[Blog Tour Book Review #19] Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith + Giveaway

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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Format: ARC

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press Books For Young Readers

No. of Pages: 414 pages

Price: $18.99

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Family

Book Review:

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Massive thanks to my friends at Penguin Random House International for sending a review copy of this book my way, and for allowing me to host a local blog tour. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.

The best friends turned lovers trope is a kind of story that I have loved ever since I became a reader. I love the way authors first introduce us to very good friends who turn out to be falling for one another. However it may be written, I always end up feeling giddy all the same. I honestly think that you could never go wrong by reading books that are, by nature, light and fluffy. And with that said, I believe it’s fair to say that I am more than elated to share with everyone today my thoughts on Jennifer E. Smith’s newest book, Windfall.

You might have read this on my previous reviews, but this time around, I legitimately adored Jennifer’s new set of characters! They were all lovable, and easy to root for (except for Teddy who has picked on my nerves for almost 3/4s of the book, but that’s a matter for a different paragraph) from Alice who must be hugged and protected at all times, to Sawyer who was actually the one I was most intrigued with. Even all the side characters had stories to tell, however short, and it satisfied me to see just how their stories will be heard by readers who I hope will love them as much as I do, if not more.

Now, let’s talk about Teddy. As I’ve mentioned, I loathed Teddy for almost 3 quarters of the book. Honestly though, it didn’t really start that way. At first, I thought Teddy was just your ordinary best friend / athlete who’s there for you if you need a buddy to walk home from school with, but as it turns out, he had this attitude to him after he got his prize money that I just didn’t like. I mean, I think it’s kinda hard to remain down-to-earth if one ever wins money as much as Teddy did, but still, I think he could’ve handled his situation a whole lot better, especially in terms of dealing with Alice and their relationship. I did like how he improved towards the ending of the story, though. I didn’t believe for a second that a person (whether he / she be fictional or not) could instantly change within a just a few pages, but I have to point out it was a nice try in Jennifer’s part.

One last thing I wanted to talk about was how this novel gave so much attention to the relevance of families. I adored the relationship Alice had with her Aunt and Uncle, and albeit I felt like there were lots of things that she could have done to help them in some way, I’m still impressed with how close and well bonded they turned out to be in the end. The same goes for Teddy and his beloved mom. This take on family ties was impressive and so on point! I just can’t help but be moved. The emotions were waaaay to real.

“As I’ve mentioned, Windfall is about two best friends who are thrown into a huge rollercoaster ride following a huge lottery victory. But more than that, it is also about different kinds of friendships, and family, and how life can sometimes throw us into something unexpected, but can also turn out for it to be something that we need in order to move on with life. It has it’s flaws, but it’s definitely perfect and recommendable in every other possible way. Now, I can only hope to read another story as wonderfully put together such as this one.”

RATING:

Characters – 4.50

Plot – 4.50

Writing Style – 5.00

Pacing – 4.50

Ending – 4.00

TOTAL – 4.50 / 5★

Quotable Quotes:

“We have all sorts of words that could describe us. But we get to choose which ones are most important.”

“This is going to change everything. I don’t mean it the way I usually do. I don’t mean that change is hard or scary, though it’s definitely both. I mean only to say this: that sometimes, through good luck or bad, through curses or fate, the world cracks itself open, and afterward nothing will ever be the same. All I mean is that this seems like one of those times.”

Giveaway:

I have 5 finished paperback copies of Windfall, thanks to my lovely and generous friends from Penguin Random House. Now, for a chance to win one, just answer this question via the comment section:

When was the last time you considered yourself lucky, and why?

The most creative and heartfelt answers will get the prizes! Contest ends on June 30, 2017, 11:59PM. Good luck, and may the odds be in your favor!

Blog Tour Posts:

Be sure to check out this space as I will be updating it once the other reviews from my lovely blogger friends are up!

Jem’s Review at The Bibliophile Confessions

Allie’s Review at A Literary Wanderer

Nicka’s Review at Read by Nicka

Bianca’s Review at Stay Bookish

Fay’s Review at Bibliophile Soprano

Shealea’s Review at The Book Shelf Bitch

About the Author:

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of eight books for young adults, including WINDFALL and THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 33 languages.

