Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

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*I read this in April 2017, and reviewed it then. I read it as an arc. As always, this is my honest opinion.

It has come to my attention (due to the author note at the beginning of the arc) that I have now read all but 2 of Jennifer E Smith’s books. (I’m missing You are Here and Storm Chasers). Whenever I read her books, I get ready for the rollercoaster ride of emotions-the ups and downs and all arounds of her characters. I think I’ve cried in all her books at some point, and Windfall is no different.

Summary:

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.

This book is typical Jennifer E Smith, so if you loved The Geography of You and Me and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between (my personal favorite), you will enjoy this one a lot.

Alice is everything that an eighteen year old girl in her senior year is. I loved her indecision, her confusion, and her struggles. I loved that she knew what she wanted but at the same time, she didn’t. I loved seeing her grow and deal with her past.

I had a hard time with Teddy at the beginning, because he reminded me of someone I know, and not in a good way, but throughout the book his character arc made him redeemable in my eyes.

This novel is about growing up and facing new challenges and changes. It’s very similar to the feeling of Hello, Goodbye. Jennifer E Smith writes the teenager in transition very well and it suits her stories. The trio in this novel all have different views of luck and chance and the universe, and they don’t always coincide, and in the end, it doesn’t even matter, life is life and change and growth are a part of it.

I cried so many times while reading this. There were a couple of times when I had to take a deep breath in order to keep on reading because my heart was hurt or full and I needed resolution. I read this in a couple of hours because I could not put it down.

I loved this one so much. I gave it five stars on Goodreads and it honestly deserves them all. Happiest of book birthdays, Jennifer E Smith and Windfall!

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