Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

I’m amazed, after my track record for the past few months, that I’ve actually got something to tick off my TBR today. First of all, I’d like to thank all of the lovely people over at Netgalley for sending me this book, I’ve seen so many amazing reviews and I was really excited to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve been in the mood lately for something light, fluffy and contemporary and this seemed to fit the bill. I’ll spoil the rest of the review for you now by confessing that this is not my first

I’ll spoil the rest of the review for you now by confessing that this is not my first 5-star read of 2017 (sigh), we’re still on the hunt for that one, but don’t let that deter you!

The idea of winning the lottery is one that has bobbed through every child’s head at one time or another, and although the concept itself is relatively generic, I really liked the way it was handled in this book. Obviously, the money plays a big part in the story, but it’s not the only focus. The story still very much revolves around relationships, hardships and teenage angst (as all contemporaries should!)

Although it is something that could technically happen to any Lottery player, there was still something wonderfully fantastical about this plot line. It was a really nice example of realistic escapism (sort of similar to Dreamology by Lucy Keating)

I’m going to get the family dynamic commentary out of the way early on, because you all know how I feel about it. I still don’t really understand why YA writers feel it’s necessary to have protagonists with such tragic pasts, and this story really took the cake. However, I didn’t mind it as much in this instance as it actually contributed to the story. Alice’s difficult past made up a large portion of her love for Teddy, so it didn’t seem like a plot point added in just for the sake of it.

I feel like I have to mention Alice’s aunt and uncle here, they were some of the loveliest characters I’ve read in recent months, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship with Alice grow and develop throughout the story.

However, I didn’t like Alice and Teddy’s relationship. It just wasn’t very convincing to me. I appreciated Smith’s dedication to not making it an insta-lovey relationship (because that gets to me too), but their whole friendship and romance just didn’t fully convince me. I would have much preferred it if she had ended up with Sawyer!

Speaking of Sawyer, why was he just brushed under the carpet?! What happened to him? He seemed like a random character put in there only as a method of making Teddy jealous, which I found really sad since I preferred him to Teddy in every way. I really wish he’d been given more of a conclusion to his story, maybe he met another girl, I don’t know – just something!

On the other hand, there was Leo. I really liked the normalcy with which Leo’s homosexuality was presented, it was never explicitly said that he was gay, we were just introduced to his relationship with Max in the same way you would be if it were a heterosexual relationship. I was really happy to see this subtle presentation rather than making it a landmark feature in the plot.

Overall, I would give this 3.5/5 stars (rounded down to 3/5 for Goodreads purposes). It wasn’t a bad read, or a long read, or a boring read – it just isn’t a book I’m going to be ranting and raving about in the streets. It was fine, but I’ve got a few other contemporaries that I’d recommend ahead of it. Windfall comes out in just a couple of days, and if you’re a big contemporary fan, I’d recommend picking it up. However, if you’re just getting into the contemporary genre, I’d possibly skip this one for now (maybe try something from my summer reading list?), there are better examples of a YA contemporary to start you off.

Let me know what you guys thought of this book down below/ are you excited to pick it up in a few days time?

3 thoughts on “Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

  1. Yesterday itself I read a review of this book. And today’s there’s another review in my reader. I guess I’ll pick up this book soon.

    BTW since you have not got any 5 star rating book this year, I feel you should read ‘So Many Hungers!’. It’s a modern Indian Classic by Bhabani Bhattacharya. You can check some of its reviews to see if you would like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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