BOOK REVIEW | Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll

Luckiest Girl Alive
by Jessica Knoll
(Simon & Schuster, May 12, 2015)

The reviewers on Goodreads dragged this book to filth so I couldn’t wait to read it, lol. If you can stomach the overuse of similies that read like the long cutaway gags from a Family Guy episode (except not useful or witty), then you actually have yourself a well-written, fiction/thriller, you won’t be able to put down. Whether the heroine, TifAni FaNelli, made you feel like you should shower or root for her, her character is interestingly complex and you’ll find delight inside the twisted mind of Jessica Knoll. This was her debut book, so we’re going to forgive Jessica for the simile-thing. (God, make them stop!) I’m glad I didn’t let the haters deter me. I look forward to seeing how her writing progresses.

True to my word, I took a break from my years-long nonfiction marathon. I received the advance reader’s edition of Luckiest Girl Alive at the retreat where I received my bookseller’s certification last year. This title lost by far to being my book club‘s March read, so I picked it up to curb my disappointment that I wasn’t forced into trying something new.

Ani (Ah-nee, not Annie) FaNelli, however crude and bitchy, seems to have it all together: apartment in Tribeca (where I work and overpay for everything), with her well-bred, Wall Street fiancé, flashy career, clothes… the works. She finally gets the opportunity to clear her name by giving her account of a traumatizing high school experience, but telling the whole truth which will set her free, threatens her relationship and forces her to face the façade of a life she has so master-mindedly (that’s probably not a word) created as a defense mechanism.

The narrative cuts in and out of Ani’s present life and her high school days–which I usually hate in books and movies; I’m usually suffering through the past or present until the author finally takes me back to the more entertaining time–and both periods were equally captivating and suspenseful. I said “oooh sh*t” a few times out loud as the story unfolded. I stayed up a few late nights and missed a couple of train stops messing with the luckiest, unluckiest, girl alive.

It’s been so long that I almost forgot how exhilarating it is when fiction steals you away from your own reality. Jessica Knoll hit the mark for me with violent tales and a twist that I’m trying so hard not to spoil right now. I totally get why Reese Witherspoon has picked it up to turn into a movie… sex, drugs, gore, revenge, redemption… girl, I’m so here for it; where’s my wine?! Just get it out your head that this is Gone Girl‘s sister like the jacket suggests; think more like Mean Girls and The Devil Wears Prada (but starring Angelina Jolie instead of Meryl Streep) and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Until next time,

1st Noelle



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