Jackpot by Nic Stone (368 pages)
Jackpot Explores How A Winning Lottery Ticket Can Change Lives
Rico’s life is school, working at the local Gas ‘n’ Go, and babysitting her younger brother, Jax. While working the Christmas Eve shift, Rico sells three lottery tickets to two different customers. She doesn’t think anything of it until it’s announced that a winning ticket was sold in her store on her shift, yet that person hasn’t claimed the prize. Rico decides to track down the winner, but she’ll need help from the only other person who saw the likely winner—her popular and rich classmate, Zan. As they follow leads through town, Rico and Zan become closer. She starts accepting rides and help from him, and they even—maybe—become friends. But when Rico’s motivations change, will the hunt for the lottery winner (or now maybe just the ticket…) come between them?
Rico And Zan Steal The Story And My Heart
From the first page, I was entranced by Rico. She’s a sharp character with a strong voice; I could immediately see her in my mind’s eye, and I wanted to get to know her (not always a given with fictional characters!). When Zan was introduced not long later, I fell for him as well. They each have strong presences on the page and their interactions are full of tension and bite. The story circles around these two different (yet, maybe the same in some ways) characters and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their friendship grow (and eventually, crack) over the course of a few hundred pages. While this book is told from Rico’s point-of-view, occasionally there’s a short chapter from the perspective of a nearby inanimate object that provides something extra.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
In Jackpot, while Rico and Zan are the heart of this story, it also dives deep into family, friendships, class, privilege, and the power of luck and dreams. Read this one for its real-world takes and delightful friends-to-maybe-more romance.
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse