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“Spoils” is not worth the money
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You’ve heard the saying “money can’t buy happiness,” but nobody really understands it until that’s all they have left.

For Leni and her family, winning the lottery brought them new luxuries never experienced before.

Until they run out.

“Spoils” by Tammar Stein tells the story of an 17-year-old who has spent most of her life with money, a pet dolphin in the backyard, and attending the most expensive private school in Florida. With her birthday around the corner, a major secret is revealed from her sister Natasha that puts their family (and money) on the line; and the fate of it in Leni’s hands.

Before you get excited and think it’s going to be an easy 259 page read, it’s not.

Not even a quarter of the way through the book, and the plot is just as scattered as your brain during finals week. The book starts off with Leni working in the middle of the day, along with trying to calm down her anxious older sister. The two argue back and forth for a while which makes the story drag on and making a reader think: “Okay, we get it. Let’s move on.”

Once the two are done bickering, the story goes from drab to confusing when the scene changes to what seems like a flashback.

Is it of Leni’s parents the day she was born? They day the won the lottery?

Who knows, because I sure don’t.

With Stein being an award-winning author of several teen books such as “Light Years,” and “High Drive,” you would think she would know where to put what details of characters.

Here’s a tip: do everyone a favor and explain who’s-who at the beginning of the story rather than in the middle of the book. Because frankly, after reading about how dramatic the “lottery money” problem is, I don’t care if Natasha has a Chinese tattoo on her back or if her mom is the only one in the family with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Heck, by the time I’m at that point in the book I’m still trying to figure out what the main problem is in the first place. Natasha strongly states how Leni needs to get rid of the money right away and how it can’t go to their parents; and Heaven knows why.

While some characters in the story are described and talked about too often, details about other people are missing. I would like to know who Greg and who their brother is, rather than Stein just mentioning them once and leaving them floating.

Yes, the plot is cute and sounds interesting, and yes, it has a cool cover. Unfortunately, that’s the only good feedback I have for it.

The book was poorly written and Stein could have done a much better job at structuring the details. If an author can get their book nominated for awards in 2006 and 2009, then they better step up their game.

Save your $12.95 and don’t buy this book.

Maybe money can buy you happiness, but it’s definitely not going to come from this waste of paper.

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Kat Gorospe, Author

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