of money is a massive understatement. I've never understood why the lottery even exists... Surely, a better way for those jackpot amounts to be spent would be for the government to build a homeless shelter? Or even better yet, to buy homeless people homes and food and clothes? Not to give that money to someone who probably What would you do if you won £140 million? This is the question that kept circling around in my head as I read this book. That's a lot of money. And me saying that it's a lot of money is a massive understatement. I've never understood why the lottery even exists... Surely, a better way for those jackpot amounts to be spent would be for the government to build a homeless shelter? Or even better yet, to buy homeless people homes and food and clothes? Not to give that money to someone who probably doesn't need it... Well, that's what this story is about...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.This is such an interesting book. It took me a while to get into at first because the character of Teddy just really annoyed me. He seemed really cocky and self-centred, but over the course of the book, I started to like him, just because of how Alice changed him into a better person. He was just spending them money on such ridiculous things, and I just had to roll my eyes at some occasions like "oh course he did that... What a cliché". I did like how Alice tried to knock some sense into him, but when he did finally do good with his money, it felt like he was helping people because he felt like he had no choice? It didn't feel like he wanted to help people with it, he just did it because he didn't want to upset Alice.Also... Sawyer...? He just seemed unnecessary and I felt really really sorry for him. He was incredibly nice to Alice, cheered her up, was there for her when she needed someone and what does he get back? Nothing. A big fat pile of nothing. She just treats him like rubbish and I just wanted to slap her. She preaches about helping people, but then dismisses Sawyer whenever Teddy came along. Nope. Not nice at all. ""Tell me this," she said. "When you think of Harry, what's the first words that comes to mind?" Leo's answer arrived right away: "Wizard.""Exactly. So he's an orphan and a wizard. Both things are true, right?""Right.""Well, that's how it is for all of us. We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.""- Jennifer E. Smith, Windfall My favourite character was definitely Leo. I loved how he was gay, but Smith didn't make him into the stereotypical gay character that you sometimes see in Young Adult novels. I also loved one of the choices that Leo made about half way through the book. It must have been so hard for him, but I'm glad that he made it because it was what was best for him. However, I would have liked to see the character of Leo a little bit more; I felt like he was pushed to the sidelines a little bit whenever Teddy and Alice were there and like Sawyer, Alice just took advantage of knowing that Leo would always be there for her.As you can tell, all of my moaning is about the characters. Teddy and Alice just fell a little flat for me. The plot itself was amazing. I loved the whole concept of it and it really got me thinking about what I would do with that amount of money. I bet you're surprised that I gave this book 4 stars... The only reason it isn't three is because of the plot and how the story was very plot-driven which meant I sped through this book because I just wanted to see what would happen. I would probably say that it is more like 3.5... But 4 will have to do. I do recommend this book but just go into it knowing that the characters aren't the best.Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewReleased 2nd May
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  • Liv (Stories For Coffee)
    February 2, 2017
    I really enjoyed reading another Jennifer E. Smith book because she doesn’t spend the entire novel focusing on the romance that blooms between two characters. Instead she focuses on their individual problems and the connection they slowly form as they begin to grow closer together. That alone sets a nice pacing for the novel and creates a slow burning romance that always grips my heart. Another aspect of the story that she executes so well are the family relationships and friendships that are pr I really enjoyed reading another Jennifer E. Smith book because she doesn’t spend the entire novel focusing on the romance that blooms between two characters. Instead she focuses on their individual problems and the connection they slowly form as they begin to grow closer together. That alone sets a nice pacing for the novel and creates a slow burning romance that always grips my heart. Another aspect of the story that she executes so well are the family relationships and friendships that are prevalent to the story line and the progression of it. They offer such genuine support to Alice and are so loving to her, and I’m always a sucker for a warm family environment shown in stories.The only aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy as much was Teddy’s personality. He was rash, impulsive, and childish compared to Alice. At points, I felt like Alice had to act like a motherly figure for Teddy in order to have him understand the responsibility of being a lottery winner. Their romance wasn’t my favorite part of the story, and I kind of wished they had stayed platonic. Other than that? This story was a fun contemporary to read because it’s not only fluffy but it also has some important topics mentioned like grief, disappointment, and making large decisions for yourself rather than others. It’s a great summery read that Jennifer E. Smith is known to write.
