At the tender age of fourteen, TifAni FaNelli was the victim of a traumatizing event which resulted in her being humiliated and ostracised by her peers at Bradley School, an exclusive private school on the Philadelphia Main Line. Lacking the love and support she craved from her family and wanting to distance herself from the events of her past, TifAni decides to reinvent herself and create for herself the perfect life.
Known to her friends and colleagues as Ani, now 28, she has worked very hard to create her perfect life. A successful writer at a popular woman’s magazine, living in New York City, and engaged to Luke, her perfectly handsome, rich upper crust boyfriend, Ani seems to have escaped her mediocre upbringing and traumatizing past and finally found happiness. An upcoming documentary, however, based on the events from her high school days threatens to destroy her perfectly created life and topple it like a deck of cards.
To be completely honest with you I hated everything about Ani, from her obnoxious and pretentious name to her cold, heartless and shallow personality. She came across as judgmental, self-centered, materialistic and rude. In those first few chapters, I really couldn’t care less for her. Even the fourteen year old version of herself came across as manipulative, emotionless and self absorbed.
As I continued reading however, I realised that this is exactly what the talented Jessica Knoll wants you to feel, so all I can say is hang on people, keep on reading, because as the story progresses and you delve deeper into the past and present, you’ll see something, feel something, some little spark, a glimmer of the real TifAni, and these unpleasant character traits are just an extension of her manufactured glossy and stylish veneer. They serve as a sort of protection mechanism for a vulnerable and wounded young woman who is desperately searching for a way to be happy, accepted and loved by those around her.
Jessica Knoll’s debut novel is an impressive, highly entertaining and addictive read. The characters will infuriate you and their actions will make you cringe with disgust and unease but you will not be able to turn away. Like an addict craving their drug of choice you will not be able to put this book down, greedily devouring every line, every page, every twist and turn of the wonderfully crafted plot.
The hype and social media chatter for this book has been huge so not surprisingly Luckiest Girl Alive has already made the NYT bestseller list. It is sure to be one of this summer’s biggest hits with the movie rights having already been snapped up by Lionsgate, with no other than Reese Witherspoon as producer. So go, grab yourself a copy of Luckiest Girl Alive so that you too can be in the know.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.