Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. SmithWindfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 418
Source: Publisher
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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.


Sometimes when you read several books by the same author you get a distinct impression of what their writing style feels like. For Windfall I was expecting something similar to This is How Happy Looks like or The Geography of You and Me, but the writing in Windfall took me completely by surprise that I had to check the cover several times to make sure I was reading by the same author who wrote those two novels. While it’s a good change it took some time to getting used to. Anyways, Windfall was a cute fluff read about a girl, two guys, and a lottery ticket that change their life.

There were a few times that I was frustrated with this novel. So I get that when you win the lottery you want everything that you couldn’t have before you won. I mean I know I could do with a trip to Japan first class style or have a personal chauffeur, so I don’t have to wait for that stupid bus that never seem to come, but Teddy spends the money on ridiculous things that I’m surprise his mom said yes. Granted she’s not home a lot because of her job, however, she still has the authority to tell him to stop spending on stuff that they don’t need and like save up for college?? Maybe it’s just me but I was anxious about his spending habits and going omg what if he runs out of money? It was quite disappointing when there was no consequences for his actions.

Don’t get me wrong, but Teddy’s a good kid and has a generous heart, however I hated that he kept trying to offer some of the money to Alice, who bought the winning ticket, when she didn’t want it. I thought that was weird because I’m pretty sure that a lot of people would gladly jump up at the chance, however, Alice is like nope every single time and I was on the edge of yelling if you don’t want it I’ll take it. But, alas it’s only fiction…I know she’s this good-doer type of character, but when your luck in life is terrible you should just gracefully accept it. Take Teddy’s dad for instance, it’s obvious that he’s heard about Teddy’s winning on the news and he’s not ashamed to ask his son for money. Which really sucks because you’d think that he’d come back to see him and catch up and be a dad, you know, but it sounds too good to be true.

Aside from all the shenanigans I really adored the friendship in this book. Alice, Teddy, and Leo all grew up together and it’s endearing to see their friendship keep on growing throughout this book. Even though Teddy is the popular kid I like that he doesn’t shun Alice or Leo when he’s surrounded by his other friends. They’re tightly knit and have each others’ backs when things gets tough. I wasn’t exactly keen on the romance between Alice and Teddy, but I like the best friend to something more trope a lot so I was looking forward to seeing it develop. I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any moments between Alice and Teddy once they got together because I always think the after is the fun part of any romance.


Author: Jackie

4 Replies to “Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith”

  1. When people win the lottery, all sorts of folks come out of the woodwork wanting money. I’ve always heard that when you know you won, get a lawyer before doing anything so they can hide your identity.

    Sounds like an intriguing novel. Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. I had not heard of this book, but that cover is so bright and pretty! And sweet friendships are so much fun to read about. It does seem kind of weird though that Alice didn’t want any money! I would gladly take some, haha.

  3. EEEP!! And this would be one of those YA books that I haven’t read yet. So I had to skim your review a bit but I’m happy to say it was fairly spoiler free so thanks!!! I’m glad you said it was on the “fluff” side b/c I wasn’t expecting that!!

  4. I’ve seen this one on a few WoW posts, but didn’t look too closely at it. Interesting premise and how winning the lottery affected Teddy and others around him. LOL, yeah, I’d be nervous about how he was spending all that money, too. Sad about the dad.

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