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  • Lisa (Lost in Literature)
    April 7, 2017
    It's no surprise that a contemporary-loving reader like myself enjoys Jennifer E. Smith's writing. She's actually one of my favorite contemporary writers. I adore how she's able to keep a book on the light and fluffy side, yet address very real and sometimes difficult issues so effortlessly in the process. Windfall was exactly that.Alice, Leo and Teddy... the Three Musketeers. Each struggling through his or her teenage years dealing with a boatload of stress. Alice lost both of her parents at th It's no surprise that a contemporary-loving reader like myself enjoys Jennifer E. Smith's writing. She's actually one of my favorite contemporary writers. I adore how she's able to keep a book on the light and fluffy side, yet address very real and sometimes difficult issues so effortlessly in the process. Windfall was exactly that.Alice, Leo and Teddy... the Three Musketeers. Each struggling through his or her teenage years dealing with a boatload of stress. Alice lost both of her parents at the young age of 9 and was taken in by her aunt, and uncle and cousin Leo, where she's lived most of her life. Though it's been nine years since their death, Alice is still struggling to live the life they would have wanted her to live, making them proud at every turn. Teddy lives with his mom in a tiny apartment after his father, who suffers from a gambling addiction, took the family's savings and left them. Teddy feels a strong desire to always take care of his mother and do the best he can as a son. Then we have Leo, who is struggling to understand why he's had it so "easy" all of his life, compared to his two best friends. Even his process of coming out to his parents about his sexuality went smoothly and perfectly. So why is everything so easy for him when it's so hard for his besties?From here, (as you can gather from the title and synopsis) Alice gives Teddy a lottery ticket as a birthday present on his eighteenth birthday. This just so happened to be the winning ticket... and Teddy won over 100 million dollars. (Can you even imagine?!) As you can imagine, life is going to change... for everyone in Teddy's life. This is where alllllll of the fun begins. ;)These three were the best of friends, and I adored the friendship they shared. Always having each other's back through everything, whether they were on-board with the specific decisions or not. Friendship is STRONG in this story, and that's a major plus for me!“[...] Sometimes, through good luck or bad, through curses or fate, the world cracks itself open, and afterward nothing will ever be the same.”I loved how despite this being a very light and fun read, it addressed several very sensitive and emotional topics. I really enjoy when an author can bring in such important topics, yet not make them feel forced and inserted haphazardly into a story. The way these issues were addressed was really quite perfect. It never changed the tone of the story, yet had me thinking on several different issues and what I would have done in a similar situation. Any author that can make me think while making me smile is a gem!“We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.”This coming-of-age story is definitely one to add to your list. While I wasn't blown away by it, I was definitely touched, and I loved how it made me think so much. Life isn't perfect, we're all well aware of that... but having the hope that things WILL be okay is something I always try to remember. Whether you believe in luck or fate, I believe this story will leave a lasting impression on you.  (Thanks to Delacorte Press for the review copy!)Find this review and others like it at Lost in Literature!
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  • Asheley
    April 4, 2017
    I can't say that I've ever thought about winning a lottery, but Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith will give readers the opportunity to daydream about just that. Eighteen-year-old Teddy ends up winning 141 million dollars from a ticket given to him by his best friend Alice and suddenly, his life completely changes. Teddy isn't a stranger to hardship. He lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother because his father gambled all of their money away, then left. When Teddy wins enough money to chang I can't say that I've ever thought about winning a lottery, but Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith will give readers the opportunity to daydream about just that. Eighteen-year-old Teddy ends up winning 141 million dollars from a ticket given to him by his best friend Alice and suddenly, his life completely changes. Teddy isn't a stranger to hardship. He lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother because his father gambled all of their money away, then left. When Teddy wins enough money to change their lives, he is elated. And, of course, he begins to make changes to their lives instantly. But does the money change him instantly? Teddy doesn't think so - but Alice might think a little differently. She adores Teddy for who he already is, so when he suddenly begins to act differently, dress differently, and toss money around like he's always had it - well, it makes her pretty uncomfortable. Alice knows hardship too: she lost both of her parents within about a year of one another. When they died, she had to move from her home in California to live in Chicago with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. She has grieved them since they died, and ultimately she has trouble discerning whether or not she is living her best life or the life she thinks her parents would have wanted for her. Ultimately, Teddy has to figure out how he wants to spend the money and who he wants to become as a person with money. And Alice has to work out her feelings for Teddy and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. It may not seem so, but this is all interconnected and it is wonderful.I love the way the author takes these topics that really could be super-heavy and places them in her story gently so we don't feel overburdened with sadness or grief or anything like that, but we are indeed fully invested. She makes the story fun and funny but at the same time, she doesn't shy away with all of the "serious" that Teddy and Alice are going through. The universe has dealt them some pretty crappy hands and we are here to witness their story. There are no twists here to shake up the story. What we are getting is exactly what is on the page, and I love that. This is a story with a romance, but that doesn't push romance in our faces. It is there, but it doesn't overshadow anything. This is great, because the way the romance portion of the story works out is weaved into the rest of the plot. Alice experiences feelings that are a little clumsy and awkward and full of that longing that we all know, and Teddy's actions often (but not always) make us want to say WHAT ARE YOU DOING! but everything comes together so well. In the meantime, there are great family relationships written in (LOVE this) and these characters have wonderful support systems to help them through everything. I really did love seeing how this one worked itself out. And I couldn't put this book down while I was reading, which is pretty standard for me when reading a book by this author.
