Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

GoodReads Summary:
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.
WindfallReview:
I always love Jennifer E. Smith’s books. But I was hesitant with this one because I’d heard some mixed reviews from people that loved her other books. I ended up really enjoying this one.
Alice is a girl that’s experienced some real tragedy. She lost both her parents in the period of a year. But she moved in with her aunt and uncle and was raised alongside her cousin, Leo. Leo, Alice, and Teddy were inseparable as kids. But when Alice buys Teddy a winning lottery ticket for his birthday, things start to change.
This was a story of healing and growth. These friends are all changing. It’s that time in their lives where change is inevitable. But they each learn things about themselves and help one another find what they need.
Honestly, I enjoyed this but I don’t have all that much to say about it. It was fun, but also sad and real. I love Jennifer Smith’s books and this was no different. So, read it if you like YA contemporary with a smidge of romance.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

GoodReads Summary:
Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.
Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.
When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?
Field Notes on LoveReview:
Field Notes on Love was exactly the sweet romance I wanted it to be. I loved everything about this book from the characters to the settings. It was sweet and heartwarming and even sad at times.
I loved Mae. She has two dads and a grandmother that are a huge part of her life. I loved the family aspect for both of the characters. Her being close to her dads and her grandmother made the story even better. I liked that despite their closeness, Mae was doing something for herself, trying to branch out in the world on her own. I also really loved her love for making films. I thought this was such a fun addition to the story and the film she made with Hugo on the train was the best.
Hugo was a very interesting character. He is one of six (?) brothers and sisters, all born on the same day (I can’t remember the name for twins of this number), but he wants to know what it’s like to be out in the world on his own. His siblings can’t understand that, but oh boy can I. I have three brothers and two sisters and I totally understood Hugo’s wanderlust. I loved that he put himself out there trying to find another Margaret so he could still go on his trip.
Overall, I loved this book. It warmed by heart, also made me laugh, and sad at times. The author wrote a wonderful story of self-discovery and love. It’s one I would definitely recommend.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |G|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we will be talking about books with the letter G.

For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – G

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

(The) Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – I absolutely loved this book. It actually also is on my TBR list for a reread because the third and final book just came out. Check out my review here.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a recent read for me but I’m still thinking about it. It was a powerful story about substance abuse, addiction, and self-harm. You can read my review HERE.

Antonia

(The) Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – One of my all-time favorite series since I was a child. I love everything about it, even if the third book makes me bawl my eyes out.

(The) Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I didn’t love this book. So why is it on this list? Because I pushed through to finish the trilogy anyway and ended up LOVING the second and third books. This book always reminds me to give the whole series a shot even if I wasn’t in love with the beginning.

 

Books Still on our TBR List

Amanda

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I finished reading Red Queen at the beginning of August. This is on my TBR list for the month as I slowly reread the whole series now that the final book has been released.

Girls Made of Glass and Snow by Melissa Bashardoust – This was a BookOutlet buy for me. The cover is pretty and I really enjoy fairytale retellings.

Antonia

(The) Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – I’ve been wanting to catch up on her books for awhile and this one sounds particularly interesting. Since I’ve been in long-distance relationships (before we were married, my husband was stationed in Japan for two years while I stayed home in Massachusetts), I’m curious to see how Smith portrays it in her book.

(The) Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg – I recently started the first book, The Paper Magician, on audiobook. I’m barely a half hour into it. Unfortunately, I’m not enjoying the narrator much so I might just switch to kindle for the rest of it. It’s so interesting though that I’m already excited for the second book.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Not My Typical Genre

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post where we give our top ten choices on different topics, hosted by THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH. This week’s topic is top ten books you’ve read the past year that aren’t your typical genre. This Tuesday I had a bit of trouble coming up with books. I have a tendency to stay inside my comfort zone. Generally when I read books that aren’t my usual it’s because it was recommended to me by someone in my life. Here are my top ten books that aren’t my usual genre.

