by Jessica Knoll
Simon & Schuster
Deeply engaging and complex, Luckiest Girl Alive is often compared to Gone Girl in the press. I'm not sure why this happens. Is it because both books have a woman who is good at manipulating situations, partners and even herself? Maybe. That being said, Luckiest Girl Alive is not Gone Girl; however, it is the perfect book for your lazy day at the beach under a colorful umbrella. It is reading for entertainment, not for enlightenment. If you expect to seek deep philosophical truths in these pages, you will be disappointed.
Ani is the "typical" single white female in New York. She has clawed her way to the top, starving herself to fit into near perfect model size clothes. She has learned to cover up her modest upbringing and fit in with high society. Ani is an artful manipulator; she has to be. If she's not, her walls come crashing down and she will lose everything: the "perfect" fiancé, the high paying, fancy job, the beautiful apartment, the "friends," the entire façade of her perfectly fake life. If these people really knew her past, they would be horrified.
Ani is a difficult character to love; she is flawed but also mean. Her snarky nastiness comes off as not just a mean girl. She is evil girl, but readers will love that she is the perfect chameleon in a concrete jungle where survival is based on façade. As the story progresses, I liked Ani more. Human beings are strange individuals and Ani proves that her past DOES indeed have everything to do with her present and her future. Buried secrets are not likely to stay buried forever no matter how much control the person with the secret has.
Ani's fiancé seemed nearly an afterthought. He has little to do with the story other than being a foil. Ani uses people for her own gains and it's difficult not to admire that in a creepily fascinating way. Everyone loves a great villain and Ani has the demeanor of Maleficent and the chess master scheming of J.R. Ewing.
If you want to get lost in a book, Luckiest Girl Alive is your pick. I couldn't put it down and read it at breakneck pace and handed it over to my best friend. She, in turn, gave it to another friend.
This is a book that once you've read it, you will recommend it to anyone who likes an interesting and entertaining book.
NOT recommended for readers under 17.
Highly, highly recommended for adult readers and book clubs. I have a feeling this book will make the rounds at book clubs around the country.
FCC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)