Author: Nic Stone
Published: October 15, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 28-June 5, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?
Nic Stone, the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out, creates two unforgettable characters in one hard-hitting story about class, money–both too little and too much–and how you make your own luck in the world.
I am a Nic Stone fan, and a big influence has to do that we are both from not only the same home state of Georgia, but the same home county: I love how she mentions her former high school: Norcross High School. I went to a different high school than her, but still it is really amazing to hear the familiarity of things you know so well! (This also happened to me when I listened to the audio book of Dear Martin– OMG, Stone Mountain Park was mentioned: I worked my high school and college summers there!!!)
Ok, enough of the fangirling, now to get on to the review of Jackpot.
Jackpot is a story that portrays class, privilege, and diversity. After being at school during the day, Rico works her evenings at a convenience store to help her family to be able to pay the bills. It is Christmas Eve and Rico sells a few lottery tickets, and she later finds out the store she works at sold THE winning ticket! Rico recognizes a few numbers and believes the older woman she saw on Christmas Eve is the winner and may not know it as no one has claimed the winning ticket (the woman mentioned memory problems). Rico sets out to find this mystery woman with the help of a popular classmate who is also of the ‘rich’ class. Together Rico and Zan set out on a long term adventure and maybe discover a little bit of romance.
I listened to the audiobook version and LOVED it. Stone narrates Jackpot herself and put all of herself into the narration. She gives Rico the attitude that she wanted portrayed. I also really enjoyed the side narrations of inanimate objects that add to the story/journey that Rico and Zan go on.
Stone realistically shows how some families truly do live paycheck to paycheck and how even one event could happen and cause financial disaster to a family. I was not a fan of Rico’s mom whose pride was too much to even get any form of assistance for her family. I get that you may not want to be on assistance and fend for yourself, but when it comes to the detriment of your family (mom has money issues and Rico handles it all) and even the fact that your child has to help the family make rent each month. Let alone living in an area you can’t afford! School should be Rico’s priority, not helping to take care of her mom and little brother. There is a huge difference between getting assistance when needed and taking advantage of the system.
I really enjoyed the journey Rico and Zan went on and did not know where the story was going for the conclusion, but I should have seen it coming! I loved the ending.
I will definitely be reading more by Nic Stone!