Sunday, June 21, 2015

Review: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll



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 fiancĂ©, 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?

Review:  4.25 of 5 stars

I read online about this book and saw that it had been optioned for a movie.  I adore the cover and synopsis, so naturally I requested a review copy from the publisher.  When it arrived in all of its hardcover glory I couldn't wait to start reading it.  Thankfully there was a note from the author that warned me that I might not love the main character, TifAni "Ani" FaNelli very much but to persist with the story even if I didn't like her. I am so glad that I received this note, otherwise I'm not sure that I would have finished the book.

The first 1/2-2/3 of the book were difficult for me to get through.  I couldn't connect with the character all that well and truthfully I didn't really like her.  I really wanted to like her, but I just couldn't do it for a long period of time.  The book transitions from the present day where Ani is a higher level writer for a magazine that I compare to Cosmopolitan.  She is successful in every way imaginable, even engaged to the wealthy Luke Harrison.  Many women envy her but she has a void.  She constantly believes she needs more to fulfill her life goals.  She is snarky, hateful and just plain mean to most people.  I found it difficult to connect with her emotionally during the beginning of the book. 

Many chapters transitioned to the past and what happened when Ani was in private school at Bradley.  And even though I felt sorry for her a lot of the time, I wanted to shake her during other times.  She struggled with eating disorders, depression among other issues.  I wanted to weep for her since she had such a hard time crying for herself.  

In the interest of writing a spoiler free review I don't want to go into a lot of the details and characters of the book.  I really feel like your impressions of characters and the events would be ruined otherwise.  I will say there are two main climatic occurrences during the book.  The first happens relatively early on and was somewhat predictable.  I was still enraged because of it but I could see it coming a mile away.  You need to understand that it is my goal to figure out plot twists all the time.  When I sit down to read I go into it blind other than the synopsis.  I don't read other reviews prior to reading because I want my reaction to be my reaction and no one else.  So when an author can completely blindside me and wreck me it is a big deal.  I was thrown into a crazy roller coaster of emotions at this point in the book and it was nothing short of fantastic from this point on to me.  

A lot of the pre-release buzz surrounding Luckiest Girl Alive compared it to Gone Girl.  I have to confess, I have not read this book.  I have heard a lot of great things about it but if you are looking for a comparison of the two I can't provide that.  What I will say is that I rated this book a solid 4.25.  How could I do that when I had so many issues with the first part?  Well, I would say that the first 1/2 or so ranked a 3.5 for me but the last part was 4.75 so I just averaged it out be 4.25.  

Ms. Knoll is an excellent writer and her storytelling ability is fantastic.  It is obvious that she did a lot of research while writing this book and I believe the execution of the story was amazing.  Well done!  I am looking forward to the movie being released because I think you will be able to connect with Ani a little easier.  I am excited to see who is cast for these roles.  One click this novel before the movie is released, but be prepared for some difficult issues.

About the Author:

Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in New York City with her husband.


No comments:

Post a Comment