November 2, 2015

Book Review: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll




Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Source: Library

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

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?

I was hooked from the first page on – equal parts horrified and delighted by Ani’s acidic, razor-sharp voice.

Outwardly, Ani leads an enviable life – young, beautiful, an editor of a magazine, and engaged to a handsome lawyer. Her picture perfect existence has been meticulously and aggressively constructed, from just the right shade of blond hair to the elegant and sophisticated wardrobe that indicates good taste and breeding. Having checked all the boxes of the list for a wonderful life, Ani should be happy.

Yet beneath it all, Ani is in a seething rage - partly because she’s hungry all the time as she rigorously adheres to a severe diet for her upcoming wedding but mostly because of the horrors of her past.

Ani is not that likeable of a protagonist – in fact, as we are introduced to her in a scene that would ordinarily be a delightful one (or at least mundane) – wedding registry shopping with her fiancé, the way Ani’s thoughts run shockingly counter to how she should feel jolts the reader into an uneasy but mesmerized state.

I inspected the knife in my hand.

“That’s the Shun.  Feel how light it is compared to the Wüsthof?”…

Another hand, the skin several shades lighter than my own, appeared in the frame and made a grab for the handle. “Can I feel?” I looked up at him too: my fiancé. That word didn’t bother me so much as the one that came after it. Husband. That word laced the corset tighter, crushing organs, sending panic into my throat with the bright beat of a distress signal. I could decide not to let go. Slip the forged nickel and stainless steel blade (the Shun, decided I liked it better) soundlessly into his stomach.

Sharp and deadly as a knife, Ani is seemingly one cold bitch and her fiancé a sorry, unwitting fool. But as pivotal scenes from her high school days are revealed, there are reasons for why Ani hides how she feels and why she desperately strives for a life that ultimately makes her unhappy.

Luckiest Girl Alive is an intense and crackling good read! 

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