Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith Review

32048554Let 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.”

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith was a solid and satisfying novel, although it does nothing new to the genre.  While the novel has solid lead characters and nice, sweet moments throughout the book, the overly predictable and generic feel of the book keep the novel from standing out.

I am not a big fan of romance novels, so take my review with a grain of salt. Teddy and Alice were solid lead characters. Smith did a good job of establishing them as separate characters. Alice is a kind soul, yet struggles to cope with her parents’ deaths. Her inner turmoil was well done and you genuinely care for her. Teddy was a bit generic and at times, he can be a bit annoying, but for the most part, he is tolerable and competent as the love interest. Max was a solid supporting character, although, again, he was a bit generic as the gay best friend. Now, the actual romance between Alice and Teddy was ok. I had no problems with their romance, but it was not as developed or as believable as I hoped it would be. It definitely has its moments, but as Alice chases Teddy, it feels all the same.

The plot of the book was extremely predictable. It is probably the most generic and predictable book I have read all year. I knew what would happen, almost the entire time I was reading. It’s as if Smith was checking a checklist of romance tropes. Read the summary and hypothesize how the book will play out. Chances are you are right. It’s ok to be predictable, but not painfully predictable. To top it off, some of the subplots don’t really get developed. Sawyer, a guy who develops a crush on Alice, is painfully underdeveloped. Alice even admits that she might even like him, but that he will never be Teddy. After several pages scattered throughout the middle of the book, he is gone. Only mentioned briefly near the end of the book. While they did go on a date, it just proved to be another “Oh, he’s cool, but he will never be so and so.” That being said, there are some genuinely cute moments throughout the book and some emotional ones as well, but that does not excuse the plot and underdeveloped subplots.

Windfall does nothing new to the genre. It has some solid characters and some nice moments throughout, but the predictable plot is painfully predictable. Those who like this genre will be satisfied with this novel and those who don’t will not find anything that will convince them to look at this genre in a new light.

Rating: Check it out if you like the genre



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