Published by Simon & Schuster on May 12th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
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HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.\r\nAs 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.\r\nBut Ani has a secret.\r\nThere’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.\r\nWith 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. \r\nThe question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?\r\n
When I hear a book touted as “the next Gone Girl”, I inwardly cringe. Despite the awesome twists, I am one of the few people who didn’t like that book. And it’s usually always a disappointment to go into a new book holding it to the standards of a bestseller. I had a tough time getting into this one, because Ani FaNelli was so completely unlikable (and even her name is annoying). She was the epitome of everything I despise: shallow, constantly judging other women by their clothes, their lifestyle, and their zip code. Everything about her was fake, every move was carefully calculated to maintain the façade that she had built. The “Ani” she had created had worked hard to score a great career and the man of her dreams, but all I could think was how exhausting and lonely that existence must be. The book merges together the present day with the past, so the mystery slowly unravels. About halfway through, I became invested, I stopped hating Ani, and I couldn’t wait to find out the whole truth about everything that happened. I really expected more of a twist at the end – I kept waiting for a big reveal that would really blow my mind. Despite that, I did enjoy the way it played out, and I was satisfied with the ending, even if it was a bit predictable. My major annoyances were all the name-dropping of brands, and the excessive use of dramatic metaphors. Maybe they wouldn’t have seemed so blatant if I’d been reading the book instead of listening to it, but that’s what really stuck out. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll wasn’t the thriller I was hoping for. Even though it took me awhile to get into it, I did enjoy the last half of the book and could understand why Ani had re-created herself, and why she looked down on her past so much. I wouldn’t compare it to Gone Girl, and I find the description of “reverse Gone Girl” that I’ve seen several times to be more accurate. While I can’t really recommend it, I did find it interesting, and I’m glad I powered through instead of giving up.
“That would be the most surprising lesson I’d learn at Bradley: You only scream when you’re finally safe.”