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?
Jessica Knoll packs a lot of secrets and surprises between the covers of Luckiest Girl Alive. Tackling big issues including the pressure put on women to be thin and beautiful, bullying, murder, rape, and redemption, this book is a bomb that will undoubtedly strike a chord with readers.
On the outside, Ani FaNelli has the perfect life. She's a valuable writer to The Women's Magazine, has the wardrobe every hopeful New Yorker wants, and is engaged to the epitome of success. It's enough to make anyone jealous. And that's exactly what Ani wants. She wants to leave behind her trashy family name and remold herself into the perfect woman who has the perfect life. All because she wants to escape her past. Ani is a manipulative, sneering, smirking woman who says the right things, wears the right clothes, and follows all the rules of the truly rich and successful woman. All of this because her past has scarred her so deeply, Ani has no other choice but to reinvent herself. The Ani who is first introduced to the reader is not a likeable character. She's selfish, mean, and has a snobbish air. However, as Ani's past is revealed, readers will begin to understand that her persona is all a ruse, a facade, a safety barrier. One that is about to come crashing down.
Ani was involved in a tragedy when she was in high school. A tragedy that follows her wherever she goes. Now, a team wants to make her story into a documentary and Ani believes this is her chance for people to see her side. Though her fiance isn't too keen on the idea, Ani agrees. The book has alternating chapters, switching back and forth between the present and what happened in high school. When the two stories converge, readers learn that Ani has been telling the story to the documentary manager, her words being recorded. Ani's story is full of such heartbreak and horror that it will shock readers. Ani's carefully crafted facade creates a woman that readers won't want to like, but then this story is unraveled, changing everything. The character is so weighed down with sadness, disbelief, terror, and scar tissue that readers will become sympathetic to Ani, understanding her plight even though it's difficult to agree with.
The novel itself brings up controversial issues where the lines between right and wrong are so blurred that a concrete conclusion cannot be made. I think some readers will genuinely dislike this book because of the gray-scale of justice. I think others will enjoy the gruesome twists and suspenseful narrative. Though it definitely isn't a book for everyone.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups