Luckiest Girl Alive: Book Review by Dinh.
HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.
As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.
But Ani has a secret.
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.
With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.
The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?
Synopsis from hardcover version, 338 pages, copyright 2015, publish by Simon and Schuster.
Wow, this was a brilliant book! Debut novel for Jessica Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive, is deftly told and utterly addictive! I loved it!
This book was an instant New York Times bestseller in 2015 and it will be adapted into a movie with Reese Witherspoon to produce the movie for Liongate.
There were many things that worked in this book. Let’s take a look at those things!
I loved the plot.
The synosis did not give much away in terms of story line so I surprise at the turn of events as the plot unfolds. I had no idea about the direction of the story, especially at the beginning when I thought it would be about a coming-of-age book. Or perhaps Mean Girls? OH, what a great surprise I got!
Not to give away too much of the story… a tragedy will play a big role in changing the life of the main character.
Without giving spoilers, the plot has some twists that will keep you engaged.
Knoll’s strength in this book is its razor sharp writing.
Wow what a great debut; her writing is awesome!
I am impressed with how the author takes us from a comedic beginning and surprises us with darker tale. I knew that Ani had a dark secret but I was surprised by the turn of events and it was not even something I had thought as a possibility.
I loved the contrast at the beginning, of everything on the surface being perfect and then the darker side.
Knolls made me laugh with her spot on perceptions of Ani’s life, the success of living in NYC, working for The Woman’s Magazine, and her engagement to Luke Harrison, a successful businessman in finance.
Then comes in the darker stuff. Knolls dark parts for the story is shrewd and perspicacious.
Knolls awesome sharp writing also makes the book a page turner. I was pulled into the book right away. Knolls skillfully starts with the present day Ani and goes back to Ani’s past as a freshman in Bradley High school. This back and forth made the story more intriguing.
- TifAni Fanelli
I was impressed with how well Knoll developed Ani’s character. Ani is a complex character. At the start of the book, Ani is obnoxious, shallow and selfish, but as the story develops we get to see what she is like as a teenager and understand her better.
Knoll does a great job in showing the emotions behind Ani from a young girl’s perspective and also as an adult. The choices Ani makes in her youth remains potent in her adult life and it’s only through the filming of the documentary that Ani begins to learn an important lesson and that she is worthy.
Moreover, doing the documentary gave Ani a way to clear up her name and who she is.
I liked that Ani goes through this journey to find some peace and happiness. After the tragedy, it takes her a long time to heal. As we learn about her teenage years it’s hard not to empathize with her. We all want to fit in at the basic level, but what we are willing to sacrifice for it is another matter.
- Supporting Characters
The other supporting characters were very realistic. I really enjoyed the fact that the people in the book were believable and true to life. There is a mean streak and selfishness going through all the supporting characters except Mr. Larson who was cast in a good light.
I really enjoyed the ending.
I loved that Ani got some closure and that she realized her importance and self worth. The journey she went through was tough and though I didn’t relate to her or cared that much for her, it was nice to see that all the superficial things in the end really was not worth it.
My Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knolls. The book was written exceedingly well, the characters were developed and the story line was surprising.
Though the content and themes of the book were rough, Knolls did a great job of telling the tale and left me thinking about some of the issues and pressure that women face today.
I highly recommend you to read it!
Check out our Luckiest Girl Alive Book Club Discussion Questions!