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  • Stacy Fetters
    March 28, 2017
    "Well, how can you have so much faith in someone- especially someone who lets you down as much as Teddy- when you have so little faith in the world?" Thank you First In Line for an arc copy of this book!!!We all have had those dreams of what we would do if we won the lottery. And I'm not talking twenty or thirty dollars. I'm talking life changing millions that people throw themselves at. Where people lower their standards and morals just to be close to it. My dream is to buy a huge house in the "Well, how can you have so much faith in someone- especially someone who lets you down as much as Teddy- when you have so little faith in the world?" Thank you First In Line for an arc copy of this book!!!We all have had those dreams of what we would do if we won the lottery. And I'm not talking twenty or thirty dollars. I'm talking life changing millions that people throw themselves at. Where people lower their standards and morals just to be close to it. My dream is to buy a huge house in the middle of nowhere with floor to ceiling bookcases. Think Beauty and the Beast, but bigger and grander. Sigh! And maybe a sexy butler to hold my book and flip the pages as I read. Somewhere, someone is reading this and playing magical music for me. Thank you, darling!You only turn eighteen once and the best way to celebrate is to throw a huge party in your tiny two-room apartment. Teddy is finally eighteen and his two best friends, Alice and Leo know the perfect way to commemorate this very special occasion. Leo buys his a pack of smokes and Alice buys him a lottery ticket. The jackpot is so enormous that no one would know what to do with all that money. Along with the lottery ticket, Alice will finally tell him how she feels about him. For the past few years, she has been gaga over him. She just never had the courage to tell him. The day is here and now. Telling him inside of a card is the way she is going lay it on the line.Teddy is what we all like to call a douche canoe. He only does things to get what he wants and uses women like they are a pair of pants that he outgrows. Alice is still smitten and won't give up. At the end of the party, Alice and Teddy share a kiss and images of things get complicated. To make matters even crazier.... Teddy wins the lottery. The ticket that Alice bought him hits big. Three people get to split that large jackpot. Making Teddy go from Douche to Douchier with a capital D. How in the world will one guy spend all that money? And of course, he does what any normal red-blooded human would do. He buys fancy clothes and a red hot sports car to make everyone envious. Is this money a blessing or a curse? This is the first time in his life that he gets to not worry about money and take care of his Mother, who stuck around after his dad split. Will Teddy grow up and do the right thing with the money? Or will he fall into the curse of other fallen winners? The winners circle isn't always sweet.Alice and Leo were amazing characters. I loved them so much and wanted nothing but bright eyes and happiness for them. Even though Alice was in love with a Douche Nozzle. What the hell did she ever see in him? A perfectly good guy who even volunteers liked her a lot and would have treated her like a princess. And what does our girl do? She turns him down!! What the hell is wrong with you, girl?I will never understand why girls always want the bad boys until they do those stupid, idiotic things that attracted you to them in the first place. And look what happened!! You're feelings and your heart was crushed. Stay away from Teddy, alright!? Besides that, the entire story was great and the back story of each character was amazingly brought through and fully developed. When life gives you lemons, you must squirt it in people's eyes. Life has a mysterious way of leading you astray and it could change it for the better.
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  • Jenna
    April 8, 2017
    4.5 stars
  • Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
    April 12, 2017
    4.5/5 StarsRead my full ARC review of WindfallWindfall was everything that I wanted it to be—simultaneously super sweet and complicated. Jennifer truly knows how to capture real life problems without making them seem overdramatic or silly. They felt tangible, and it made me pause and reflect on my own similar circumstances. I also love how family is addressed in this book. Even though Alice's parents have passed away, she has an amazing uncle and aunt who I wish could adopt me. Another fabulous 4.5/5 StarsRead my full ARC review of WindfallWindfall was everything that I wanted it to be—simultaneously super sweet and complicated. Jennifer truly knows how to capture real life problems without making them seem overdramatic or silly. They felt tangible, and it made me pause and reflect on my own similar circumstances. I also love how family is addressed in this book. Even though Alice's parents have passed away, she has an amazing uncle and aunt who I wish could adopt me. Another fabulous thing is that there are no perfect characters in Windfall, but they are seen through loving eyes, so their imperfections are depicted in a softer light, which I found to be incredibly pleasant.
