Sunday, 1 January 2012

Lia's Guide To Winning The Lottery by Keren David

Life, Love and a Huge Lottery Win
review by Maryom

Lia has just turned 16 and with her absolutely first lottery ticket, bought by her friend, Jack, as a birthday present, she wins 8 million pounds! When she starts to get over the disbelief, she has a million plans of what she could do with it - a luxury flat of her own and a life of leisure with no need to worry about exams, school or university figure high on the list - but her parents have different ideas - her Mum would like some cosmetic surgery and Dad thinks Lia should invest in his bakery business. Then there's her school friends, even those who weren't particularly friendly - they all feel she should treat them......and Jack's mum thinks Jack deserves a share...... while best friend Shazia's religion forbids her to accept anything. Although going on the telly and meeting famous people is cool, Lia's not sure about all the attention she's getting from the media and starts to worry about what secrets they may unearth... and she still hasn't won the heart of school heart-throb, Raf.

Keren David's previous novels When I Was Joe and Almost True were edgy thrillers dealing with knife crime and witness protection. Lia's Guide To Winning The Lottery is a much more light-hearted affair. When it turned up on my doorstep I'd been having a run of heavy adult thriller, emotionally draining fantasy and disturbing YA reads - all of them excellent but I was feeling in need of a little light relief and heading towards the Sophie Kinsella book on the TBR pile. Lia elbowed it out of the way!

Keren David has managed to pull off something rather clever here - the book is funny, laugh out loud at times, as Lia comes to terms with her Big Win and the changes it makes to her life and with everyone's attitude towards her BUT at the same time it raises serious issues about our attitudes to money, celebrity, gambling and, dare I say it, teenage sex. While Lia enjoys not having to beg her parents for every fiver, she also discovers that it won't help sort her love-life, that you can't buy friends but that, in the right place, a small amount of money can go a long way towards saving lives.

I was really left wondering what my stance would be in a similar situation - not merely as the parent of a teenager - would I try to insist she invested it all? - but if my parents won a huge amount would I expect to share it? or what if my totally grown-up daughter got lucky? If I personally won, would I be comfortable with all that money knowing that people die every day in underdeveloped countries due to circumstances that comparatively small amounts can solve.

I'm now prepared for what will happen when I strike lucky with that big win - how to deal with the press, with friends and relations, the sudden desire for a spending spree - unfortunately the one thing Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery doesn't cover is that all important question - How to pick the lucky numbers?

Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Frances Lincoln
Genre - fiction, teen/YA /adult

Buy Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery from Amazon

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