- Nic Stone
- 3rd Novel
- Genre: YA Contemporary
- Heritage/Background: African American mixed with Goddess (no seriously, she’s stunning)
- IG: @nicstone & @booklookz, Twitter: @getnicced, www.nicstone.info
- Release: 10/15/2019 (see tour dates here)
- Publisher: Crown Publishing
- Favorite Character: Zan…what can I say? I’m a sucka for compassionate, funny, charming, intelligent guys who can play the Steve Urkel & Stephan card simultaneously (google it if you don’t get the reference)!
- Favorite Quote: I had so many favorites but I’m going to go with ‘”Unfrosted?!” He looks up at me. “Jesus, Danger, you’re a Neanderthal!”‘-Zan from Rico’s perspective. I felt the same way as Zan did in this moment. I mean, I get why she got unfrosted but it still doesn’t change the fact that unfrosted toaster pastries are blasphemous (debate the person next to you if you disagree).
I’m a Nic Stone stan, periodt! When she announced that she had Jackpot coming out, it was like a gavel banged in my head and a declaration was made that I would read this book… I got lucky (blessed, really) when I got a copy of Jackpot at bookcon. It was like the heaven’s opened up and angel’s sang with voices like India.Arie (or whoever your favorite singer is) when it was placed in my hands. I’m pretty sure I clutched it to my chest at some point & I definitely referred to it as “the precious”…yea, it was that big of a deal to me. Jackpot did not disappoint and it is my favorite of her books thus far!
I adored Rico, she’s so persistent and devoted to her family which drove every action she took during this book…I know I’m down for my family but Rico is truly a real one. Her DNA test said she’s 100% that chick (Shout out to Lizzo). Rico is not only devoted but she is also intelligent, focused, resilient, sarcastic, funny and a fashionista of sorts (something I wish I was, I’m more in the vein of I put on clothes and hope they match whereas Rico makes whatever she wears work & it works out in her favor). She made me think of myself but also other girls/women I know… I also couldn’t help but think of Nic based upon Rico’s description and her voice which made this book a little more special. Who doesn’t want to imagine one of their favorite authors as a teenager?! Because of Rico’s drive to work and get through school, she was a bit of a lone wolf, something else I could relate heavily to…when you are a lone wolf in any way, it’s easier to have tunnel vision, to see what is in front of you, what your mission/goal is and for Rico, it’s taking care of her family. It was amazing to witness her development but also how she had moments to be a teen (truly, she deserved more but she handled those curveballs like a G, like so many Black girls/women would).
Another favsie of mine is Rico’s brother Jax who is flippin hilarious and adorable (I imagine)…if I had a little brother (and I’ve always wanted one), I’d want him to be like Jax…funny, witty, sweet and honest. If I were Rico, I’d do anything possible for him too! As Rico described Jax, it seemed like he’s the greatest balance of sweet and annoying…but if anyone were to mess with him, they would be laid out before they could finish their statement because no one talks about her sibling but her (that was me with my real life sibling)… so I totally get Rico’s protective nature of him (if he were real, I’d adopt him as my little brother & protect him too). I loved how Rico spoke about him with such love and affection (you could practically see the hearts popping out of the page), like he was her best friend and the most precious gift…it was really endearing and special (*insert heart eyes emoji*). I haven’t read a sibling relationship like theirs in a while, which increased my love for this book. Jax also said some funny ish in this book that endeared him to me even more…especially when he talks about certain dreams (*giggles to myself*). When you read this book, you’ll see/read why Jax is so lovable.
Now, let’s talk about the literary version of Stephan (no machine necessary) for a second- Zan! Who doesn’t love a nerdy, hot, hacker dude who is observant, charismatic, compassionate and attentive?! By the end of this book, I had quite the crush on Zan, to be honest (thank goodness he’s legal…I’m not a cougar though, I promise). Zan was so much more than the surface presented at the beginning. As Rico’s perceptions of Zan changed, so did mine and I began to understand him. I understood his need for his & Rico’s adventures (and loved how it brought out his mischievous nature), seeking out Rico’s attention and how helpful he wanted to be. Zan just took my heart and I’m still trying to get it back (*shakes fist* give it back man, I need it)! He was also well informed about money matters, thanks to his personal experiences, but he didn’t try to force it on Rico or anyone else…yet another reason to love him because he’s so respectful of others (outside of how many assumptions he made about other’s time). I just really loved his character, he’s definitely one of my favorites of this year (a position of honor, really)!
Another thing I loved about this book is about the element of different perspectives which I will not say what they were because I believe in the no-spoiler life and surprises. I think it added to the story in such a unique way and just made it funnier. Of course, I have a favorite perspective and I can’t wait for you to read Jackpot so you can share yours too (see what I did there? LOL)! I also really enjoyed the adventures that Zan and Rico went on and looked forward to them when they planned them. I loved their preparedness and what they learned about each other along with Rico’s persistence in finding what they were looking for. Their adventures made me wish I had adventures like theirs when I was a teen but I did basic teenager things (they were a little shy of hoodrat things) with my friends that was pretty close to home…I lived vicariously through Rico & Zan’s eyes (too bad there aren’t time machines, huh?). There is are so many other things that Nic touched on such as race, societal pressures/standards, perception of others/outward appearances, and even the dreaded question “what are you?” (if you have been asked that question, feel free to roll your eyes and let out a frustrated sigh with me) which I didn’t talk about but also appreciated.
Anywaysssss, you should take yourself to your local bookstore on Tuesday October 15th (or if you’re reading this after this date then go right now) and pick up Jackpot! I read it every spare moment I had and finished it in a few days (like 2 or 3). What can I say, I’m completely here for characters with a great sense of humor that spoke sarcasm as a second (or third) language. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! Happiest of reading sessions friends!