What it's about:
There are some problems even winning the lottery can’t fix
With as many hours as Reggie Shaw puts in at the Cashmart, it’s no wonder that her grades and her friendships are slipping. Worst of all, Reggie’s mother’s inability to keep a job means that Reggie is pulling the weight of two people. Then, Reggie’s mom wins big in the lottery. Suddenly the money—and the popularity—comes pouring in. But when Reggie finds out that her mother has been borrowing more money than she actually won, she must face up to the fact that happiness can’t be bought—it only comes with hard work. (from Goodreads)
Why I read it:
My very lovely friend Joelle sent me her ARC, thanks Joelle.
What I thought:
While the premise of Cashing In is intriguing, who hasn't dreamed of winning the lottery, the real strength of the book is in the characters. We have Reggie's best friends, Star Wars obsessed Pete and confident outspoken Sarah, her love interest and fellow cash mart employee Gabe, and arch villain Bridget, I really hated her. All of them are fantastic. I would actually have liked to have seen more of them. Especially Pete and Sarah, whose storyline goes somewhere I wasn't expecting.
Reggie's Mom was the main problem I had with Cashing In. I couldn't really hate her, she isn't an out and out villain, like Bridget. Rather she's quite sad and pathetic. I'd have liked to have seen some emotional growth from her. To be fair though it isn't her story, it's Reggie's, and Reggie does plenty of growing.
As someone who has been known to inhale packets of Jaffa Cakes in times of stress, and who will do almost anything to avoid confrontation, I could definitely relate to Reggie Shaw. I was on her side from the beginning and cheering her on as she faces some pretty horrible situations. While I did get frustrated with her in the middle of the book, I absolutely loved the end when she finally has her say about everything. Yay Reggie!
Cashing In is a fun read that touches on some serious issues. There are some laugh out loud moments too. I'd have liked more of everything though. More of Reggie's friends, more romance with Gabe (and maybe less flannel!) and more of Reggie and her Mom, after everything falls apart.