I crossed another book of my TBR list last week and got one step closer to completing my 2015 Goodreads Awards Winner Challenge. ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ by Jessica Knoll was a book i just could not put down.
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?
‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ is a book that is written well, with a main character who is cunning, ambitious and manipulates those around her to achieve her goals. Throughout the book i was constantly reminded of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘American Psycho’ not only in the similarities between the main characters, but also in the language and writing used.
Ani is a very interesting character, to say the least. She has the perfect life, or at least maintains the image of the perfect life. She has the clothes, the job, she keeps in shape, starves herself to ensure she looks perfect and has the rich fiancé- very similar to Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, in that she maintains the image that she thinks people like, that people will be jealous of.
There is even a mention of Patrick Bateman, seemingly a nod to Bret Easton Ellis’s dark classic.
“The lights were off, but everything was visible thanks to the residual lights of the Freedom Tower, the Patrick Batemans cursing off their computers at Goldman Sachs’s sprawling headquarters, and I could see Luke’s eyes were open”
There is a perfect balance of scenes set in the future, and the past, with information revealed about the events in her past little by little, building up to the big reveal in the later stages of the book. I enjoyed these ‘flashback’ scenes more then i did the events taking place in the ‘present’ setting of Ani’s life. Bit by bit, Ani’s past was revealed, showing her transformation into this cold, detached women who tries to have it all and maintain the ‘American Dream’ to escape the events at her High School and redeem her name and reputation in her participation in a documentary retelling those events.
While the actual ‘reveal’ of what happened at Bradley was initially anti-climactic (i failed to understand just how this led to Ani transforming and changing her name and building up this public persona) the payoff came soon after, as everything fell into place.
There is no better way to describe this book then a mix of Gone Girl and American Psycho, a little lighter on the darkness and less graphic. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, definitley give this book a go.