The Luckiest Girl Alive was another recommendation via Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram page; once again the woman has excellent taste in novels. The Luckiest Girl has “With cunning and verve of GILLIAN FLYNN but with an intensity all its own” written in huge letters on the front cover, and while drawing comparisons between Flynn and new female authors is getting a bit played out, this was the book I felt most merited the comparison. Like Flynn, Jessica Knoll has a female narrator with a dark past that begins to come to light as the novel’s events play out.
Ani FaNelli has done everything in her power to create a new life for herself. Changing her name from TifAni to the more appropriate Ani (pronounced Ahh-knee), moving to New York, landing her dream job and securing the picture perfect fiance are unfortunately not enough to erase her tragic past. The novel keeps Ani’s perspective throughout the novel but narration changes from her 28-year-old self to her 14-year-old self in the months preceding a tragedy that would haunt her forever. As the story progresses you learn more her high school days and the Incident (which is being reexamined in a documentary) as well as the permanent mark it left on Ani’s psyche.
You don’t really like Ani, although she is snarky and occassionally funny, she is mostly a terrible person. Obviously the events of her past shaped who she is now but I think she might just be an inherently terrible person. You definitely don’t like any of the other characters but they are all compelling and well developed. To tell you too much would ruin the suspense Knoll has perfectly crafted but I will tell you I finished this 338 page novel in one day.