Unrealistic Plot & Characters: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Unrealistic Plot & Characters: Windfall by Jennifer E. SmithWindfall
by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: May 2nd 2017
Published by Delacorte Press
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
Pages: 418
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two-half-stars
Source: Audiobook Received for Review

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.

Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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I’ve read books about vampires, walkers, shifters, fairies, dystopian worlds, goblins, droids, space battles, dragons and pretty much anything else mythical and make-believe you can think of… yet this contemporary book about a teen that wins the lottery was so unbelievable and unrealistic for me that it was hard to get past that point. Not only was the fact that a teenage girl happened to get allll the numbers of the lottery right unrealistic, but the characters were just so unrealistic and frankly annoying.

Alice lost her parents when she was nine years old, first her mom to cancer then her dad 13 months later to a car accident. She moved from California to live with her aunt, uncle and her cousin Leo. Fast forward 9 years and despite the fact that Alice and Leo are very close and that her aunt and uncle love her like she was their own daughter, Alice still thinks of California as her home and can’t help but feel like she doesn’t fit in with them… all of her own doing. Alice is in love with her and Leo’s longtime friend, Teddy, and for his 18th birthday she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke. Surprise, surprise she ends up getting all the lottery number picks right and after a mad scramble to look for the lottery ticket they accidentally threw away, they find it and their life changes forever.

Teddy was a douche, but I guess I kind of expected that. Winning 140 million dollars can really mess with a person and after his dad left him and him and his mom have spent years living in a tiny one bedroom apartment and living paycheck to paycheck, the newfound fame gets to his head. He buys extravagant gifts, takes the entire basketball team to Mexico for spring break and all that other usual useless stuff anyone would do if they hit the jackpot. As much as this annoyed me, he wasn’t even the worst part. Alice was. She was such a goody two shoes (she reminded me of Rory Gilmore, who I despise) and always acted like she was better than everyone. Despite the fact that she bought the ticket and chose the winning numbers, she doesn’t feel one bit jealous that Teddy won. At first I was thinking how unrealistic t would be, after all, even if I bought my mom, who I love,  a lottery ticket and she won as happy as I would be for her I would think I would still feel a tiny bit jealous. But not Alice, maybe she’s just a better person than me. *shrugs* Teddy, trying to do the right thing offers to split the jackpot with Alice, but she refuses. He offers to pay for her college, which she also refuses and he offers to give her any amount she feels comfortable with, which she also refuses. Her reasoning is that she doesn’t want things to change (too late) and she has her parents insurance money to pay for college. Well that’s all nice and good but what about her aunt and uncle and cousin who have taken care of her the last 9 years? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take care of them for once? What about all the volunteering she does to make herself feel like a better person than everyone else? Couldn’t she have done a lot of good with that money? I just found Alice extremely unlikable and unrealistic…

The romance was all over the place. Most of the time I was so annoyed by Teddy and is attitude, then the romance just happened out of nowhere towards the end and it just felt oh so convenient: an 18-year-old who just won the lottery to fall for his best friend who bought the ticket for him. At this point I have a higher chance believing the zombie apocalypse will happen over this. The story was cheesy and very predictable and sadly there were just too many things that annoyed me that kept me from enjoying this book. This is my first book by this author, which I have always stayed away from because they always seemed a bit cheesy, but so many people love her book so I decided to try it. Sadly, I think her books just aren’t for me though I hope other readers enjoy her stories.

Audiobook Sample:

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Nereyda

Nereyda

Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...
  • Well this sounds annoying. I don’t even want to go through. Especially of both the MCs are so irritating. Skip.

  • I haven’t read this book but I’ve had my hesitation about that plot. I’m so glad to see your review on how unrealistic it is. I’ll be taking it off my TBR. Thanks for the review!

  • Oh bummer! I’ve had this book on my radar for a while. Too bad you didn’t enjoy it more. I usually love Jennifer E. Smith’s books.

    • I haven’t read any other books but I hope I like them more than this one.

  • I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I read one of the author’s other book before, and I didn’t enjoy it. I’m currently reading this one and so far so good, but yeah, I admit, Alice is such a goody two shoes and while I usually have soft spot for guys like Teddy, so far he hasn’t done nothing for me. I’m interested in Leo and I hope he got more fleshed out as the book goes!

  • Sorry to hear that you didn’t end up enjoying this one as much as you had hoped. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews for this one. I’m always extra bummed when a book with a pretty cover ends up disappointing me. LOL! Hope your next read is better! Great honest review!

    • Well at least this book has a cute cover, I wish the book was as good…

  • I quite enjoyed this book but I can completely see where your coming from. It was unrealistic but I guess I just kind of looked past it…i don’t know why but I seem to have enjoyed this one more than other people I’ve seen review it!

    • I think if I would have liked the characters the unrealistic aspect wouldn’t have bothered me so much but I hated Alice and Teddy so I think that bothered me more.

  • UGH I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN! My review is going up for this soon and it was pretty much all of what you said because the characters were so annoying and overdone and I found them super unlikeable and quite average! Thank god I’m not the only one!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    • Yes, so glad someone else felt the same way! Super unrealistic!

  • You’ve basically listed all the reasons why I didn’t want to read this book. I like Jennifer E Smith, she writes nice books but this one had me rolling my eyes and saying as if because the idea of a teenager managing to buy a winning lottery ticket for someone sounds ridiculous. I know someone has to win but it was just insane. I’m glad I’ve decided to skip over this one as it doesn’t sound like the best read.

    • I wish I would have just skipped it cause it annoyed me so much.

  • I’m actually surprised Teddy was a douche. I saw the author at an event and it all seemed so swoony and “childhood lovers ahh” and whatnot. It’s not my kind of book, because you always know how these books will end.

    • Well that sucks that she was crushing on Teddy. He eventually stopped being a douche but it was kind of too little too late for me.

  • Ugh! I DNFed this one. I hated Teddy and I didn’t like Alice much either. It was completely unrealistic that a teenage girl wouldn’t accept some of the money. I’m 30 and I would for damn sure accept some of that money lol.

    • There is nothing wrong with accepting the money, I felt like the author tried to make it seem like Alice was such a great person for not accepting the money when it only made her come off as stupid…

  • A character being described as Rory Gilmore is a sure way to get me to pick up a book …NOT! I’ve only read one book by her and I liked it, but none of her other books caught my attention. I was intrigued by this one because pretty cover, but ehhhh no thanks!