Hey space cadets, how’s life on mars? Nothing new in Robyn-land, except for a case of rare but entirely real ridente gena dolore – smiling cheek pain, look it up. I blame the broad-shouldered dragon-slayer and his apparently complete and utter power he has over my smiling muscles.
Anyway. Today I’m reviewing a newish book. It’s Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith. Onwards!
Cover Talk: You know what? Imma go ahead and give this one a thumbs up. It’s bright and colourful, it’s fun, and the animals are a nod to a (teeny tiny) detail in the story.
The Summary Heist: 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.
Robyn Says: As soon as I heard the premise of this story I was really excited to read it. I think it’s an excellent idea – I mean, who among us has not fantasied one or two or a million times about the havoc we would wreak if we won the jackpot, amirite? Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectations. Was it bad? No, not at all. It just wasn’t good enough to remember much about it, even a week after reading it. This was one of those books that I read every word of, but feel like I just skimmed. It’s pretty fluffy, too, considering the serious issues it touches on. Although maybe ‘touches on’ isn’t really accurate. ‘Glances at while sprinting past’ is probably more fitting. One character has lost both parents, another has a parent struggling with addiction, and yet, there’s no depth to the way these issues are addressed. It was all very Lifetime movie-ish.
I didn’t really care for the characters either, except for the protagonist’s cousin whose name I can’t even remember (was it Leo? It might have been Leo… or maybe Max…). There was a puppy, too. I mean, I liked the puppy, obviously.
I guess my biggest problem was that the protagonist, Alice, was really judgemental about the way her friend and secret crush, Teddy, spent the money… but nothing he did was really that crazy. C’mon. So he buys some gadgets and the entire building where he lives and takes some trips. Jesus Murphy, if I had won the lottery at 18, you can bet your ass it would be a helluva lot crazier than that. At the very least I’d have put some contracts out on my enemies. I mean, best-case scenario, teenage mafia queen with two pet tigers, a couple of AK-47s, and literal sacks of diamonds. So yeah. Easy on the judgy, Alice.
Verdict: Skip it. Not worth the time when there are so many other awesome books out there just waiting to be seen by your eyeballs.
Best lines: Nah.
Fancasting couch: Nerp.
Book Boyfriend material: The puppy?
Rating: 3 out of 10 giant novelty cheques.
ROBYN’S FINAL THOUGHT: Don’t think you were gonna get out without a little BNL…
I’m not even sorry. Also, #Canadian.
Okay, star-children, I guess that’s it–
O…k… um, thanks, Titus?
Alright, guys, as a great poet once said, it’s the freakin’ weekend baby imma bout to have me some fun! Go forth and do good partying!