“Be careful what you wish for” is the tagline of this book and also the moral of the story. Charlotte Johnson is fine with her life, she’s got a brother who looks out for her, a great best friend and a very moody sister – in short, she’s totally normal. Then her mother wins the lottery, £3.7 million and all Charlotte’s dreams come true, a wonderful new house and every luxury she could have wished for, she begins to realize as time goes on, that things aren’t they’re cracked up to be and maybe winning all that money wasn’t such a good thing after all.
After reading it, I still think that winning the lottery is all it’s cracked up to be and that she was just unlucky but my opinion is not the opinion of the majority. There’s something about the style of writing that I don’t like and I can’t put my finger on it, it is an irrational dislike that I can tell. Maybe it’s because although this was written for younger teens, to me it feels like a childrens book that just tries too hard to appeal to a teen audience and in reading these books I feel as if they are unintentionally patronizing.
I don’t like the character of Charlotte very much because she really doesn’t handle situations very well and she then pulls a “poor me, oh my life is so terrible! My best friend has gone off with someone else and I do nothing but wallow and don’t do anything to try and get her back until it’s too late.” I suppose I’m being a bit unfair, she does try to get her best friend Lauren back, but she does in the wrong way making it quite understandable that Lauren finds someone else to hang out with.
The climax was quite good and I was eagerly turning the pages at that point so I’ll give Penelope Bush credit for creating those few golden chapters. I’m not going to recommend you read this but I’m not going to tell you not to either, it’s a mediocre book that definitely deserves to be on the shelves but it didn’t impress me all that much. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say: Okay. I would recommend it for people who enjoy girly preteen books.
My next book will be Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore