Book Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Alice picks up a lottery ticket for her best friend (and crush) as a joke for his 18th birthday. The ticket turns out to be a multi-million dollar winner. This book follows the aftermath that results. We follow three best friends:

  • Alice, the main character, is madly in love with Teddy, the lottery winner. She is also struggling to come to terms with the fact that, at eighteen, she’s lived without her parents for half of her life. She has to determine how much effect they are going to have on her life moving forward.
  • Teddy is the multi-million dollar winner. He goes from sharing a one-bedroom apartment with his mother to having more money that most people will ever see. And that definitely has some ramifications!
  • Leo is their best friend who has always dreamed of getting into a specific graphic design school. But his (very serious) boyfriend goes to college in Michigan. He’s got a very big decision to make.

What I Liked

  • The whole concept was great. I feel like “winning the lottery” is usually the end of a story, but in this case it was the beginning. It was fun to explore all the ramifications, good and bad, of winning the lottery. I also liked that the author included pretty realistic actions what you would do after winning the lottery. (Google what to do, of course!)
  • I loved all of the characters in this book too. They were well-rounded, and I felt invested in their choices.
  • It wasn’t a cheesy “I’m-a-high-school-senior-who-needs-to-make-seemingly-important-but-cliche-decisions” sort of book. The decisions actually were important.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book made me cry quite a bit. It was well written, which means I got invested in the characters and when things were difficult for them, it made me cry. It wasn’t in a beautiful sort of way though, like in Letters to the Lostit just made me sort of depressed. 😦
  • This one is a spoiler, so highlight over the white text to see it:
    I felt like Teddy’s attitude shift toward’s Alice at the end was sort of unexpected. I can see where the author tried to lead up to it, but it still felt like a pretty sudden switch in character. It also felt like too easy an ending. Although it’s definitely what I wanted, for Alice’s sake, I’m not sure it was the most realistic. Plus, I sort of liked Sawyer too.

In Conclusion

This is a pretty cute young adult novel.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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