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32 thoughts on “[Blog Tour Book Review #19] Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith + Giveaway

  1. I believe that I’m lucky everyday – blessed, even – especially during my last few weeks before I’m finished with my undergraduate study. Senior year has been tough but I’m sure the challenges will be worth it by graduation! If I were to pick one, though, the last time I felt really lucky was when our short film (which I have written) was nominated for best picture and for best screenplay! Before it was announced, we knew we had no chance so imagine our surprise when our film was called! Surreal.

    Great review, as always, JM! And thank you for this chance! (Hopefully, I can get lucky here too and have the chance to read Windfall!)

    Hearts,
    Ailla ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the last time I considered myself lucky, when I won a giveaway from NBS. coz I’ve been joining a lot of giveaways but I’m so unlucky that I’ve almost quit joining giveaways. So when I won that giveaway I was so happy coz for the first time I won and I felt so lucky 😄 thank you so much for hosting this giveaway and goodluck to everyone 😊

      Like

  2. Yay for the giveaway. ❤ Last time I considered myself lucky was when I went home after a long day of work and finding a hot meal and fresh change of clothes for me laid out by my mother. I felt so lucky and loved. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you very much for the opportunity, it means a lot to me since I have seen the book all over my twitter, instagram, etc and lots of people been talking about it nonstop. yayyy!!

    Speaking of lucky time, I condiser my every single second is my lucky time. It only depends on what would we do to make this second such a lucky second. Other than that, I’m so thankful to have this life eventhough I have my downs. Yet, my most recent lucky time was a few months ago, when I went back home from my dorminity to find there were 8 or 9 bookmail sitting peacefully on my table. I just couldn’t make a decent word to express, I only starred at it for a while, thinking how beautiful the pile was. That was my first time ever to receive that many book mails. I also couldn’t even stop showing it to my whole family, even they’ve seen it before me. I was so thrilled. Also, most of them were the books I’d been dying to read, so it was just wonderful. :33
    That lucky memory still is stuck in my mind, I won’t dare to forget. :))

    PS. sorry for my bad English, it ain’t my first language. :(( I feel bad for that

    Like

  4. I consider myself lucky at many times. Whenever I’m able to buy a book I’ve really wanted, I consider myself lucky. Whenever I eat delicious food, I consider myself lucky and privileged. Whenever I meet my friends and come back home to my parents, I realize how lucky I am. Thank you for this giveaway 🙂

    Like

  5. I consider myself lucky EVERYDAY.
    – =)
    *I know how it feels to suffer starvation to the point that we don’t eat that day unless we dig sweet potatoes from our neighbors backyard instead of begging my shitty relatives for a cup of rice.
    Now I feel so lucky, I can eat 3 times a day plus snacks whenever I want.
    *I experienced to sleep on a table in our kitchen under the night sky for almost 4 months because our roof was destroyed by a storm and we cant fix it cos we lack the money to buy the materials and to pay for the laborer.
    Now we have a better house with a better roof. Tho I never liked it when it rains.. It brings back nightmares or that night
    *6 years ago I am NOT A READER. I cant afford the luxury to buy a php50 book coz it’s worth a fortune to me that time. I’d rather give my money to my mother to buy our food. Now I’m a hoarder. I can buy whichever book I want..read what I want.

    (Sorry sa grammar)

    I believe I’m very lucky.
    I believe I got more that I deserve.

    😉

    Like

  6. I’m not just lucky, I’m blessed. Everyday. Yes, every single day of my life. God gave me this life so
    I have to cherish it. Family and friends proved that I’m lucky- no, I’m blessed- everyday. They are always there for me. They cheer me up and tell me good things to motivate me. They are the one who always tell me not to give up. That there are always second chances.

    Thank you for this giveaway!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I consider myself lucky everyday because I have a complete family, I can eat 3 times a day, I’m studying, I can buy books, etc. Recently, I passed my exam so I’m going to be a third year student. I feel blessed and lucky that I can continue my course and fulfill my dreams.

    Thank you for this giveaway 🙂

    Like

  8. The last time I consider myself lucky was when I passed my oral defense. Why? Because I know that I didn’t do well during my defense yet my panelists are very kind and considerate. They even help me and shared their knowledge/expertise.

    Thank you for the chance and great review!

