Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Closer to a 3.5.
Jennifer E. Smith has hit her stride as of late with some great young adult romances. Windfall, from the cover alone, is very clearly a change of pace for her, and while it mostly works, what it gains in story development it loses in charm.
What is the windfall in Windfall? It's a birthday lottery ticket that ends up winning millions for a girl's best friend. The story quickly rolls into a cautionary tale about the pains and pleasures of a massive financial gain before hitting the inevitable redemption arc.
I'm not saying Smith had to go the route of truly negative results on this, especially for YA. But what was truly disappointing here was the paint-by-numbers approach throughout the tale that may not be immediately obvious to the target audience but was amazingly predictable to this adult reader. While I don't need surprises in YA, it doesn't mean they can't at least be tried. Still, it's a fine read and hits more than it misses - it's just not what I feel like it could have been.
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