Money can’t buy you love. But it can buy many other very nice things. Lia’s mum is a nag, her sister’s a pain and she’s getting nowhere in pursuit of the potentially paranormal Raf. Then she wins GBP8 million in the lottery, and suddenly everything is different. But will Lia’s fortune create more problems than it solves? Everyone dreams of winning the lottery – but what’s it really like? Find out in this hilarious story by Keren David, whose acclaimed debut novel, When I Was Joe, was Highly Commended for the Booktrust Teenage Prize (From Goodreads.com)
Like a lot of people I’ve spent time imagining what I’d do if the lottery, even down to how the huge house I’d buy would be decorated. What we don’t think about though are the implications of winning a huge amount of money all at once. I mean, can there be anything bad about suddenly having your money troubles disappear for life? Well, yes, and in Lia’s Guide To Winning The Lottery Keren David gives us a very realistic and believable account of a sixteen year old girl who overnight finds herself rich beyond her dreams and thrust into the public eye.
Lia’s relationship with her parents is at breaking point the night she discovers her win. I have to say Lia is particularly annoying and selfish and her attitude to her parents really got on my nerves to begin with, although as someone who had a pretty poor relationship with her own mother as a teen, I found her very believable! I think I also would have had similar idea’s of what I wanted to do with my money had I been in her situation and the resentment she feels towards her parents assumptions and pressure to think of the future were particularly convincing.
I loved the humour in this book too, especially concerning mysterious love interest Raf and the way Keren David plays with the current paranormal trend. With some genuinely laugh out loud moments and witty one liners there’s never a dull moment and the pages just flew by. It’s not all fun though, and there are a couple of serious and thought provoking issues raised such as friendship, race, bullying, sex and responsibilities to both yourself and the wider world. The fun and serious elements blend together beautifully, balancing each other out and never becoming either too ridiculous and OTT or overly serious and preachy. I think Keren’s teens are among the most realistic I’ve read about and along with Lia’s big anxiety over what to do with her money, the everyday worries which most teens will relate to are just as important and relevant.
Lia’s Guide To Winning The Lottery is a fantastic, fun book with hilarious dialogue and a less than perfect character whose flaws make her more and more endearing as the story goes on-I defy anyone not to be in love with her by the time the story ends. A great, feel good book which will make you laugh and ponder and keep you totally addicted to the very last page. I highly recommend.
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books August 2011
Received for review from the Amazon Vine Program