Review | Windfall


Title: Windfall
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 02, 2017
Series Details: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 416

Blurb from Goodreads:

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-01

This book has taught me something that I should’ve learned a long time ago—that gorgeous book covers alone can’t be trusted. Sometimes they’re deceiving—luring you into reading a book because, look at that beautiful cover! Only to realize that the story—which is what the readers really pay for in a book—is far from interesting. Sadly, that’s exactly the case with Windfall.

Sometimes, through good luck or bad, through curses or fate, the world cracks itself open, and afterward nothing will ever be the same.

The book is divided into five parts. I admittedly like the first part very much. It was light, and catchy, and the characters actually made me laugh. It lets us into an awesome friendship—the healthy and enviable kind—between Alice, Leo, and Teddy. The romance is also intriguing in this part. Alice is on the verge of confessing her love for her best friend but fears she’ll ruin their nine years of friendship by doing so. This bares Alice’s relatable side. But that’s it for the good and fun part.

The second part of the book is where things turned dull and exhausting to read. The plot barely moved forward. Telling their parent about the big news took them three chapters. Three! All they have to say is “we won the bloody lottery”. The characters suddenly get frustrating too, especially Alice and Teddy. Then things just go downhill from there and they never made it back up.

So, let’s talk about how grating these characters are. Teddy is a dickhead. Alice, well, she does have a sad background story, but I can’t name a single interesting thing about her that sets her apart from the rest. And she’s so overly dramatic. Refusing to accept money from Teddy is fine—although who in the world would refuse such money especially if you want to help others? Then, after turning the offer a few times, she started judging Teddy for not spending the money the way she would have—giving it to others who need it. Girl! Seriously?

I’ve got my list of book boyfriends, but with Teddy here, I might start making a list of the most awful male leads and he’ll be the first one on it. Why Alice would pin her heart on someone who constantly lets her down and brushes her off so easily is a puzzle to me.

Also, why is it that every time Alice and Teddy are having a good moment, they always end up fighting and hurting each other’s feelings? Always! And I’m supposed to ship this romance? Ahm… no!

Being so close to someone you love without them knowing it. Without them ever returning it. That’s another kind of terrible.

The story focuses on how Teddy is spending the money, how Alice wishes that Teddy is more responsible with it, that the conflicts involving Teddy’s Dad wasn’t given enough weight and attention. And Leo—who’s probably the best thing that happened to this book—has turned into a secondary character instead of being a part of their trio.

Bottom line, I didn’t like this very much. Windfall has a few good things to offer though. Like the presence of responsible parents and relatives around the teens. The strong familial relationship. It also spreads the concept of helping, sharing, and giving back to others. If you’re into this kind of concepts, don’t let this review stop you from reading this book.

One Star Rating-01

8 thoughts on “Review | Windfall

  1. I got this book in a book subscription a couple years ago. At some point I wound up in a slump and put it down for a while. But I think I enjoyed it. The kind of book you read after you have finished something taxing… Unless it was the book that put me in a slump to begin with 😅


    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it… I agree this could be a breather book. It didn’t work for me though. I just can’t make myself like the main characters and they’re the biggest factor that dragged this book down, for me at least. And I haven’t started reading another book since finishing this so this has put me in a slump too 😅


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