Windfall. Jennifer E. Smith. Contemporary/Young adult. 2017. 418 pages. 2 stars.
“We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.”
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.
I had no intentions of reading Windfall until I saw that it was featured in many BOTM’s by so many blogs. I decided to give it a try, expecting it to surpass my assumptions. It did not go well.
I started reading Windfall with a theory: Teddy becomes a multimillionaire and swindles to become an entitled jerkface. And I was spot on! Teddy played right into it. He was every cliché lottery winner I’ve read books about. I was almost hoping that he’d be different just so that I could be proven wrong. Teddy was that idiot friend who was too blind to see that his best friend was head over heels for him. Not only that, he was a total douche by always always always ditching Alice or getting mad at her for looking after him. He was faced with the same problem and he would always talk about doing this or doing that but never really did anything substantial. It was frustrating. I also got annoyed reading about Alice because she would always be too easy on Teddy. I get it, you’re in love with him, but that’s no excuse for him to treat you so badly! She deserved so much better.
The book dragged on and on with Alice and Teddy dealing with the same problem for the entirety of the book that it got super boring. I was more than relieved to get to the end of the book only to see that after 400 pages, little to nothing was accomplished.
Windfall caters to a certain kind of reader, and that wasn’t me. This is my problem with contemporaries because they become too dull and predictable to a fault. I’m a very picky contemporary reader and sadly this wasn’t my cup of tea.