Geek Book Review: “Windfall” by Jennifer E. Smith

From the statistical probability of love, Jennifer E. Smith tells a story about the probability of winning the lottery

“Windfall” follows the story of best friends Ali and Teddy and how their lives changed when Ali gave Teddy a lottery ticket for a birthday gift, a ticket that wins him 140 million dollars.

“That you don’t have faith in the world.”
I consider this a moment. “It’s not that, exactly. It’s just…the world hasn’t done much for me lately. I guess I’m still waiting for it to impress me.”

Teddy and Ali, with their other best friend Leo, are your usual YA characters, high school students, in love, etc. But Teddy is not a loser nerd here, he’s a popular but poor kid which makes his sudden good fortune intriguing. How would an already high school star change after winning that much money? How will he react to the increased attention from students and teachers? Smith discussed the effects of having this much money not only on the person who has it but also on those around him.

“Because how many times can one life be split into a before and an after?”

The point of view of the book is Ali’s. Smith made her a regular girl which means she’s a good person: one who works in a soup kitchen. Typical and laughable. But she also created for her a tragic background story that makes her an interesting character to narrate the story: a girl who does not believe in good luck. “Sometimes it feels like if I wish for it hard enough, it might just come true. But I know that’s not the way it works. Life doesn’t bend to anyone’s will. And it doesn’t run on credit either. Just because the world stole something from me doesn’t mean it owes me anything. And just because I’ve stockpiled a whole lot of bad luck doesn’t mean I’m due anything good.”

“Windfall” loses steam midway after the whole excitement of the lottery stuff fizzles out. But the discussions of certain concepts such as karmic credit will keep the readers’ interest.

“That even though it will never stop hurting, what happened to him, it will get better someday; with the right amount of time and the right combination of people it will still burn like crazy, but the heat of it will come in and out like a radio signal and he’ll learn to live in the spaces in between.”

Geek Rate

ares-512(Mortal Worthy. 3 out of 5 stars). There’s nothing special with this Jennifer E. Smith novel but the premise is exciting. Smith is one of the strong YA writers that I know of. So even though “Windfall” has a common plot, the author’s writing style will make it possible for readers to enjoy the book.

Photo 4-24-22, 11 22 59 PM (2)Reignell Francisco

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