    Like

  9. The last time I felt lucky was last December 11th. I was a strand of hair away from death but I was lucky enough to survive. This happened when I tried to kill myself and slit my wrist. All the doctors and nurses who tended me that day told me that I was so lucky to miss my vein which I only miss by a hair strand. Also, I didnt have enough money for the hospitalization but my best friend and boyfriend were kind enough to pay for everything. Lastly, a lot of people visited me and sent me their love and well-wishes. I felt so lucky to have survived that day and even luckier to be given a new life which I now enjoy more and value more.

    Yey for the giveaway! Love you beb! 💖

    Like

  10. The last time I considered myself lucky is when my mother got healed by a stage 3 cancer. the doctor told us there’s no sign of any cancer in her body and my mother was so lucky and blessed because she got healed by God. and we’re so lucky and blessed too because we get to see her everyday happy and strong. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love Jennifer E. Smith and I’m a sucker for best friends turned to lovers stories as well!! I’m soo excited to read this book. Thanks for the chance!!

    I consider myself “lucky” everyday. Just knowing that I’m in a good state in life, and that I am alive and well. Simply first thing in the morning just by waking up and getting to see and experience a new day with my family and friends. I think everyday is a blessing filled with even more blessings (like being with my family & friends, the food we get to eat, the fact that we’re all safe, etc).

    Like

  12. I don’t think I have ever been lucky. Because I don’t think that luck has anything to do with all the blessings I get no matter how big or small the blessing is. I’m a proud christian so luck for me is a blessing! ^_^ Thanks for the chance on this giveaway! 😀

    Like

  13. I’m really glad you liked this one, JM! I can’t wait to finally read this one, trust me, I can read this when I can hahaha! I also love the idea of your giveaway.

    To be honest, I’m lucky I met you guys. I’m glad we were able to push through with Bookworms Unite because I was able to meet a bunch of cool people, you included. I treasure that memory so much, and I know that we’ll be able to hold on to that for a long time. That being said, we need to get things done for BU3! HAHAHA! ❤

    Like

  14. I always feel lucky even with the simplest things, but one of the most significant events that made me feel lucky and blessed is when I did something horrible and my parents forgave me easily. I expected to be grounded and that they’ll scold me bigtime but seems like they knew that I have learned from what happened. They are very understanding, loving, and supportive, I couldn’t ask for more. ❤️

    Thank you for this JM! 😊
    And I love your review!

    Like

  15. I consider myself lucky everyday, just by waking up every morning, being alive and knowing that I’m capable of doing better things. But this last April, I received a recognition from my school for being a consistent Grade 9 honor student. And as I walk right up to the stage, I said to myself that yes, I am lucky and that I can do so much more as I get older. And it wasn’t just me who I considered lucky and proud, but also my friends and family.

    Thank you so much for this chance! 🙂

    Like

  16. I consider myself lucky through and through, considering the aspects of my life that are so convenient and privileged. I’m lucky because I’m able to attend a nationally-known high school and to continue my education at a college and grad school leve. I’m lucky because I have access to Internet, though some people in poverty don’t even have access to clean water. I’m lucky because every day, I have opportunities that some people wouldn’t be able to imagine, and I’m thankful every day for what I have. 🙂

    Like

  17. I am lucky everyday because of my friends. They’re always there for me, even in my worst times. As time goes by, I didn’t consider myself lucky anymore. I was blessed more than I deserve. Luv you friends. ❤️

    Like

  18. I believe that one should always be thankful whenever they get to wake up and experience a brand new day. Aside from that, I also feel lucky everyday just by having a home, food to eat, clothes and being with the people I love. But just recently, as in just 2 days prior to answering this, another proof that I’m lucky is that I got accepted to a scholarship I’ve applied for. Not everyone is given the chance to be accepted, but I worked so hard just to get in of course. And with that I’m really thankful.

    P.S. I think that you should also really put in a lot of effort and pray to get the things you want and not only rely on luck tho.

    Like

  19. The last time I felt lucky–or blessed–was on Father’s Day. I spent the day with my family and just realized for the millionth time how amazing it is to have a loving family. Also it’s a blessing just to be alive! I’m thankful for so many things, small and large. 🙂

    Like

  20. Last time I felt lucky, and I mean super super super LUCKY, was when I passed the Philippine Bar Exams – pegged as probably the most difficult licensure exam in the Philippines. I know some people would say that you don’t just pass the Bar out of pure luck, but I know luck has played a big role in mine. You see 5 months before the exams, my boyfriend of 5 years and I broke up. It was such a bad break up which left me direction-less, purpose-less, and just in daze the whole of my review period. While the rest of my batchmates were all focused on studying, I was grieving for the loss an almost perfect relationship. I was not only torn, I was shattered. I did my best, though – I reviewed, I toiled day and night, but I know it wasn’t my best. I was distracted and broken. I knew I wasn’t going to make it.

    Come results day, I knew things are turning out bad. I was ready to hear it – to hear that I wasn’t in the list and I did’t make it – because really, with how things went months before the Bar, there’s no other possible turn out but to fail.

    When I saw the results, though, and oh god when I saw my name in there, I felt like the world has gathered all its stars and conspired to put my name in that list. I could think of nothing but OH GOD I WAS SO LUCKY MY PRAYERS WERE HEARD, SO LUCKY MY FAMILY NEVER GAVE UP ON ME, SO LUCKY THE UNIVERSE WAS WITH ME DESPITE ALL THE ODDS.

    Anyway, JM, this was such a dramatic post, but I just wanted to share to you and your readers how the universe will conspire if you want something so bad. You just have to WANT IT SO BAD AND WORK FOR IT, and it will be done – you will be heard; you’ll get lucky 😉

    Like

  21. It was when I was 16 years old, I nearly got hit by a car, lucky enough, someone (a friend of mine) just pulled me. I was really thankfuk that time, I used to cross roads without looking at both sides. Now I learned.

    Anyway, great review, as always, JM!

    Like

  22. I would like to enter on the Giveaway because I wanted the book so much rather I wanted to answer the question undeniably.

    Sometimes, most of the times even. I asked myself is luck really played an important factor in our life when if that event was merely a coincidence, or fated to happen? What if all hope our gone in a person’s belief and he thinks low of himself along the way of the one of the most struggling hardship that he ever faced. To sum it up that those days are depressing challenges on his own time. What could luck play on this role? It is just a what if. What if it wasn’t luck at all? What if it was more than that? It could be the person’s capability, or his environment that leads him with what he got after those struggles. A person could only wish for a luck if he wants something to happen when odds conspire on his rule. I don’t want to say it as luck because people eventually forget luck if the world transpire to them than what they are anticipating.

    Like

  23. If that “luck” happens more than a person wished for. I believe it is much more better to say that everything that happens to a person. No matter how bad or good is it or how much depressing and uplifting or fulfilling something for him. I would like to call that a miracle.

    Everyday is a miracle. Living in Earth is a miracle. Knowing you, meeting people, being a part of a lot of person’s life at some point, having guilty pleasures along the way, fights that build from misunderstandings, things we do for others are all miracles.

    I would like to believe more that luck originated in miracle and positive deed. Despite a person’s financial capability, if he has a good heart and he affects people a lot in a positive way. Universe can transcend everything all at once to a person towards to the thing that they wanted so much that we can call luck.

    It is amazing that once you do something positive, it will bounce back to you more than you imagine. Same with the negative output. Maybe, just, maybe, if we think that luck is a mere luck because we think we don’t deserve it. Well, maybe it is not for us to judge it. Instead let’s trust the universe, life and flow of time to do the work of what we deserve of.

    I’m pretty lucky that I met a lot of person that changed my life at this point. I’m forever grateful of what I had today. Hopefully, that luck that I received in my lifetime could be the miracles for other generations.

    Spread positivity and love.
    Thank you, JM!

    Like

  24. The last time I felt lucky was just last night, June 21st. My husband and I have been married for 5 months now and we have endured without killing each other LOL. Also, it was our 10th year 4 months together and we had a simple celebration with family and I could not feel luckier. Being surrounded by so much love and support is something that I really do not take for granted.

    Like

  25. Probably every time I buy a book or something that I love. I am thankful and lucky that I have parents that support me with my crazy spendings and expensive hobbies.

    Like

  26. Is it weird that I don’t believe in luck, and yet, here I am…. Joining a giveaway to answer a question if I believe in it?
    But JENNIFER E. SMITH?! Of course I will enter the giveaway because I adore her! Her books give me so much hope! And feels!
    To answer your question…. I don’t believe in luck because I think life is not just a matter of chance. For me, luck is our only way of coping up, to blame the universe if something bad happens, or if something desirable knocks on our door.
    I consider myself blessed in a lot of ways. To breathe, think, act, do something you’re passionate about? I think it’s a miracle. 🙂

    Like

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