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  • Summer
    March 22, 2017
    3.5 Stars, Completed March 22, 2017 windfall/ˈwin(d)fôl/nouna piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money. Alice doesn’t believe in luck and especially not after she experienced the worst kind when she lost her parents nine years ago. But as a joke she decides to buy a lottery ticket as an eighteenth birthday present for her best friend that she has secretly loved for years, Teddy. To their utter disbelief, he wins $140 million and, suddenly, e 3.5 Stars, Completed March 22, 2017 windfall/ˈwin(d)fôl/nouna piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money. Alice doesn’t believe in luck and especially not after she experienced the worst kind when she lost her parents nine years ago. But as a joke she decides to buy a lottery ticket as an eighteenth birthday present for her best friend that she has secretly loved for years, Teddy. To their utter disbelief, he wins $140 million and, suddenly, everything changes. Teddy’s newfound wealth will put an unexpected strain on their friendship; their once effortless understanding and dependence of one another after having grown up in tough circumstances together dissipates completely as they argue more and more. Thus, the money begins to feel more like a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice will discover more about herself and what she wants from life in moments she least expects. …this money is going to turn our lives into a snow globe, tipping the world upside down and shaking everything inside it. It’s going to change everything. And to me there’s nothing scarier. Windfall is probably one of the more refreshing contemporaries out there.As I’ve gotten older and the age gap between me and YA heroines have increased, I’ve found contemporary books to often be massive misses given that it’s become gradually difficult for me to connect or relate with the younger characters. And I’m not a reader that grabs for realistic fiction often to begin with, but when I do I expect a story that is at least more interesting than my own life and that there are also meaningful messages inlaid throughout. Luckily, I thought Windfall deserved perfect marks towards my simple rubric.Family, friendship, belonging, and identity are the central themes in Windfall despite the romantic synopsis. “Have you guys ever heard the expression be cool?” I ask, unable to keep from laughing at the two of them with their noses pressed to the window.“He’s never been cool a day in his life,” Aunt Sofia says.Uncle Jake frowns. “Neither has she.” I absolutely adored the family dynamic and the acceptance and love Uncle Jake and Aunt Sofia have for Alice. Through their actions and their dialogue, readers can sense the overwhelming support they have for their niece and that they truly view Alice as their own daughter. It’s rare to find such model guardian figures in YA lit let alone ones that actually make several appearances and don’t disappear after one scene.I also love that the main friendship actually consists of three people. Because I think many can relate to having multiple best friends in comparison to a single one (as how most books seem to suggest). The bond between Alice, Leo, and Teddy is so closeknit that it’s obvious that the easy company they share goes beyond the fact that they’ve known each other for years. Also, it should be noted that Alice is a girl and her best friends are both guys, which is so awesome. These types of friendships are not exhibited enough. (Though, what could have made things more interesting is if Teddy wasn’t a love interest. Don’t get me wrong, the friends into something more is my absolute favorite romantic trope but it would be unique if a boy and a girl could be just friends without one of them having a crush on the other or that the only reason why they don’t fall for each other is because one is homosexual. I digress… But, really, I do want to witness this kind of storyline someday. Authors, please hear my plea.)Of course, there is still some romance. Early on, I assumed I had it all figured out on who was to suffer from unrequited love, but really I totally guessed the wrong victim. There is a happy ending that does appear a bit forced (view spoiler)[(seeing as I kind of strongly dislike Teddy) (hide spoiler)], but this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a HEA for everyone. (view spoiler)[It makes me sad to see that Sawyer, a totally amiable guy, is the one that carries out the unrequited love storyline alone in the end. (hide spoiler)] I’m also disappointed that readers get no closure about Alice and his arc of the story aside from one line in the final chapter. “Here’s the thing you have to remember,” Leo says. “If you give a tiger a cupcake, you can’t be annoyed with him for eating it.”In spite of myself, I laugh. “Why would you give a tiger a cupcake?”“Why not?” he asks with a shrug.But the problem is this: I’m not annoyed with Teddy for eating the cupcake.I’m annoyed with myself for giving it to him in the first place. As much as I don’t like Teddy’s character I do think the way he reacts to his sudden wealth to be realistic for “the youngest lottery winner in history.” His impulsive (borderline infuriating) behavior is how I imagined an eighteen year old boy would respond to winning such a large sum of money out of nowhere-particularly for a young fellow that has been so familiar with financial misfortunes during his childhood. However, his personality before winning also annoyed me. (I’m always wary of those that open or look at the presents before they do greeting cards and letters; it just seems so inappropriate and out of order to me.) From the beginning I didn’t find Teddy charming, and by the end I still couldn’t understand what Alice saw in him. He does change for the better towards the conclusion, but after reading 300+ pages about a character with an unlikable personality 25 pages dedicated to his “goodness” and change of heart is not enough to make me view him differently.But, thankfully, with Teddy’s character and rash personality, there aren’t many conflicts that lead to unnecessary drama. Actually, I like that this book focuses on other aspects of high school life that other novels normally don’t. Windfall doesn’t dwell on what happens in high school literally (like the petty drama and gossip) but alternately picks up on the emotional struggles a young adult may have about graduation (finally completing secondary school), separation (moving away from family and friends), and rebirth (beginning a new chapter of his/her life). “We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.” So Windfall's biggest merit is how Jennifer E. Smith is able to realistically capture a challenging period that many young adults face without making the teenage relationships appear shallow and including angsty high school drama. Also, I think it’s common for people to question the idea of where they belong and who they are at eighteen (and at many more points for the rest of their lives). Therefore I’m relieved that this was brought up several times in Windfall. Also, any book that mentions Harry Potter is a cool book. I love pop references; how Smith incorporates a beloved series in such a fitting and creative way is praiseworthy.To end this long review, clearly, there was so much that I enjoyed about this one. Like how it only touches on the romance and focuses on the characters and their development throughout the novel instead. However, why I chose to rate it so (if you hadn’t already guessed) is because of Teddy. Also, though readers get a small update on the entire cast-both significant and side characters-I feel slighted by how little closure we get with Sawyer. It would have put me more at ease to know if he had earned some happiness (or at least made up with Alice and remained friends with her).Anyway, Jennifer E. Smith’s latest release is about loss, luck, and love and certainly one that Smith fans should not miss out on. For me, Windfall isn’t a perfect read but it’s a smart and refreshing piece that does stand out among other YA contemporaries.---Quotes were taken from an uncorrected advance readers copy.Thank you Delacorte Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review Windfall and participate in the blog tour. In no way did this affect my reading experience or honest review.---More reviews at Xingsings
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  • Maria (Netherreads)
    March 31, 2017
    When you realize your going to read a book and find out it is not even FREAKING OUT YET. DAMN IT!! WHYUpdate: ended up getting this book from #booksfortrade- it's in the mail now
  • Lisa
    February 19, 2017
    First loves, heartbreak and the change of life all find there place in this moving contemporary novel. I think this book does a great job of looking at the premise realistically- I mean, 18-year-olds with millions are not likely to open a mutual fund. There's a lot of heavy topics in this book, but I never felt overly weighed down. I think the pacing could have been a bit amped up, but I really loved this story overall!
