Luckiest Girl Alive
by Jessica Knoll
Synopsis: 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 fiance, 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 ruin 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 whose heart is 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?
from the book jacket
Review: Had it not been for the fact that my book club picked this book to discuss, I'm not sure I would have continued past the first 10 pages. Just from the first page I could not understand Ani and my understanding of her did not improve until much later in the book. Ani was completely unlikable in my mind and that is one of my pet peeves with books. I need to like my characters to keep reading! I was told by a fellow member of my book club that I would grow to pity Ani and she was correct. The reader does find out the ugly truth behind Ani's behavior but it takes until past halfway through the book to find out the story of what Ani went through. I also was disgusted by the vulgarity that occurred in the first chapter and continued through the first few chapters. It really did settle down later in the book. After finishing the book and looking back at the story, I'm not sure that all of the vulgarity was necessary to set the scene of what Ani is like. It is hard to relate to Ani because she is so fake, judgmental, cold-hearted and mean. I can't stand women who try to one up everyone and that is what Ani is like. If you can get past all of this about Ani, once you get to the heart of the story, it is engaging and you start to feel Ani's pain. It is fairly graphic so be forewarned if you decide to read this book. There are very heavy issues in this book and some of them are just brushed off by other characters and that made me upset. I wanted to shake Ani's mom for her treatment of Ani. She too was quite fake and being disingenuous is one of those things I can't stand. You may ask why I rated this a 3 and not lower, it's because once the story started going I really was engaged and I thought the book was OK.
Rating: 3 stars