WINDFALL - by Jennifer E. Smith

WINDFALL - Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 2017 - by Pan Macmillan.
Pages: 416.
Genres: Young adult / romance / contemporary
Triggers/Content Advisory: This book is basically completely clean.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
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.

GUYS THIS BOOK: A deliciously fluffy, beautifully written contemporary that's easily one of my favourite contemporaries of the year.
Please read it now.

The writing is gorgeous and engaging. Every sentence seems to come straight from Smith's heart. It's a beautiful story: clean, wholesome, and completely committed to its characters and the healthy messages it's sending out.
The humour is scrumptious. I just adore how all the funny parts come straight from the characters' natural reactions to things through their fantastic, diverse personalities. It's so realistic, human, and in character. I laughed out loud at least four times.

The story's predictable and fluffy, but I guess that's to be expected of a romantic YA contemporary. And I didn't mind it; I loved every minute in Alice's world. The story swept me along and utterly stole my heart. I lost myself in the fuzzy warmth of it.
Initially, I wasn't won over though. The first chapter or two are very rough, and the relationships feel contrived and the dialogue overdone. But it easily smooths itself out after the incident of Alice and Teddy finding the ticket again, and the rest of the book is a treasure you just want to cuddle.

I loved the setting so much. The whole book feels so Christmasy, and I'm such a sucker for snowy scenes. I loved the snowy atmosphere, and the scenes at the start in Teddy's house are literally tangible in their snug, cosy vibes, and with the snow falling outside his window as he and Alice talk.
The whole story makes you feel as if you're in an igloo, snuggled in blankets and sipping hot chocolate, and then getting a fierce hug from your best friend. It's feel-good and heartwarming.

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

“There's a space between forgetting and moving on, and it's not easy to find.”

The characters are all absolute preciouses. Alice is a wonderful heroine with depth, personality and individuality. Teddy is fantastic, not without flaws, and so incredibly lovable and swoony. The characters also sound like actual teenagers - which is excellent. 
The secondary characters are remarkably appealing. I loved the emphasis on family and friendships, and I particularly loved Alice's Uncle and Aunt. At first they appear flat, but as the story goes on they get some awesome depth. I especially loved how they all get their own page time with Alice, and how every character is given significant attention. They all have their own subplots and backstory, and their personalities are vivid and layered.

I never stopped shipping Alice and Teddy. They have beautiful chemistry, and I loved watching them navigate their feelings and going on their own personal journeys. They're a great couple, but individually they're also brilliant. And they have their separate growth arcs as well, so it isn't just about "will they get together in the end?"

Windfall is pure, heartwarming, lovable, humourous, and heartbreaking escapism. The characters and story are irresistible, and every aspect is so incredibly human and magical. 


  1. I always like to think about how my life would change if I`d win the lottery. Will definitely give this book a go.

    Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner

    1. Ah me too! Yay, hope you enjoy it :)

  2. YES!!! I'm so happy you loved this and I agree wholeheartedly with pretty much everything you said. *nods* Windfall is one of the best books I've read this year. :') Wonderful review!

    1. ME TOO!!
      Yay I'm so glad!
      Thanks Kyra :)

  3. Wow, nice. Funny how sometimes the best books do start out rough but then pay off if you stick with 'em. Glad this one was so cozy and good. Sounds like a great Christmas time read too with all that atmosphere. :)

  4. Ooh, this just sounds so calming! While I hate slow-paced, predictable books, they're sometimes a comfort to read mainly because of the pace-- they don't go super fast, which makes you take time to just float in your environment and it's just wonderful. actually saw another review that said the same thing about Windfall, so I'll try to pick it up once I head out to the library today!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    1. It really is! And so true - this book was definitely one of those.
      Yay, hope you manage to get it!

  5. I also liked this book. Great review! :-)

    1. I'm so happy you did :) And thank you!