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.
An ARC was read and passed on as part of JM’s (Book Freak Revelations) blog tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
Jennifer E. Smith’s stories, along with Stephanie Perkin’s, were a few of the first YA contemporaries that I’ve read, and I enjoyed each one immensely. So in a way, they’re part of the building blocks why I fell in love with YA.
Because of all this, you don’t know how excited I was when I saw that Jennifer was releasing a new book. Aside from that, oh my god the title is so good, the cover is gorgeous, and the plot was cute! It also features the best friends to lovers trope which I am an absolute sucker for.
Let me be honest and say that I have mixed feelings with this one. Let me first tell you what worked for me:
I like that the book feels real, even with the grandeur and unlikeliness of winning the lottery. We were given relatable characters with flaws, we were shown true friendships, love, grief, and heartache. We were shown how real people react when winning the lottery (well except for Alice, but I understood her reasons).
I also love the family dynamics of Alice and Leo’s family. It is a delight to read about how supportive and loving Leo’s parents are, especially in terms of whatever they decide for their future. For me, those were the most endearing scenes in the book.
I shouldn’t say it, but I also absolutely adored Sawyer. It was already mentioned that I loved the best friends to lovers trope, but I think I love the underdogs more. I have a terrible case of the 2nd lead syndrome. I mean, he virtually planned a perfect date for Alice. He was funny, understanding, and a history geek. I mean, what more could you ask for.
And here are the things I didn’t enjoy as much:
I was honestly irritated with Teddy for 70% of the book. Teddy was careless of Alice’s feelings. He was self-absorbed, selfish, and immature. I could see how charming and confident he was, but it’s just too much. I was absolutely heartbroken for him though because he kept on believing in his dad who clearly only cares for himself and his addiction.
It wasn’t all that bad though because there were scenes that were so sweet, and inside jokes that work really well because Alice and him were best friends for so long.
I really enjoyed Leo and Max’s side story, but I think their story needed more exposure. It shouldn’t have been just a side story, I wanted more character development for both of them.
I still had fun reading Windfall, despite not liking the boy lead for three quarters of the book. I genuinely loved the friendship and family dynamics that the book has.
The story still has everything I like in a contemporary, it has light moments, as well as dark ones. It has the signature moments that you can’t help but smile at, and there is a happy ever after.