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Windfall Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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"Smith’s dynamic characters and their complex struggles...will keep readers invested." —Publishers Weekly
"Smith weaves a poignant tale of teens coping with loss and change as they balance on the verge of adulthood...Fans of Morgan Matson’s and Deb Caletti’s books will want to curl up with a box of tissues as they fall under Smith’s storytelling spell." —School Library Journal
“[T]his compelling read, gracefully told, raises issues seldom explored in popular fiction. How can we rationalize life's inequalities? What do we owe, and to whom, when blessed with good fortune? Smart and entertaining, as to be expected from Smith.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Smith taps into the relatable feelings of young love...she skillfully juxtaposes these romantic complications with the struggles of newfound wealth; family and friend conflicts; and each teen’s internal wrestling with the past, present, and future." —VOYA
“Windfall is about all of my favorite things—a girl’s first big love, her first big loss, and—her first big luck.” —Jenny Han, New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
“Windfall is perfectly named; reading it, I felt like I had suddenly found something wonderful. It’s a story about love, and luck, and the way our lives can change in an instant. I laughed and cried and bought a lottery ticket the very next day.” —Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything
“Windfall is rich with the intensity of real love—in all its heartache and hope.” —Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After
More Praise for Jennifer E. Smith
"Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is the love story of Clare and Aidan, high school sweethearts who spend one last day together before college separates them, possibly forever. It's also the love story of good friends, of home, of what used to be and what's to come. This latest stunner from Jennifer E. Smith will linger in your aching heart. (But it's a good ache. The best kind.) It's an ache that comes from characters who are so real they breathe, and a relatable story that generates feels—lots of them—on every page." —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
"Smith captures the romantic sparks that fly in unusual situations and the way love can build even when circumstances keep people apart. If you like your romances with a bit of European adventure, some New York glamour, and a lot of honest heart, The Geography of You and Me is for you." —E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars
“A gorgeous, heartwarming reminder of the power of fate.” —The New York Times Book Review on The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
About the Author
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages. She lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @JenESmith or visit her at jenniferesmith.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Alice buys her best friend, Teddy, a lottery ticket for his eighteenth birthday. Amazingly, he wins and becomes a millionaire many times over. At first Teddy struggles with making good decisions about this windfall, but more than that, he struggles with questions about his future, and how to be a good friend to Alice.
Alice has liked Teddy for a long time and wants to be more than friends. However, he doesn't seem to want anything more than the relationship they have now, which is hard for Alice. She tries dating a different guy, but her heart isn't in it, even though she realizes things would be easier if she could like Sawyer and not Teddy.
Alice moved to Chicago after the death of her parents, and views returning to San Francisco and attending Stanford as going back home. But a lot of time has passed, and sometimes the way Alice remembers things, might not be the way things actually were. As she struggle with her plans for her future, she continues to hope for something to happen with her relationship with Teddy.
This is a sweet romance with some ups and downs. Teen readers will appreciate and relate to the characters who start as friends and must decide if they want their relationship to be more than that. The lottery storyline will also make readers think about what their own reaction and behavior would be if they found themselves in similar circumstances.
Smith has found the magic formula again for creating easy to read realistic fiction for teens. My only complain is that her books are finished far too quickly and I am left waiting for her next book for far too long.
Everything changes when Alice's silly gift wins Teddy a whopping $140 million dollars.
Alice's life already changed once when her parents died and she moved in with her aunt, uncle, and her cousin Felix. She isn't sure she wants everything to change again even if the money is exactly what Teddy and his mother need after years struggling to overcome his father's gambling debts.
Teddy has always been a constant in Alice's life but in the wake of his luck changing it starts to feel like Teddy is changing too. But as Alice learns more about herself she starts to realize that maybe they're both changing. And maybe that isn't always a bad thing in Windfall (2017) by Jennifer E. Smith.
While Windfall is all about a big lottery win, this change of circumstance is often a backdrop in this character driven story. At eighteen, Alice is used to being an orphan and the stigma that sometimes comes from explaining her family history. What she isn't used to, she realizes as she throws everything she has into her application to Standford, is defining herself without her parents.
Alice has always turned to the memory of her parents and their life in San Francisco as a guide for her own life which she has filled with tutoring and volunteering. But as Alice begins to make decisions about college and what comes next she realizes that modeling herself on her parents offers more questions than answers.
Alice's confusion about her future and who she wants to be is complicated by Teddy's lottery win. As questions of how to split, spend, and otherwise share the money come up Alice and Teddy's previously breezy friendship becomes strained. In the midst of this Alice's cousin Leo is dealing with the more concrete dilemma of what happens next when his boyfriend is in college in Michigan while Leo is still in Chicago.
Smith's multifaceted story focuses on Alice and uses her grief and development as a lens for the rest of the story. Alice spends a lot of the novel viewing herself as an island set apart from the rest of her family--something that doesn't always ring true when the loss of her parents is taken in the larger context of a familial loss affecting multiple people--but the ways she and her family come together by the end of Windfall is sweet and satisfying. Alice's relationship with Teddy is similarly complex and a driving force of the plot.
Smith tackles questions of fate, privilege, and love in her latest standalone contemporary. Windfall is a smart and compulsively readable story about what happens when the impossible is suddenly not just possible but reality. A great choice for readers seeking a realistic romantic story with a healthy dose of escapism.
Possible Pairings: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, Lucky in Love by Kasie West