The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Ani (pronounced Ahh-Nee) FaNelli is the type of woman that most people love to hate. She’s wealthy, pretentious, judgmental, snobby and she’s preparing for an extravagant New York wedding. Portraying the perfect image is very important to Ani and she does everything in her power to make sure that happens. But as the is story unfolds, we slowly get to see that Ani’s perfection is only a facade put in place to hide the truth of her very dark teenage years.
When a documentary crew approaches Ani and asks her to participate in their film about her past, she hopes this will be her one time to share her side of the story. As the film crew continue to film and interview Ani, her seemingly perfect world begins to crack as she soon realizes that the buried past must eventually come to surface.
So….this is a hard book for me to review. I think part of the reason for my low rating is the way the book was portrayed. It seems like lately, every other book is called “the next Gone Girl”, and that expression is getting old because it’s very rarely correct. The Luckiest Girl alive has an unreliable narrator…but that’s pretty much the only similarity that exists between the two. And while I normally don’t mind and even I enjoy a good unreliable narrator when it’s done well….I didn’t care for that angle with this book. I don’t feel like an author should start with a narrator that you wouldn’t trust as far as you can throw them and then expect sympathy and understanding toward the same person half way through when they never really become authentic and real. I just never got there with Ani. Without giving too much of the storyline away….the reader SHOULD feel sympathy for her and for what happened, and at certain specific times I did….but then I felt like I lost it just as quickly as it came. All throughout the story, her character’s motivations, feelings and personality seemed to shift too often that I had a hard time feeling any sort of connection to her. Beyond Ani…pretty much every other character in this story is unlikeable, snotty, rude or just a plain jerk. Because of that, I spent the first 50-75% feeling like I was reading a story about nothing other than spoiled, pretentious, snobby rich people who were rude and mean to everyone around them. Once the climax of the story happens, the book did redeem itself quite a bit…but sadly, it seemed to not be quite enough for me to give it a higher rating.
I can definitely see why some people enjoyed this book, and I’m sure I would have had this story been written with a more reliable and honest narrator than the one the author used here. The Luckiest Girl Alive was definitely a quick book for me and I didn’t have any trouble finishing it….so that was good. I was just left with a feeling of disappointment overall.
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
The Luckiest Girl Alive – Amazon