Tag Archives: Jennifer E Smith

Book Review: Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

Windfall

Windfall

Release date: May 2nd 2017

3.5 stars

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.

This book was very typical Jennifer E Smith, in the best ways possible. It was a light read with quirky characters and that familiar writing style that has me reading until the last page. It dealt with a lot of topics other than just focusing on an eighteen-year-old winning a massive lottery and it changing his life. It dealt with death, survivor’s guilt, first love, heartbreak. I thought the book did a wonderful job showing how different people would react to winning and how they would choose to spend the money, which Jennifer E Smith was able to do by having her main character be the friend who bought the lottery ticket instead of the person who won.

Alice was a character I found myself both relating to and not quite understanding. Loving seeing her friend happy, worried he would change with all that money, worried people would use him, not wanting to confess her feelings, all those I got. Even being afraid of accepting some of the money in fear it would change her I could understand. The part I had a hard time with was that she could be very judgemental but that was part of her growth arc. With Teddy, we got to see his growth arc through Alice’s eyes and he had to learn what having all that money meant to the people who were suddenly appearing in his life. I couldn’t blame him for going a little crazy with it all at first. Even the adult in me knows I would too.

I love the friendship between Alice, Teddy, and Leo. They were a perfect balance to each other. Leo was very practical and seemed a lot more mature than the other two. Alice was a good girl, trying to make her late parents proud with her volunteer work but still looking to find who she really was. Teddy was the more brash and impulsive of the three of them and was the one often reminding the other two to have fun. The friendship was strong between these three, even with the feelings between Alice and Teddy. I liked that Leo wasn’t easily shoved to the side the second something started to develop between Alice and Teddy.

The plot went pretty much where I was expecting it to go but it was still a fun reading journey. It did a good job balancing the more fun aspects of the story like an eighteen year old suddenly having so much money and going a little crazy with it to and the more serious tones like Alice still dealing with the deaths of her parents and the downside to having all that money. It was a quick read and I would definitely say this is one of my favourite Jennifer E Smith books so far.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

hello goodbye

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Release date: September 1st

4 stars

Clare and Aidan are about to leave for college on separate sides of the country. They’re packed, they’re prepared, and all that’s left to do on this last night before they leave is to decide if they should break up or try long distance. Set over the last twelve hours before they leave, Clare and Aidan retrace the steps of their relationship in hopes that an answer will come to them. The closer it gets to morning, the closer they are to goodbye.

I absolutely love Jennifer E Smith’s books so I was really excited for a new one to come out. Out of all the ones I’ve read by her, this one turned out to be my favourite. There was something very relatable about these characters and their situation.

The book was broken up into different section using the stops Clare and Aidan made along their journey, each place having some sort of meaning to them and their relationship. I liked both Clare and Aidan as characters and it was sad since they really did seem to fit well together but following their dreams to the school they wanted meant being apart, either breaking up or long distance. Clare was very level-headed and logical, making lists and seeing the pros versus the cons of the situation. Aidan was more go-with-the-flow, why not try it type of person. I liked that I could see both their points of the argument and that they both had moments of doubt no matter which way they were leaning.

As much as I enjoyed the bittersweet journey from Clare and Aidan, my favourite thing about the book, what really rang true for me, was the excitement and the fear of growing up and taking that next step into adulthood. The pain of leaving people you’ve been friends with for years, of knowing that you can talk on the phone or video chat every day but it won’t be the same as having them next door. The anguish of feeling like you’re being left behind because everyone else is leaving.

This book was a quick read, under 275 pages, and there were moments of laughter, moments of tears, moments that make you want to hug your friends because they’re awesome. It was about saying goodbye but also about taking that next step after high school. It was definitely a book I related to and I hope others will as well.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith

geography of you and me

The Geography of You and Me

3.5 stars

Lucy and Owen meet during a city wide blackout, being trapped in the same elevator with only each other for company. When they’re finally freed, they spend the rest of the blackout together, almost in their own little universe. Then the power comes back and the real world drags them back. Lucy moves to Edinburgh with her parents and Owen travels out west with his father. Their lives are going in complete opposite directions yet they do their best to stay in touch, Lucy with e-mails and Owen with postcards.

This was a really cute book. Maybe it was because I started reading it during a power outage, but it was really easy to connect to these two characters. It was a typical Jennifer E Smith book, in all the best ways. The beginning, during the blackout, was like reading a daydream come true, getting stuck with some stranger only to find out they he’s cute and interesting and someone you could definitely fall for.

The book is told from both Lucy and Owen’s POVs and their stories get pretty equal time to develop. I love how different their backgrounds were but they still wanted similar things and they just clicked. I enjoyed their separate stories just as much as their one together.

It was a pretty quick read, under 400 pages. The middle part was a little slow but still enjoyable. There’s not too much drama, it definitely falls more toward light hearted. This is my second Jennifer E Smith book and I’ve enjoyed them both.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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