Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll

22609317As 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.

I. Can’t. Even.

I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive, and my mind is spinning. Those 304 pages took me on an insanely confusing, jarring, and emotional roller coaster.

It’s going to be difficult to say much without ruining the plot twists, but I will do my best.

Ani (pronounced Ah-nee, not Annie) has constructed the image of a perfect life. Expensive wardrobe, rich fiance, glamorous magazine job, a one-bedroom apartment by the Brooklyn Bridge—she has it all.

Her perfectly crafted facade is her way to cope with the horrific events that occurred in her childhood. In a desperate attempt to join the popular crowd at her new school when she’s fourteen, she ends up at a party with a group of the popular guys. After too many drinks, Ani is raped by the group of them, which sends her life into a spiral. Another major incident occurs later in the school year, but I won’t reveal that plot twist—it’s what the first two-thirds of the book work up to.

Net Galley boasts that it’s Prep meets Gone Girl. I can kind of see that, though I would argue that it has more of a twisted Devil Meets Prada feel to it. It was a thrilling and dark read, to say the least. Rape, bullying, and murder are major components to the book.

As a main character, I actually kind of liked Ani. Though I don’t have a personal understanding of what she’s gone through, I could clinically look at her emotions and the way she handled things in the wake of her past. That being said, her raging bitchiness to everyone around her and her obsession with dieting was obnoxious.

Her fiance, Luke, was totally one-dimensional and boring. He was also kind of a jerk, though after putting up with Ani’s bitchiness for three years, maybe that’s why.

I loved Knoll’s writing style. It was snappy, descriptive, and unique. She’s very, very good at showing and not telling.

At the end of the book, Ani goes into detail about psychopathy and how one of the other characters was an off-the-charts psychopath. She went on to explain the characteristics of psychopaths. Ani is the definition of a psychopath, so I found this slightly humorous—perhaps it was intentional on the author’s part? I’m not sure.

This was a fantastic, dark read. Perfect for the end of winter. I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads, and would definitely recommend it to those who aren’t squeamish 🙂

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I was given a free ARC of Luckiest Girl Alive by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Luckiest Girl Alive will be released on May 12, 2015 by Simon & Schuster.

 

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