2.5 StarsWhew LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE turned out to be a very long and tedious read for me that I really struggled to finish.In a nutshell, this story is about a damaged, but fortunate 28 year old womanwith a secret pastwho is in the process of planning her wedding soon to be part of a very affluent family, while at the same time, ruminating about an upcoming documentary depicting a disastrous and shocking time in her young 14 year old life.I am sorry to say that despite the sensitive and horrific subject matter that comes to light, the deep emotional impact of the situation s were greatly lacking from my point of view, and boy.did it take a long time to get there.Gillian Flynn like.I don t think so Record breaking one starBut remember, when a book has controversial, disagreeing ratings, often it s something to look forward to My way of promoting the book despite myselfI am a very principled reader in such a way that I stick to my no dnf rule It has been very easy to uphold this attitude on reading because of all the books I ve read, I could only count with my fingers those that I wanted to dnf This book though managed to make me question my stubborn principle.But because I m just too proud to violate my own rule, I had to go through the most agonizingly painstaking reading experience But seriously, I have wanted to dnf this since the first 20 percent , The title, the blurb, the cover, the comparison to Gone Girl WHAT TRICKERY The following are the reasons this book is not for me but not necessarily not for you too The story, told in the POV of the 28 year old, indifferent, socialite wannabe TiFAni The random shift in narration from past to present The writing which seems to me like a relentless unnecessary rambling The execution of the story and of the events is a big NO for me The ugliness of the resolutions view spoiler involving GOT caliber murder that involves 14 year old teens How horrifying hide spoiler Sa Vie Parfaite Est Un Parfait Mensonge Adolescente, TifAni FaNelli A Connu, La Prestigieuse Bradley School, Une Terrible Humiliation Publique Qui L A Contrainte Se R Inventer Totalement Aujourd Hui, Elle A Un Boulot Glamour, Une Garde Robe Hors De Prix Et Un Fianc Beau Et Riche Elle Est Deux Doigts De Cette Vie Parfaite Qu Elle A Tant Travaill Obtenir Mais TifAni A Un Secret Son Pass , Qui N A Cess De La Hanter, Menace De Resurgir Et De Tout D Truire Sur Son Passage Premier Roman De Jessica Knoll, American Girl Est Un Page Turner Implacable Et Sexy Got to the halfway mark, realized I didn t really feel like reading about rich, white people problems Therefore, DNF. I WAS TRICKED With all the comparisons this has received to Gillian Flynn s books, I was expecting a well written, twisted thriller What I got was writing filled with overwrought similes seriously Way too many damn similes and horrible, boring characters And not horrible in the way that you love how horrible they are, but just Uninteresting The characters felt like ridiculous caricatures, and I couldn t stand any of them Also, the plot was basically nothingness until the last third of the book The only redeeming quality for me was when it is finally revealed what TifAni worst name ever btw went through in her dark past As a big reveal it wasn t all that special, but I did enjoy reading those scenes, so it wasn t a complete waste of time. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll is a 2015 Simon Schuster publication.When this book was first released and making the rounds on Goodreads, the cover was so enticing, but the reviews were mixed I hemmed and hawed over it, unable to decide if I wanted to read it or not But, as time passed, and all the hype died down, I forgot all about this book But, when I noticed this author had a new release coming up soon, I thought I d go back and give this book a second look The reviews were still mixed, but this time, instead of scaring me away, it only increased my curiosity It seemed people either loved it or hated it I had to see which side of the fence I would come down on Ani s life is golden She has a job at a very popular women s magazine and is engaged to Luke, a good looking, wealthy guy, and is ready to embark on, what appears on the surface, a charmed life She embraces the role completely, replete with an entitled, snobby, snotty attitude But, maintaining that image, is hard work It seems Ani is also working mighty hard to convince herself, she s as close to happy as she s ever going to get, and that her chosen path is the right one for her Further complicating matters, is that her dark and troubling past has come to roost, so to speak She has agreed to do a documentary centered around a very traumatic event in Ani s life, and Luke is not as supportive as she d like him to be Not only that, talking about it now, after all these years, has brought the whole horrible situation back into the forefront of her mind As the details slowly emerge, Ani s well orchestrated and carefully constructed life begins to fray at the edges, as she confronts her personal inner demons Well, I must say, this book was nothing at all like I thought it would be This is yet ANOTHER book once compared to Gone Girl that is not even remotely similar in style, format or content, in my opinion This is not a psychological thriller in the purest sense, either Yes, there is a slow burn of building suspense, the feeling our narrator is not exactly reliable, and of course there are crimes, with a palpable feeling of foreboding, but at the end of the day, the book was about Ani s coming to terms with her past and the traumatic event that was the possible catalyst to a stunning turn of events I don t know if I d say Ani s psychological state was deteriorating, though, but I can see where some might question it Admittedly, Ani is not the warmest person, especially in the beginning, which makes it hard to sympathize with her But, as her story unfolds, I began to understand her better.It took me a while to get into this book, and quite a while to read it as a result, but the second half of the book made up for it, big time The book touches on some very important topics, and Ani s backstory has a definite authenticity and realism to it I think the book is far thought provoking than it is being credited with, all because the characters are not especially likable This is a shame because the very important messages the book sent out was tempered, drowned out by Ani s difficult personality If you discover someone you dislike has suffered a series of very serious traumas, does that in some way lessen its severity, or make it any less a crime, any less traumatic Could it be, that the reason the person behaves in an off putting way is because they are a product of their past Maybe they have suffered in ways you can t imagine, maybe they are being judged, if not unfairly, then maybe a bit too harshly Most importantly, though, is learning what makes a person tick can change our perception of them, softening our opinions I admit I did feel guilty for being too hard on Ani in the beginning, did soften once I knew about her, and even cheered for her after she made some very tough personal decisions about her life In hindsight, I think Ani made a very interesting character study Having said all that, I still couldn t decide how to rate this one It was a bit uneven, and I m not sure if painting Ani in such a negative light, was the best choice to make, or if maybe a firmer, pronounced and obvious conclusion, was needed to wash that bad taste out the reader s mouth I don t think the book quite lived up to the hype surrounding It either, and the style of writing is not comparable to Gillian Flynn, but the book does have many merits and is a very solid debut novel In the end, I ended up sitting on the fence, instead of coming down on one side or the other I didn t love the book, but I certainly didn t hate it It didn t stir my emotions, but it did make me think So, while I ve been waffling between a 3 or 3.5, I ve convinced myself to fudge the rating up a notch 3.5 rounded up, to make up for my awful prejudgement and bias against Ani May we should all strive to be and do better. I tried to get into this book I truly did, but couldn t stand the authors writing style or the main character. Somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.Well, I think it had been a few days since I saw a book compared to Gone Girl so thankfully we didn t lose a step Truthfully, though, other than the fact that both books have the word Girl in their title, I don t know what they have in common, so maybe someone else can explain the need to compare the two.Ani FaNelli finally has it all She s engaged to a gorgeous, wealthy man from a notable family He makes her feel safe and secure, and allows her to buy the designer wardrobe she needs to fit in She also has a terrific job, writing for one of the most popular women s magazines, and while she is wearying of writing sex column after sex column, her boss promises a tantalizing opportunity not far in the future.But in her teenage years, Ani, then known as TifAni, longed desperately to fit in, to be considered part of the popular crowd at the prestigious Bradley School Her need to belong led herself to be vulnerable than she would have been ordinarily, and although she quickly was befriended by a sarcastic group of outcasts, she wanted to be invited to the in crowd s lunch table, to be best friends with the girls everyone talked about.A decision made in a split second made her the target of a humiliating event, and so while she became the talk of the school, it wasn t for the reasons she had hoped But that event set her and her classmates on a dangerous course, one which will change many of their lives in ways they hadn t expected.Years later, Ani is invited to tell her side of the story in a documentary She desperately wants to show her old classmates that she isn t the same girl, that she finally has it all and is a worthy opponent But what secrets will this documentary lay bare Will she be able to channel the fear and anxiety she has had since those days Is she truly a survivor, or a master manipulator Jessica Knoll creates a flawed and enigmatic character in Ani, and teases out her plot little by little, so you want to keep reading There was some suspense, as I wanted to know how Ani s secrets, and how Knoll was going to resolve everything Some of the twists were predictable, some less so, but while this was a diverting book that I read on a long flight, I don t know that I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped Knoll certainly can write I just found some of what happened really implausible, and at times, Ani was so unlikable that I just didn t care.While I was reading this book on a plane, several passengers told me how much they liked it, so I may be in the minority here But I just wanted to be wowed a little , to feel a bit breathless when I finished the book, and that didn t happen.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at She didn t have anything in her teeth I took my time leaning over the table, slurped my wine from the rim to spare my white jeans Never fuck with a rich white bitch and her white jeans Not in her teeth Up her ass, on the other hand Luke s laugh was the standing ovation He shook his head, impressed You can be pretty vicious, you knowThis book was sold with a blurb as being for fans of Gone Girl With all due respect, there is no comparison It is The Devil Meets Prada or Four Blondes than anything else At best, it is the poor man s Gone Girl, a fake 5 knockoff of the original.There is no arguing who is the superior writer Flynn s words have power Knoll s words feel emotionless Paraphrased Here is a comparison of two paragraphs.First, FlynnMen always say that as the defining compliment, don t they She s a cool girl Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she s hosting the world s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.Men actually think this girl exists Maybe they re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl For a long time Cool Girl offended me I used to see men friends, coworkers, strangers giddy over these awful pretender women, and I d want to sit these men down and calmly say You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them I d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say The bitch doesn t really love chili dogs that much no one loves chili dogs that much And the Cool Girls are even pathetic They re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Now, Knoll Pretty girls had to appear as though they weren t trying to be pretty, which I had made the fatal mistake of doing at Bradley There were times Nell went out in her father s polo, nasty old Uggs, and sweatpants, no makeup, just to prove her loyalty resided with her own gender Pretty girls also had to have a self deprecating sense of humor and point out when they had a blistering pimple and talk about their explosive diarrhea to assure other girls that they weren t interested in the role of man eating minx. As you can see, there is no comparison as to whose words are far effective.This book dealt with some very difficult issues, issues like rape and eating disorders, but it didn t deal with them well The issues were dealt with dismissively, the narrator discussed them with as much emotion as if she was telling us about her last SoulCycle class.I understand that everyone deals with these issues in a different way Some dismiss them, try not to think about them Others dwell on their pain A good book that deals with these issue tell the story of the character the victim in such a way as to make the reader empathize with what they have gone through However the character deals with their past, be it downright I m going to pretend it never happened to I can t stop thinking about it This is killing me, the reader should FEEL it This did not happen in this book You may argue that this is the main character s way of dealing with things, that I should infer it through her experience Well, with all due respect, fuck that shit, this is a book It is not the reader s burden to infer everything If that s the case, you might as well hand me a blank book with two characters names typed on it and have me infer 600 pages I don t think so.As a narrator, the main character, the rather unfortunately named TifAni FaNelli, Ani pronounced aaaaaaahh nee , is a highly irritating one She has one tone glib Again, there is zero emotion in anything she describes, from her work, to her past, to her relationships, to her descriptions of the people in her life.Speaking of the people in her life, they are no better Every single one of them is one dimensional Ani herself is materialistic, bitchy, constantly criticizing of others hint she doesn t like anyone All the men in the book are arrogant assholes, easily manipulable if one just say the right things, offer the right promises, offer them that little bit of excitement, be the lady in the living room, the cook in the kitchen, the whore in the bedroom All the women in the book are competitors His wife, body mean with Equinox muscles, cheery blond hair swept away from her face in a ninety dollar blow out I always eye the wife first I like to know what I m up against She was wearing the typical Kate uniform white jeans, nude wedges, and a silky, sleeveless top Hot pink, I m sure she spent a few minutes debating it was she tan enough, maybe the navy silky sleeveless top instead, can t go wrong with navy and over her shoulder, a cognac Prada the exact same shade as her shoes, the perfect match age revealing than the skin starting to pucker in her neck She had at least ten years on me, I determined, relieved I don t know how I m going to live with myself when I turn thirty. None of the women eat They re all medicated up the yin yang, spray tanned, Botoxed Bergdorf blondes whose greatest desire in life is the ring, the husband in finance, the designer child, the summer house in Nantucket The artificiality of it would be humorous, except that everything in this book reeks with tension filled misery.Ani s life is a giant parade in which she is the showpiece She is clearly miserable, her life is one of an underfed bird in a gilded cage, and I have no idea why she strives so hard to maintain it Ani has as much personality as a gluten free piece of bread She is shocking to the upper class, and to the reader, because of her sexual proclivities Hearing her describe her good qualities is simply pitiful I m pretty I have to work at it, but the raw materials are there I m four years Luke s junior, which isn t as good as eight, but still, something I also like to do weird things in bed Even though Luke and I have very different definitions of weird him doggy style and hair pulling, me electric shocks to my pussy with a ball gag in my mouth to stifle my screams , by his standards, we have a freaky, fulfilling sex life And it s not a pitiful as in poor girl, she has so much going for her, but she doesn t realize her full potential, as much as it is wow, what a sorry excuse for a human being But really, what s between her legs is interesting than what s in between her head, which is, frankly, nothing at all There is a severe disconnect between her and the reader As a result, I have no empathy for her I have no emotional connection with her I do not feel her pain I find her story boring I find what happened to her as atrocious as it was to be little than an afterthought The story is so, so dull How can a revenge story hold so little interest Well, read this book, and you will see how The narrative is disruptive, jumping from her teens to her current perfect life, and frankly, both timelines bore the fuck out of me. You only scream when you re finally safe.this book is kind of like if the lifetime channel exploded, causing lifetime confetti to go everywhere.but i don t think that s a bad thing.a lot of people have had really strong negative reactions to this book, but since this seems to be the year that i like the books everyone hates and hate the books everyone likes, here i am with at least one thumb up.this book is far from perfect, and it s got a lot of things in it that people who read less clinically than i do are going to have emotional responses to it covers all the modern day danger ground topics like bullying, view spoiler school shootings hide spoiler
Knoll is the author of the instant New York Times Bestseller, LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE She has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and bulldog, Beatrice.
- 400 pages
- Luckiest Girl Alive
- Jessica Knoll
- 23 February 2019 Jessica Knoll