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  • Bee (Heart Full of Books)
    April 12, 2017
    This is closer to 2.5 that 2 stars. Things I didn't like: 1) Saint Alice. The lottery ticket she gives to her best friend for his birthday is the winning ticket and she feels absolutely NO jealously whatsoever! Surely, you'd feel just a modicum of regret and loss that you weren't the winner? Also, she volunteers at a soup kitchen for the homeless, helps children learn to read, and loves helping charities. She's the most selfless teenager ever. While that's commendable, her character fell complet This is closer to 2.5 that 2 stars. Things I didn't like: 1) Saint Alice. The lottery ticket she gives to her best friend for his birthday is the winning ticket and she feels absolutely NO jealously whatsoever! Surely, you'd feel just a modicum of regret and loss that you weren't the winner? Also, she volunteers at a soup kitchen for the homeless, helps children learn to read, and loves helping charities. She's the most selfless teenager ever. While that's commendable, her character fell completely flat because she didn't have any passion. She was ready to judge Teddy for how he was spending the money, but she declined any share of it (without thinking about how her Aunt and Uncle would feel missing out on not having to pay for her college education - she risks putting her family in debt, just so that she can be on the higher ground? Uh....no.) so she has no right to be disappointed when he doesn't immediately start helping charities. 2) Gay Sidekick trope. Leo is Alice's cousin and his boyfriend Max wants him to go to Michigan uni so they can be together but Leo wants to go to art college. This sub-plot didn't fully emerge until half way through and I feel like it was only included so there could be more conflict. Leo was reduced to Alice and Teddy's sidekick even though they were supposed to be a trio of best friends. While having a gay character is still more than Jennifer's other novels, it wasn't the representation he deserved. 3) 'I'm doing this for my parents and I'm doing this for me.' Uh, no, girl, you're clearly doing this for a boy. I know we were supposed to believe that Alice's decisions were made based on what she wanted (and what she wanted was to make her parents proud) but I honestly felt like everything she did was so she could be closer to Teddy, so she could improve Teddy's life. The fact that the whole romantic concept of this book is: 'girl fawns over guy, guy doesn't know/treats her like crap but she still loves him. Better guy comes on the scene but her heart is only for douche-guy who she must work to save' was so cliche and made me lose a lot of respect for Alice.4) Teddy. It's obvious that a character arc is forced upon him. He needs to go from frivolous douche to lovable idiot for this whole thing to work, right? He's so naive, but we don't get to see him objectively because of Alice's rose-tinted glasses. Although I appreciated his character development in terms of plot, it was predictable. 5) RepetitionThere's only so many different reactions you can have to someone winning the lottery, and it's normally always some sort of gasping and disbelief. There's also only so many times I could read Alice telling Teddy off for not being more considerate when it's not up to her to make him a better person! This book was waaay too long for the concept and that's why the sub-plots featuring Leo and Teddy's gambling dad felt see-through. Considering this was Alice's story, I think it would've worked a lot better from Teddy's perspective.Things I liked:1) Alice's homelife. Her parents might have died when she was nine, but she is so loved by her Aunt and Uncle and I really liked the revelations that Alice had at the end, even though they came way too late, and family should've been a much bigger theme in the book. 2) The message of send-it-on. This doesn't come into play until the end, but I think it had a strong message about money and charity and just being kind. I just wish we'd got that sooner! Why weren't these characters watching Ellen?So, 'Windfall' isn't my favourite Jennifer E. Smith, and it definitely doesn't portray healthy male-female friendships, but the premise was a blast and I had fun thinking about what I would do with all that money. I'm pretty sure Kasie West has written a book with a lottery winning girl protagonist too, so I'll have to get my hands on that for a comparison!
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  • Lauren R.
    April 15, 2017
    Really nice but definitely heavy-handed message in this one. I couldn't put the book down and am so glad it broke me out of my slump. I liked the characters overall (especially the family members), but they frequently frustrated me (Alice and Teddy at least). The romance wasn't great because I didn't feel a connection really and was sick of him being a dick, only to eventually get away with all of it. I love the concept of winning the lottery so it definitely made me think of how I'd react and s Really nice but definitely heavy-handed message in this one. I couldn't put the book down and am so glad it broke me out of my slump. I liked the characters overall (especially the family members), but they frequently frustrated me (Alice and Teddy at least). The romance wasn't great because I didn't feel a connection really and was sick of him being a dick, only to eventually get away with all of it. I love the concept of winning the lottery so it definitely made me think of how I'd react and spend my money. (Also, Sawyer was a completely unnecessary character?? Why bother?)
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  • Sara
    January 4, 2017
    [Spoiler-free]Thank you to First in Line for providing me with an Advanced Readers Copy.I went into Windfall with pretty high expectations because it was blurbed by Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Stephanie Perkins (three authors I love) and I was not disappointed. Based on the cover and description, Windfall seems like a quick, cheery read about winning the lottery, but that's not all that it is. At its heart, Windfall is a story about the effect that change - good and bad - can have on a person. [Spoiler-free]Thank you to First in Line for providing me with an Advanced Readers Copy.I went into Windfall with pretty high expectations because it was blurbed by Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Stephanie Perkins (three authors I love) and I was not disappointed. Based on the cover and description, Windfall seems like a quick, cheery read about winning the lottery, but that's not all that it is. At its heart, Windfall is a story about the effect that change - good and bad - can have on a person. I found myself tearing up at many points throughout this novel as I followed our main character, Alice, adjusting to the changes around her after gifting a winning lottery ticket to her friend Teddy. The story delves into themes such as grief, identity, and belonging as Alice struggles to figure out who she is and which direction she wants her life to go after high school. Alice's story really stuck out to me, and I think it will resonate with a lot of others as well because many people spend their late teens and early twenties trying to figure out where they belong. Each of the three main characters and even most of the side characters were very well fleshed out and felt totally real, and each of them developed in their own way. Leo, Alice's cousin, was probably my favorite character. His relationship with Alice felt very genuine and his character development was very well-written.Overall, Windfall was a poignant story about how how life can change in an instant, for better or for worse. If you're looking for a fun contemporary with meaningful story, I highly recommend picking this book up come release day this May!
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  • Olivia
    January 9, 2017
    Thanks Penguin Teen for the early copy! This comes out May 2.In late 2016 I read This Is What Happy Looks Like and enjoyed it, but didn't think it was anything extraordinary. My thoughts on this book were very much the same, though the stories were very different. what I liked: - The trio. Alice, Leo, and Teddy are great friends. I loved their banter, their understanding of one another, and just everything. And I liked that they had realistic negative points in their friendship, things that to Thanks Penguin Teen for the early copy! This comes out May 2.In late 2016 I read This Is What Happy Looks Like and enjoyed it, but didn't think it was anything extraordinary. My thoughts on this book were very much the same, though the stories were very different. what I liked: - The trio. Alice, Leo, and Teddy are great friends. I loved their banter, their understanding of one another, and just everything. And I liked that they had realistic negative points in their friendship, things that took a bit of time to recover from.- Alice and Leo. They're great characters. Alice is humble and thoughtful even after losing so much so early in her life, and torn between what her family would want and what she wants. Leo is amusing and has simple tastes but is surprisingly deep.- Leo and Max. Leo is gay (not a spoiler, it's mentioned in the first 35 pages or so) and his relationship with his boyfriend is cute but also flawed. It wasn't a huge deal, and is mentioned so casually when this part of Leo is first introduced. I really, really like that.- The family dynamic. Sofia, Jake, Leo, and Alice are a wonderful, close-knit, easygoing family and they cared for each other. They all had experienced difficulties, and instead of this making them closed off it helped open them up.- The pacing. Normally this isn't something I'd worry too much about in a contemporary, but I liked it in this story. It was told over the course of six months, and I think that was appropriate for the events of the story. It never felt rushed, and the story and the characters had time to grow and change.- The main topics. I haven't read any other books about a character winning the lottery, and although I have no experience with it, it felt realistic. There was a brief legal aspect, and there was an issue of how the money should be spent. I feel like that's common -- being torn between using it personally and for charity, and finding that balance. Like I said, I don't have experience, but if I had that sort of money I would feel similarly.- It took place in Chicago. I don't really know why this makes me happy, maybe because I went there in May and fell in love with the city. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯- The ending. The romance frustrated me for most of the story, but in the end everything paid off and it just felt happy and resolved.- Sawyer. While I was happy with how things worked out, I liked him more. Just saying.- It's a quick read. Maybe it's just me having a free day and being a quick reader, but I read the 250 or so pages I had left in a few hours.- THERE'S AN ADORABLE CLUMSY BOXER PUPPY AND HE WAS A SURPRISE PRESENT. #PUPPYBOMB *heart eyes* No, I'm not obsessed with puppies. What gave you that idea? what I disliked: - Teddy. He did redeem himself in the last 10-12 chapters, but prior to that he irritated me so much. He had good intentions, but he did everything in the wrong ways. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I think he should've thought things through more. There were times when it felt like he had little to no regard for other people's feelings, Alice's in particular. And I get that he had rough times in his life, I totally do. But how do you not realize your best friend is in love with you, after you say something and she's completely crushed?- It was interesting, but there were no twists. I was curious to know what happened next for Alice and Leo, and hopeful Teddy would improve, but that's about it. There was nothing that made me want to know more, or give me a reason to become invested. I don't expect as much craziness from contemporaries, but a few events to keep me on my toes or at least interested would be nice. There was one thing that mildly surprised me in the final few pages, and that wasn't enough for me, unfortunately.I had some issues with it, but I did think that, for the most part, this was a fun read! :)(view spoiler)[This isn't much of a spoiler, but it's in tags because it happens fairly late in the story. I was a bit surprised and very disappointed when Charlie admitted he lied to Teddy. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Courteney Hooks
    January 11, 2017
    This was so wonderful! Love the characters, love the premise, love the ending!
