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.
Last year two of my favourite books were Keren David’s When I Was Joe and Almost True, I especially loved the way the teen characters she created were so real and believable. When I heard about the plot for Lia I was really interested to see how it would work. The idea of a teen girl winning the lottery jackpot certainly sounded like it could be a lot lighter and fluffier than the world of gangs and knife crime that had provided the backdrop for Keren’s previous books. I was sure though that it would be no less gripping a read and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The book is narrated by Lia, it begins just as she’s winning the £8 million jackpot. Initially it sounds like a dream come true, Lia’s dreamt of striking out on her own and escaping the ties of her family. Very quickly however she realises that everyone has an opinion on what she should do with her newly won fortune, from her new advisory team to her parents to Jack who bought her the ticket as a birthday present. Even the national press is getting in on the act, with tv interviews and newspaper features about her win. We watch Lia try to work out the right plan for her whilst at the same time attempt to carry on her normal life at school, including trying to find out more about the mysterious Raf.
Lia is an excellent character, as I was reading I could imagine various teen girls I’ve known in her role. I really like the way that whilst she’s a likeable character she’s also flawed, at times she’s really selfish and self-centred. I also loved her friend Shazia, I really found her viewpoint interesting – after I’d finished reading the book I found that I was still thinking about her story as much as Lia’s.
There was one moment within the first couple of chapters that I absolutely adored. I don’t want to talk about it too much because I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that it made me feel very happy that teen girls are still comparing UK school life with US school life.
I really loved this book, the plot was interesting and kept my attention throughout and the characters were all people I wanted to keep reading about. This book was nowhere near as fluffy as it could have been in another author’s hands, instead it was realistic and thought-provoking. I started reading it feeling quite jealous of Lia’s lottery win, by the end I wasn’t quite so sure I’d actually want to win it myself.
Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery is published in paperback by Frances Lincoln in the UK priced £6.99