03 Mar Review: The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
There is something about a dark, mentally unstable and loathsome female protagonist. Sure, the feminists will shun me for a statement like that, but I do love a complicated, imperfect and bat-shit crazy female lead. Different strokes for different folks. So while wading through the Gone Girl-replicas that take occupancy on my bookshelf, the ones that tap into the market of ‘bat-shit-insane-female-crime-thrillers’ – all of which have a movie shoe-in, I found this beauty. It is a beauty: great jacket, quality paper, great page count.
This one was packed underneath a pile, almost hiding from my book-rutted rage, gathering dust. I pulled it out – looking for something to get back into, plus I had some time on my hands, so why not? We all know the story of finding a book to read, it’s an overly done love story. The reviews on this one, however, boasted a two-way split, you’ll either love it, or you won’t. For me, I’ll tell you to give it a bash. Not only has Knoll created a character so foul, and despicable, but she’s also made her intriguing and human.
The story revolves around TifAni FaNelli, a girl form a middle class family, with a mother who tries too hard and a father that doesn’t try at all. Ani (is the name she goes by now) has pretty much made it, well further than her bronxy-poor-life-cliche would have given her credit for. She’s in the middle of planning the perfect wedding to Luke, who is from a rich, well-to-do, and well-known family; let’s not forget her nabbing an editor position at New York’s biggest magazine. It certainly looks like the perfect life.
But (yes, there is always a BUT), Ani is taking part in a documentary that delves into a dark event that keeps her jittery and Luke (her fiance, stay with me here) biting for her to ‘just get over it already.’ The story ultimately revolves and unpacks, jumping back-and-forth to Ani’s past, and her present. A great trope that feeds the reader ever so little, and yanks them back again.
Issues ripple through this mighty-dark novel, simply. I say simply, not because Knoll peppers it around with ease – which she does – but because she really doesn’t actually deal with the issues at hand. I’ll defend this trope, because this book wasn’t about the issues of eating disorders, or rape, it was about a series of events that ripple effect and implicate children, who ultimately think they are adults. We have all read the novels *cough* Atonement *cough* and seen the news.
I don’t want to keep harping on – perhaps, gushing – but this book was good, maybe I found it at the right time, maybe it’s just the kind of ‘schlock’ I needed (without truly thinking it was schlock), perhaps, and quote me on this, I really, truly, actually enjoyed it.