  • Reyes
    April 19, 2017
    ARC provided by Pan Macmillan, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to both!I have read a couple of books by Jennifer E. Smith in the past and I liked them a lot, so I was very excited about Windfall and I'm happy to say I was not disappointed :)Alice, Teddy and Leo have been best friends forever, but things changed a couple of years ago for Alice - she fell in love with Teddy. She's sure that Teddy doesn't feel the same and she doesn't want to ruin their friendship, so she kee ARC provided by Pan Macmillan, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to both!I have read a couple of books by Jennifer E. Smith in the past and I liked them a lot, so I was very excited about Windfall and I'm happy to say I was not disappointed :)Alice, Teddy and Leo have been best friends forever, but things changed a couple of years ago for Alice - she fell in love with Teddy. She's sure that Teddy doesn't feel the same and she doesn't want to ruin their friendship, so she keeps her feelings to herself, but things are about to change anyway. It's Teddy's 18th birthday and Alice gets him a lottery ticket as a joke, but the impossible does happen and suddenly Teddy is a millionaire. Coming from a family that struggles with money, Teddy is determined to enjoy his newfound riches, making stupid decision after stupid decision and turning into some sort of celebrity much to Alice's dismay.Mild spoilers ahead!I loved every single character in this book. Alice's family is just wonderful, loving and supportive. Leo and Max are cute beyond words. Alice herself is awesome, sweet and strong and level-headed, and I loved that she was able to call Teddy on his bullshit despite her love for him (yes, I know that this shouldn't be a surprise, but most YA female MCs would just put up with it or make impossible excuses to justify his appalling behaviour). The one character I didn't particularly like was Teddy himself. He was an idiot even before winning the lottery, and I get that they have history and he's always been supportive of Alice, but I just don't see his appeal. As with previous books, family relationships here are just as important as romantic ones. Both Alice and Teddy have complicated pasts and I enjoyed a lot reading about their struggle with their respective family situations and seeing them grow as they come to terms with the reality of their lives. It's wonderful to read a YA in which the characters are are actually young adults! Even if he was not my favourite, Teddy's behaviour and reactions felt the most real and believable (seriously, who wouldn't buy a sports car or two after winning the lottery?)I was thinking about giving this 4 stars but in the end I decided to go for 3 because I didn't really buy into Alice and Teddy's relationship - it might not be instalove, but I still don't get why Alice fell for him in the first place, much less why he would return her feelings when there was no hint at all through the book that he might also see Alice as more than a friend. Also, the ending was way too cheesy for my liking, but I would still totally recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a cute story with a more mature twist and lovely characters :)
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  • Rachel
    April 16, 2017
    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 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.
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  • Jen (Book Syrup)
    April 30, 2017
    I had some issues with this book along the way, but by the end of it, I'd fallen so in love with each of the characters and the ending was just perfect. Jennifer E. Smith has stepped up her game (more specifically, her writing) in this one. It's not just fluffy romance, it goes into a lot more deeper issues, like family loss, grief, and broken familial relationships. The book is given way more depth in this way, all the while you're rooting for the characters to have a happy ending, romantically I had some issues with this book along the way, but by the end of it, I'd fallen so in love with each of the characters and the ending was just perfect. Jennifer E. Smith has stepped up her game (more specifically, her writing) in this one. It's not just fluffy romance, it goes into a lot more deeper issues, like family loss, grief, and broken familial relationships. The book is given way more depth in this way, all the while you're rooting for the characters to have a happy ending, romantically and just in general. A solid YA contemporary overall. :)If you like YA contemporary, definitely check it out when it hits shelves this Tuesday, May 2nd!
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  • Bianca
    April 10, 2017
    Once again, the ripple effect has affected me so much, that I cannot help but feel optimistic. A Windfall comes to us every now and then, and I could proudly say that this one lives up to the title it has. It was a fast-paced, just like how everything actually feels like when something comes to your luck. This is my first read from Jennifer E. Smith, and I would have to say that I am pleased that this was my first.I hope everyone will love Alice. I hope everyone will love everything.Also, just t Once again, the ripple effect has affected me so much, that I cannot help but feel optimistic. A Windfall comes to us every now and then, and I could proudly say that this one lives up to the title it has. It was a fast-paced, just like how everything actually feels like when something comes to your luck. This is my first read from Jennifer E. Smith, and I would have to say that I am pleased that this was my first.I hope everyone will love Alice. I hope everyone will love everything.Also, just try not to be tempted to buy a lottery ticket.Full review to come.
