Wednesday, December 7, 2016

LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE BY JESSICA KNOLL - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.


It has been a really long time since I have read a book that kept me up past my usual bedtime. This one did, and I have no regrets.

This book tells the story of Ani FaNelli, a twenty-something senior editor of a fancy magazine, engaged to old money Luke Harrison the IV living in an apartment that overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge. But life wasn't always so great for Ani. Her parents were always a little too absent, her mother not working, but instead taking out too many credit cards. Ani was TifAni back then, a fourteen year old with a dark secret that only came to light after a horrific incident. Ani has worked hard to perfect her appearance and mannerisms to become the polished person she is today. With her wedding approaching, and an HBO director emailing her to be a part of the documentary delving back into the world she has worked so hard to leave, Ani's stress mounts.

I'll leave it at that with plot, because I went into this book blind and think it's best that way.

The story is told all from Ani's perspective, but in two different timelines, present day, and back when she was fourteen, before the incident. I'm going to keep calling it the incident because I don't want to spoil you. I liked both perspectives, the present one shows that Ani is struggling with dealing with everything. She shows a not-so-glamourous version of NY, one that when you think New York, you don't really think of. Her perceptions of people were remarkable, some of the comments she made were hilarious, others nauseating. Not so much that they were offensive, but because of the things that she and her friends talked about like they were no big deal. Her weight was a major issue for her throughout the book, she wanted to lose 15 pounds for the documentary and the wedding, and even though she was basically skin and bones, people complimented her on things like how they could see her cheekbones. Just stuff like that that you don't really see. She had some very toxic thoughts about others, as well as about herself.

The younger storyline was also difficult to read. She has to move schools and tries to fit in with the cool kids. A lot of things happen  and it got a little uncomfortable to read. Of course, the whole time you don't really know what the 'incident' is, so you are trying to figure it out throughout. I would say that these chapters were the hardest to read, Ani is even harder on herself, and her mother was unbearable sometimes.

But there was an addictiveness to the toxicity of Ani's story. With the documentary, she is forced to face her past and the people in it.

This book was funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Ani's sarcasm and vicious thoughts were great, but I also felt like she had developed a bad coping system. Some other reviews call Ani annoying, I didn't find that at all. Sometimes she was a little much, but I think it came from a dark place, not a fluffy air-head trying to be mysterious.

I haven't read Gone Girl, or any of Gillian Flynn's novels, so I cannot really comment on the comparison between the two. I found this one to be dark and unassuming. Others say this Ani is vanilla compared to the women Flynn writes. I'm not sure. Regardless, I loved this book. There was so much I didn't see coming, and I loved Ani's attitude.

Overall, I would recommend.