I have read too many thrillers.
I never thought I would come to that point, but after finishing Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive, I have no other conclusion to reach.
While I was reading Luckiest Girl Alive for the book club I run at my local newspaper, I figured out the major event in the plot. I figured out (in part) who was responsible and what the end result would be.
There were little hints in the plot, but I’ve read so many thrillers that I’ve come to expect certain plot twists and go for the diabolical twist–most of the time to find out my predictions are right.
(My mom, who also read the book, did not figure out the plot twist. She says it’s a generational thing. I say it’s my overindulgence in the thriller genre.)
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Luckiest Girl Alive. I did. The way the “main event” is presented in the book is written with intensity and urgency. It was incredible dramatic to read and after you finished that chapter, you needed to catch your breath.
*Note: I would suggest continuing to read the next chapter right away, even if you only read a portion. I did not and I had some vivid dreams that were tied into the action.*
Told in alternating chapters, Luckiest Girl Alive focuses on Ani (TifAni) Fanelli, who is now 28, engaged and living seemingly the perfect life. But Ani’s life is more a facade, covering up large cracks and scars left by her time as a student at Bradley.
She has been holding on to so much pain and so many secrets, can she ever really let it go?
Knoll did a great job of creating a character in Ani that you’re not sure whether you love or hate. You certainly feel sympathy toward her in parts. That’s an absolute.
There were points in the plot where I wanted to comfort the 14-year-old TifAni and tell her that if she just is herself, it’ll all work out. She doesn’t have to be what she’s trying to be.
And there were times where I wanted to smack 28-year-old Ani for being so into herself and not doing what she needs to do to move past her past.
In all, I really enjoyed this book. It was described to me as a “Gone Girl meets Devil Meets Prada,” and the comparison isn’t far off. Knoll’s prose reads quickly and jumps off the page.
I was a little confused by the ending and what Ani really achieves at the end, but ambiguity may be best in that scenario.
I would definitely recommend this to any fans of the thriller genre.