Book Review: Fifty Million Reasons by Heather Wardell

Angela has typical lottery-player plans: help friends and family, give more to charity, and escape her rut. But when she wins big, she faces angry relatives, her own unexpected greed, and a lawsuit from the person who put her in that rut. Almost nobody treats her normally, and they've got fifty million reasons not to.
She can buy anything she wants now, but can she buy the life she needs?

Release Date:  December 4, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed by: Kelli

Who hasn't dreamed of winning the lottery?  I have, and even though I don't ever buy tickets, I like to fantasize about what I'd do with my hypothetical winnings.  In Fifty Million Reasons, Angela's dreams of winning the lottery come true.  

But becoming a multimillionaire overnight isn't as easy as she expected.  Suddenly, Angela is inundated with requests, and sometimes outright demands, for her money.  People are coming out of the woodwork, old acquaintances and strangers alike, asking for money for outrageous causes.  Angela quickly finds out who her true friends are and who sees her as a means to an end, or as she cleverly terms it: "a walking wallet."   

Fifty Million Reasons is an emotional journey for Angela as she merges her new way of life with her old one.  Everything has changed: her relationships with her friends and family, her love life, and her career.  Angela struggles to find the right balance between living comfortably and giving extravagantly.  I loved Angela right from the first page, admiring her giving spirit (which she had even before she won) and her kind personality.  Her decisions regarding how to spend the money surprised me, but I respected her for them.  

Wardell excels at creating likeable characters whom I can always easily relate to.  It's easy to see myself in her characters, imagining how I'd react in their situations.  That's my favorite thing about contemporary fiction: that escape into the characters' lives.  Wardell writes emotional, moving stories that never fail to make me look at my own life differently, and often compel me to change my behavior (which is no easy feat, and certainly not something I expect when I pick up a fiction novel).  Whether it's looking at my spending habits (inspired by Good to Myself), standing up for myself (like Larissa in Pink is a Four-Letter Word) or giving generously to others, like Angela in Fifty Million Reasons, I always finish Wardell's books with the inspiration to make a positive change in my own life.  I love that her writing, plots, and likable characters continually inspire me! 



  1. Sounds fantastic and different. We've all imagined what we would do but so few of us really know. Great review.

  2. I would get you rewound Kelli and then we would finally make a trip to New York for BEA!


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