Hey y’all! Jackpot is a book I’ve been meaning to get around to for the longest time. Now the only one of Nic Stone’s YA novels I need to read is Dear Justyce and y’all already know I had my preorder in so it should be getting into my hands soon enough.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin–comes a pitch-perfect romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life.
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.
Trigger Warnings: poverty, microaggressions, mention of deceased sibling
Representation: Black-identifying(Multiracial) MC, interracial romance, character with Latinx heritage
The story does a really good job of tackling complicated family dynamics. Rico has a difficult relationship with her mother that is even more strained because of their financial situation. Zan is rich but he’s pretty lonely. All of his siblings are much older than him and he has very few people that he really connects with.
There’s also a lot of discussion around socioeconomic class and finances. The juxtaposition between Rico being poor and Zan being rich is talked about pretty often. It’s something that Rico thinks about regularly. The disparity in their circumstances is also shown really well in the descriptions of their homes.
Jackpot has a multilayered and, in some ways, experimental style of storytelling. It reminds me of The Sun is Also a Star in some ways. We get other perspectives, some of which are from inanimate objects.
Nic Stone narrates the audiobook! Need I say more on that point?
The Not so Good
A lot of it was pretty predictable but I didn’t mind that too much. Rico was really clueless a lot of the story but it did make sense for her character.
Rico gave me “not like other girls” energy and Zan even thought her as “different” from other girls and that’s just a trope that I don’t really vibe with. She’s also one of those “everyone thinks I’m beautiful but I don’t see it” kind of people which is understandable but not really my vibe either. Noria mentions it in her “Book Tropes I Hate” video and I think she does a great job of explaining it.
All in All
I really liked the story. It has some really great discussions of class and the search aspect was really fun. Overall, a great adventure.
I know I say this pretty often but this one of those books that I wish had been around when I was in high school. I could totally see 16-year-old me finding this in the library and getting super excited.