My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Windfall is a contemporary novel about a girl who buys her best friend a lottery ticket for his birthday and against all odds – he wins. Alice, Teddy, and Leo are best friends but wonder if the lottery will come between them and change everything they’ve known for the past nine years.
I have never really paid attention to the lottery, but I know the kind of good or harm that it can do to a person’s life. It’s easy to imagine the pressure that coming into a large sum of money can put on a person, and how the allure of it can bring others circling. Of course, you would like to think that you would be responsible with the money, setting some aside as savings, giving some to family, donating some the charity, and spending a portion on yourself – but until it happens to you, how can you know?
Even though this book is a fictional tale about winning the lottery, it’s actually not the most important part of the story. There is more depth to the plot and development of the characters than I expected prior to reading the book. The plot is directed by the characters and how this sudden change in circumstances changes their lives. It was nice to see each character learn more about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and grow throughout the novel. It makes the book more relatable than it would have been had that depth not been present.
The friendship of the trio is authentic and their relationships with their parents are heartwarming. It was nice to see intelligent adults who support their children and have positive relationships with them. Not everything is perfect, but too often parents are portrayed as not involved or foolish and that negative depiction can be damaging.
This was an enjoyable contemporary with good character development. It was a super quick read and a great portrayal of how big changes can affect people’s lives. I would definitely recommend this book to young adult/teen readers and fans of character-driven narratives.