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Archive: Other Books > Luckiest Girl Alive / Jessica Knoll 2.5 stars

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message 1: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3681 comments Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll was marketed to fans of Gone Girl and described by Fort Worth Star-Telegram as “Gone Girl meets Cosmo meets Sex and the City…” As a huge fan of Gone Girl, I wondered after reading this book if I had missed something. Knoll’s debut was an instant New York Times bestseller, it was met with rave reviews, and many comparisons to Gillian Flynn, and so this was high on my TBR pile. Unfortunately, the expectation set by the marketing campaign and comparisons to Gone Girl left me underwhelmed.

Ani appears to have it all – a high profile job in Manhattan, expensive wardrobe, and a rich successful fiancé. But as her wedding date nears, the final piece in the puzzle building her perfect life, secrets from her past threaten to destroy it all.

So what were the similarities reviewers saw in Knoll’s book that reminded them of Gone Girl? Unlikable characters? Check. Unreliable narrator? Not exactly, but Ani certainly encourages the reader to proceed with a healthy amount of suspicion. Shocking twists and turns? Not really. Some readers disagree judging by their praise of the book, but I found the “twists” obvious and predictable. There are life-altering events that are meant to elicit surprise from the reader. The first I anticipated based on the synopsis. I think if you are able to guess where a story is going based on the synopsis it ceases to be a twist. The second, while not completely expected, felt like a logical progression based on the events leading up to that point. Neither case was turning the story on its head, like a Gone Girl-type twist.

The main problem with this book is our narrator Ani is just not likable enough to feel a connection to her even in her most traumatizing moments. While at times she reacts in very believable ways, other times she is so vain and materialistic that it is hard to care how this all ends. There aren’t really any likable characters in this book. The one seemingly good and decent person refers to teaching as “a layover for me until I grew up a little. I just wasn’t ready to get a real job after I graduated.” Teaching is a real job! It’s the realest job. As the wife of a teacher, from a long line of teachers, I just couldn’t let that go and had to deduct a half point for that.

Initially I was really engaged with this book and it was mostly entertaining, so not all bad. I think it is mistakenly marketed as a suspense / thriller. An unlikable narrator lacking of development and predictable plotlines made this a ‘meh’ for me.

If the book was marketed differently, I am not sure it would've changed my reaction to the book but at least it could've temper my expectations a bit.


message 2: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments I picked this up for $1 at a book sale, and have yet to read it. It looks like fun entertainment, but nothing really substantial. Sadly, a lot of the "FOR THOSE WHO LIKED GONE GIRL" are similar.


message 3: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3681 comments $1!? Can't beat that.... but, yeah, this is no Gone Girl thriller. I'm not sure it should be categorized as a thriller at all. Or I'm completely jaded and wrong. Seems to be 2 camps regarding this book.


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