Book Review: Luckiest Girl Alive
By: Jessica Knoll
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 12. 2015
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult Fiction, Crime
Luckiest Girl Alive was a gripping novel about TifAni FaNelli's struggle to reinvent herself after her tragic high school years and become Ani FaNelli (pronounced AH-nee), a writer for The Women's Magazine and engaged to the rich and successful Luke Harrison.
In high school, TifAni went from a Catholic school to Bradley. They were not the "old rich", or even the "new rich". They were the "pseudo-rich" who had to get a scholarship to attend the school. TifAni did her best to fit in, but during the Fall of her Freshman year, she was the only girl invited to a party by a group of popular boys where she was raped by at least 3 of them. And that wasn't even the worst secret she was trying to get away from in high school.
While trying to deal with the trauma from that, it causes problems in her relationship with her parents, her other friends at school, and eventually bleeds into her relationship with her fiance when HBO decides to film a documentary about the events that occurred at Bradley while she attended school there.
Ani's relationship with Luke continues to deteriorate after she meets one of his clients, who turns out to be one of her old teachers from Bradley, Mr. Larson. She thinks she feels a connection with Mr. Larson, even though he his married. He is also participating in the Bradley documentary.
Luckiest Girl Alive goes back and forth between the present and TifAni's memories from high school. It's written in first person and we relive the night of the party and rape, as well as the tragic events that the documentary is there to record. The twist at the end was a surprise for me. I admit it caught me off guard, but I can see how it all came together.
This is a great character study book. I found myself rooting for Ani and really pitying her mother. In a crime novel like this, there really is no "happy ending". However, I was pleased with how this novel ended. I felt like Ani finally found some peace within herself and was starting on a path that was good for her.
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?