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  • Christy
    April 2, 2017
    These are tears of happiness, I swear. Loved this!
  • Chesley Jones
    April 1, 2017
    I have so many feelings. I am in love.
  • Myindierocksn
    January 19, 2017
    I received this ARC from the publisher in the mail at work. I read it on a Sunday in a few hours. Wonderful, well-rounded characters, a great storyline, an all around excellent YA novel. A note to my librarian friends: this is a great realistic romance to recommend to the younger teens, and those with parents who want them to have clean reads. There's no swear words, no drinking, and no sex beside kissing. I think that's actually kind of hard to pull off, and Smith does a great job.
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  • Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic)
    February 6, 2017
    (FULL REVIEW CLOSER TO DATE OF PUBLICATION)I FOUND MY NEW FAVOURITE BOOK. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this book as much as I did, but once I read the first few pages, my heart had been completely captured by this heart-rending, compelling read. It's the first book I've read in a long time that has had me utterly entranced, that's had me devouring the magical inked words in a matter of hours, that had tears streaming down my cheeks and laughter bubbling from my mouth. I felt everythin (FULL REVIEW CLOSER TO DATE OF PUBLICATION)I FOUND MY NEW FAVOURITE BOOK. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this book as much as I did, but once I read the first few pages, my heart had been completely captured by this heart-rending, compelling read. It's the first book I've read in a long time that has had me utterly entranced, that's had me devouring the magical inked words in a matter of hours, that had tears streaming down my cheeks and laughter bubbling from my mouth. I felt everything whilst reading this and once I'd turned the last few pages, a smile was stretched across my face and my cheeks were damp with tears (mostly of the happy kind) and my heart felt as if it was bursting with joy. This was such an incredibly powerful book and I loved every second of it. Before I picked this up I found myself in a terrible reading slump as most of the books I've read lately have been quite disappointing but this book, wow, it was all kinds of wonderful and it snatched me right out of my slump.Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith is sensational. Breathtakingly hopeful, utterly inspiring and brilliantly evocative - I fell in love with it. A beautifully compelling read with characters harbouring hearts spun from sun rays and starlight, melodic writing, incredible family dynamics and poignant moments of breathless emotion. Once you've finished this book you'll find there's an ignited spark within you that wants to paint the world with love, kindness and happiness. If you read one book this year, make sure it's this one.
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  • Rachel Strolle
    February 8, 2017
    Okay, an actual blurb instead of me just screaming about cutenessJennifer E Smith’s Windfall is, at it’s heart, a book about what we choose to do with luck, whether it be good or bad. Heart is something this book has plenty of—heart and hope fill every page. Windfall is one of those books that forces a happy sigh out of you once you’ve turned the last page, and inspires you to care—not just about its wonderful trio of characters, but about the world around you, and about the people on the outski Okay, an actual blurb instead of me just screaming about cutenessJennifer E Smith’s Windfall is, at it’s heart, a book about what we choose to do with luck, whether it be good or bad. Heart is something this book has plenty of—heart and hope fill every page. Windfall is one of those books that forces a happy sigh out of you once you’ve turned the last page, and inspires you to care—not just about its wonderful trio of characters, but about the world around you, and about the people on the outskirts of your mind. Winning the lottery is about luck. What Windfall reminds us is that luck can only bring so much, and our choices, our reactions to that luck, are what impact our lives.
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  • Haylee Ham
    January 4, 2017
    I really loved this book. This book was one of the best books I read. I love how Teddy and Al are best friends and they are my favorite book couples of all time. This book is extremely good and I loved it. I wish that maybe it was longer even though it was 400 plus pages. My favorite part is when Teddy turns 18 and Al buys him a lottery ticket and he loses the ticket in the morning and they are trying to find it in the trash and are looking everywhere for it. My most favorite of all time though I really loved this book. This book was one of the best books I read. I love how Teddy and Al are best friends and they are my favorite book couples of all time. This book is extremely good and I loved it. I wish that maybe it was longer even though it was 400 plus pages. My favorite part is when Teddy turns 18 and Al buys him a lottery ticket and he loses the ticket in the morning and they are trying to find it in the trash and are looking everywhere for it. My most favorite of all time though was when Teddy took Al to California after he won the lottery and she visits Stanford University because her mom wanted to go to Stanford for a class and then a while later Al's mom and dad die and she is left to live with her aunt and uncle and her cousin. Her cousin, Teddy, and herself are the closest of friends. Her cousin's boyfriend is going to a school in Michigan and he wants to be with him but wants to go to art school in Chicago. The most interesting part in the book was when Teddy and Al are together at the end and they go to the same school even though Teddy wasn't planning on going. I related to this book because Al is a teenage girl that I thought I could really connect with because well she doesn't have parents and my parents are split so I basically go without seeing one of my parents for a whole week and it sucks. I don't know what I would do without my parents.
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