Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE. Ani FaNelli seems to have it all: a glamorous job at a glossy magazine; an enviable figure with the wardrobe to match; and a handsome fiancé from a distinguished blue blood family. But Ani FaNelli is an invention, that veneer of perfection carefully assembled in an attempt to distance herself from a shocking, sordid past. As her wedding draws near, a documentary producer invites Ani to speak about the chilling incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School. Determined once and for all to silence the whispers of suspicion and blame, Ani must weigh her options carefully, when telling the whole truth could destroy the picture-perfect life she's worked so hard to create. With a singular voice and a twist you won't see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the deep-seated desire to fit in and the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to "have it all." Ani FaNelli is a complex and vulnerable heroine--one whose sharp edges protect a truth that will move, scandalize, and surprise you.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster Audio,, 2015.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781442380516
1442380519
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file) : digital

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goddessbeth
Feb 12, 2017

Between the synopsis and the blurb on the cover comparing this to a Gillian Flynn novel, I expected some crazy twist. And when you're about halfway through it, the biggest twist that could happen is pretty evident. Which makes it less of a twist (when you can see it coming). That kept me tense throughout the entire audiobook. But it turns out, that's not what this book is about. And it speaks highly to Knoll's skill that, when I figured that out, I wasn't disappointed at all.

And I can't actually lay that all on the synopsis and blurb- Knoll drops plenty of hints that Ani/Tiffany may be an unreliable narrator. It's also pretty heartbreaking to accept that rather than some sociopathic mastermind, she's just a girl who went through trauma after trauma and dealt with it as best as others would allow her.

When the book starts off, she's not a likeable character. Some of her fear-based actions are understandable and relatable, but here's a high-powered, snarky, manipulative woman living a very crafted and artificial life. It's hard not to revile someone who plays life like a chess game rather than embracing it, even though it's admirable that anyone could be that controlled, determined, and clear-sighted (and have that much energy- oof!)
I don't doubt that this kind of thing happens every day. Women and men living plastic, high-powered lives that are carefully crafted around a false notion of success that is, inevitably, doomed to fail when the facade cracks. I don't know NYC, or the Main Line, but the old money/new money socioeconomics behind it is a tale as old as time.

And even though, at points throughout the book, I wanted to scream at every single character except Lolo and Nell, I was fully and constantly engaged in the narrative. The audiobook was well done, with each character's voice distinctive and rich, and Ani herself at turns frustrating and pitiable (but never pitiful). By the end, though, I actually liked Ani. I liked her ability to adapt, her priorities, her realizations (which never were the false-lightbulb kind, but came about primarily because her own skills at manipulating others allowed her to see deeper motivations). I still think Nell is hero, but she's also a subtle background role.

It's rare that I can end up liking a character who embodies things I despise about people in reality, which is why I recommend this book to basically everyone who likes contemporary fiction.

j
jescar82
Oct 27, 2015

Not really all that good of a novel. I only read it because it was very popular at the library and on the best sellers list. Not one of the best books I've read. It seems recently that everyone wants to write the next "Gone Girl" type novel.

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