Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
It’s exhausting when books try to be Gone Girl. Queen Gillian Flynn already did that, and it can’t be done again. I assume the Luckiest Girl Alive has been compared to Gone Girl so often as a marketing ploy/con, so I won’t fault Knoll for it. But her style is so similar to Flynn’s knife-sharp writing, and she does adopt Flynn’s “cool girl,” that it paled in comparison. Just don’t believe it.
FIRST OF ALL, this book should absolutely come with MULTIPLE trigger warnings. Anyway. I was distracted while reading this because I couldn’t figure out who the intended audience was. It was like a mashup of sinister-female-narrator/trauma-YA/Devil-Wears-Prada. The main character is TifAni FaNelli – GOOD LORD – who fortunately goes by Ani for most of the book. She’s supposed to be a mega-bitch/ice queen/Amy Dunn-ish type girl. But like…I didn’t actually find her to be that mean or bitchy? Mostly just selfish and shallow.
I didn’t have much sympathy for Ani. I just didn’t buy it. I could sort of understand how her past led her to become the unpleasant, superficial gal that she turned herself into, but her transformation wasn’t that intuitive. Basically, after everything she went through I would have expected her to react in the completely opposite direction. Not to mention that she was basically equally as awful when she was a teenager pre-trauma.
I was mildly irritated by the Luckiest Girl Alive, but it did keep me interested and reading. And there are TWISTS. The chain of events was VERY Lifetime movie, but without the cheesy acting – so less fulfilling. I’m only recommending this in the vein of ‘omg can you believe this.’