[Book Talk] Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Book Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Read: July 2017


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.

My Thoughts

I am so torn about this book! It’s interesting because I remembered one of the books I had wanted to read this year was about someone winning the lottery, so when I started reading this book I figured this was it, BUT it wasn’t. On my preorder list, I had Kasie West’s Lucky In Love, where the main character wins the lottery. I still love Jennifer E. Smith’s books, though, so I was still really excited to read this one.

However, where I’m torn is that the writing was really good, the story did have me hooked, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters. Jennifer writes great characters who have depth and tragic stories, but I felt like both were taken to the extreme. Alice is one of those people who volunteers for everything and it’s almost shoved down the reader’s throat throughout the book, and Teddy, after winning the lottery goes absolutely crazy to the point of annoyance. It was almost like a cliche lottery win in that you know he’s going to win and you know he’s going to just squabble his money away like a kid allowed in a candy shop for the first time.

And then there was the romance. Now, I love a good romance storyline when I read, but I didn’t like this one. In fact, I was appalled by this one. I don’t want to give anything away, but I’ll just say that I had it in my head that the story would go one way, but it went in this horrible cliche way that you’ve read before and it just left a sour taste in my mouth by the end.

Of course, all that being said, I did enjoy Jennifer’s writing and she pulled me in right away with her story. And the book cover is really, really pretty! I am interested in reading Kasie West’s lottery winning book as a comparison – I love both Jennifer’s and Kasie’s writing so much that it’ll be interesting to see which book I prefer!


My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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