Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Julie's Review: Luckiest Girl Alive

Author: Jessica Knoll
Series: None
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352
Obtained: on loan from a friend
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: Shocking reveal wasn't that shocking to me
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: 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?

Review: Luckiest Girl Alive in an intriguing premise with that you really aren't suppose to like Ani; at least that's what I think. I didn't like her and I didn't despise her either. At times I felt sorry for her and other times I wanted to smack her. She's pretty blunt which I can appreciate but I never knew if I could trust her. I didn't know who the "real" Ani was/is for 98% of the book, which is the point because she doesn't know who she is. Ani certainly knows who she's pretending to be but you can really only pretend for so long. I enjoyed the flashback chapters much more than the present day ones because I could feel empathy for 14 year old TifAni but definitely not 29 year old Ani. I understand why she needed to create a new persona but the one she crafted wasn't easy to relate to. When the big reveal was revealed I wasn't shocked. Given all that TifAni had been through, I thought it was understandable for her to have the feelings she had. I actually was waiting for her to have slept with her teacher and perhaps the fact that she didn't was a bigger shock to me.

I never felt that Ani was a sociopath but ultimate social climber. She was engaged to Luke for all the right outward appearance reasons but not for the most important reasons. Luke did seem to love Ani but there were some flaws with him as well. Some that were critical given her past history and that would definitely give me pause in marrying him. I will say he looked great on paper though but then again so did Ani.

Ms. Knoll definitely knows how to craft an intriguing story and characters. I was happy that Ani finally figured out who she wanted to be. It was nice to see her grown up and truly come into her own. I thought that Ani's mom was a real piece of work and a lot of the reason Ani ended up being who she was as an adult. I would say her dad was an influence as well since his absence was very much noted.

What this book showed me is that you can never truly escape who you are and you should never let other people or what's happened to you truly define you. You can let it mold you into who you want to become but you should not let it make you hide.

If you are looking for a book with some twists and turns, then you will want to pick up  Luckiest Girl Alive

Side Note: Although I'm a big believer that everyone should quit comparing books to Gone Girl because let's face it, Amy is in a league of her own.



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