4b6b0-toptentuesday

  1. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – This was recommended to me by several people in my life and though it took me a while to finally pick it up and read it, I’m glad I did. While it’s not my usual fiction, it was really interesting and eye opening. I’ve recommended it to many others now that I’ve read it.
  2. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho- I got this book as a gift. It’s another book that sat on my shelf staring at me until I finally picked it up. The Alchemist was a really good, quick read. The story was very good and I’m glad I finally gave it a chance.
  3. Outlander by Diana Gaboldon- Antonia’s mother recommended and let me borrow this book. It’s definitely not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. I still need to finish the rest of the series.
  4. Carrie by Stephen King- Carrie was another gift from someone. I’d never read anything by him before this book, but I might read more of his stuff after reading Carrie.
  5. Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory- I read this trilogy on the recommendation and lending of a coworker. They were definitely not my usual romance that I was anticipating when I started reading, but they were super good reads.
  6. The Year We Disappeared by Cylin and John Busby- My grandmother lent me this book. It’s a true story that takes place in my hometown. It was really interesting to learn about something that happened in my area.
  7. Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick- I bought this book from Barnes&Noble. I was standing in the young adult section looking around for something new to read when I overheard someone talking to a friend about John Green books. I quickly interjected and told them to buy all of them and read them as fast as possible. They in tern told me to buy this book.
  8. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- This is a book that Antonia read and then made me read. It isn’t one I would have picked on my own. The description was a little too young adult for me.
  9. Eon by Alison Gooman- This was another recommendation from Antonia. She read it and then made me read it. It was an awesome book and I’m glad she pushed me to read it.
  10. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima- Antonia made me read this series too. We pass a lot of books back and forth. It took me over a year to actually start the book, but it was worth it. I now own all four and have read them all more than once.

These are my top ten, what are yours?

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Summary:
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Review:
Antonia and I recently went to the library and took out a ton of books. This was one of hers but she thought I would like it, so I gave it a try. She was right. I did enjoy reading this book. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (TSPOLAFS) was a cute, romantic, quick read. I think I liked this book mostly because the main character Hadley was so relatable. She’s on her way to her dad’s wedding, to a woman she’s never met before. Her parents divorce pretty recently. I am a child of divorced parents myself, and when I was younger it was something I had a really hard time with, similar to how Hadley is feeling in the book. I think relatable characters are one of the most important things to have in a book. I liked TSPOLAFS because I grew attached to Hadley, because she was going through something I’ve had to go through in my life too. So I understood what she was feeling. Hadley was a very positive character, aside from the moaning and groaning about her dad. She tried to find the silver lining wherever she was and I liked that a lot. She was also very spontaneous which added some entertainment to the story.
The part I enjoyed the most about this book was following Hadley in her slow acceptance and forgiveness toward her dad. She has many harsh feelings about him when the book starts and is pretty much forced to go to his wedding. Hadley makes the best out of it and ends up meeting a boy in the process. I really like reading about Hadley and her dad closer to the end of the book. She finally lets him in and she leans on him in her time of need. This was something I really liked because her dad tries throughout the whole book to better his relationship with his daughter. He never stops trying. So he’s there when Hadley finally crumbles from everything going on around her. She lets her dad into her life and tries to make the effort he’s been making all along. I really didn’t like Hadley’s dad at first. Mostly because of the divorce being his fault. He definitely proved himself to his daughter in these pages.
Now, the boy I mentioned, Oliver. He meets Hadley in the airport right after she’s missed her flight by four minutes. Oliver is mysterious and funny and charming. Everything a cute British boy should be. The two talk about so much on the seven hour flight together. At first the relationship seems innocent, but as the book goes on it becomes intense very quickly. I really liked reading about these two together.
This book was a good, quick, entertaining read that I would suggest to any young adult reader. The characters were fun and relatable. The story line was interesting enough. Overall I liked this story, so you give it a try too.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.