Do you ever have a book just call to you? I was perusing offerings on NetGalley and Jessica Knoll's debut novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, screamed "pick me". I liked the title and even more, I liked the comparison to two of my favorite books, Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Megan Abbott's endorsement didn't hurt either. Thank You to Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of Knoll's novel, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT - Twenty-eight year old Ani FaNelli appears to have it all. Ani is quickly rising up the ranks at her dream job, working as a writer at a fashion magazine. She is beautiful and her finance is both handsome and rich. They live in gorgeous manhattan apartment and their lives are filled with lovely things, including lavish meals out and fancy clothes. Her life would be perfect, except that Ani harbors several dark secrets from a string of traumatizing events that happened to her in high school. These secrets threaten to shatter the persona that Ani has carefully created for herself post-high school. In efforts to control the information of her past, Ani agrees to participate in a documentary regarding the shocking events that occurred in her teen years, but she soon realizes that her perception of the events and of herself have changed.
LIKE - I absolutely loved Knoll's writing style. It's edgy and cutting, filled with keen observations that make her characters pop off of the page. The story is told from Ani's perspective, she is an unreliable and utterly fascinating narrator, which makes this book impossible to put down. For a majority of the story, Ani comes across as a self-involved bitch, however with an unexpected story twist at the end, I came to sympathize and even like her. Knoll is a brilliant writer and this twist is so well-conceived. I can understand why this book is being compared to Gone Girl. More than just having a good twist, Knoll does a masterful job with pacing and strategically revealing pieces of the puzzle as the story progresses.
DISLIKE - Nothing. This is the best book that I've read in a long time. it was a real page turner with memorable characters. I hope that Knoll has another story in the works, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
RECOMMEND - Yes. Luckiest Girl Alive is sure to be the next big hit and Knoll has a bright literary future.