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Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel Hardcover – May 12, 2015

3.5 out of 5 stars 2,801 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] huge summer read . . . one of those great stories that you can’t put down!”— Reese Witherspoon, InStyle

“The perfect page-turner to start your summer.”—People (Book of the Week)

“Dark, twisty . . . razor-sharp writing . . . propulsive prose . . . [The] reveal is a real doozy—a legitimately shocking, completely unputdownable sequence that unfolds like a slow-motion horror film. It instantly elevates Luckiest Girl . . . and that momentum keeps going until its final pages.”—EW


“Loved Gone Girl? We promise [Luckiest Girl Alive is] just as addictive.”—Good Housekeeping

“A pulse-pounding, jaw-dropping novel about how tragedy twists and shapes lives.”—InTouch (A-)

“A knockout debut novel . . . completely enthralling . . . devilishly dark and fun.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Ani FaNelli is] a cross between Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne. . . . Knoll’s debut truly delivers and will keep readers engaged until the end.”Library Journal

“This is going to be the book you insist all your friends read this summer. . . . [A] clever, cunning satire on the female condition in the 21st century.”—Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“When Ani FaNelli wants something, she gets it: the job, the body, the man. What starts as a Mean Girls-seeming story line transforms into something so dark, so plot-twistingly intense that…well, actually, no spoilers here.” —Marie Claire

“Your next book.”—People StyleWatch

“The perfect kind of summer read: Nail-bitingly addictive, equal parts funny and twisted, and full of ‘I never saw THAT coming’ moments.”
Glamour

“Luckiest Girl Alive is crime fiction at its best, proving the genre’s deep connections to society’s fears, ambitions, and ability to question the status quo. . . . Jessica Knoll is a writer to keep an eye on, especially after being compared to Gillian Flynn by Megan Abbott. . . . However, I have found enough personality in Knoll’s debut novel to let her stand on her own, rather than label her ‘the next Gillian Flynn.’ Knoll’s version of the feminist crime novel is more steeped in pop culture than Flynn’s, and Ani’s psyche has nothing to envy of Amy’s: they are both troubled, and they both put up outstanding gender and class performances. But while Amy is more private and emotional, Ani relies on modern fashion references that will thrill even Vogue, Cosmo, and Glamour readers. . . . . Luckiest Girl Alive is the ultimate critical companion to millennial femininity.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

"[Readers] probably won't leave Luckiest Girl Alive wishing they had a friend just like TifAni, but . . . if they liked Gone Girl, they'll be thrilled to see another woman who's allowed to be smart and mean, vulnerable and detestable." —Time.com

“Knoll introduces you to your new best frenemy, and you’re going to love it. . . . Destined to become one of the summer’s most gripping reads.”—Bustle.com

“Dark, clever and wildly addictive.”—SELF Magazine

“With the cunning and verve of Gillian Flynn but with a febrile intensity all its own, Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive is a debut you won’t want to miss. Sly, darkly funny and chilling-to-the bone, it gets under your skin and stays there.” — Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The Fever

“The most compelling debut novel I've read in years! Luckiest Girl Alive is intriguing, surprising, and even shockingly funny at times. And Ani FaNelli is a complex, heartbreaking, and unforgettable heroine.” —John Searles, author of Help for the Haunted

“At turns funny, shocking, violent and heart-rending, Luckiest Girl Alive hooks its reader and doesn't let go. Jessica Knoll's twisted, twisting debut beautifully explores reinvention, retribution and redemption—and all the rawness in between.” —Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet

“Fresh, funny, biting and shocking—Luckiest Girl Alive kept me riveted from cover to cover. I absolutely loved it.” —Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

Luckiest Girl Alive is a wickedly well-plotted page-turner that lifts back the veil of Ani FaNelli’s glamour and privilege to tread amongst the sharp emotional thorns lying beneath. Knoll’s novel dazzles with humor, cultural insight, and thematic heft.” —Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa

“Compelling.”—Booklist

One of "18 Brilliant Books You Won't Want To Miss This Summer"—The Huffington Post

Luckiest Girl Alive is Gone Girl meets Cosmo meets Sex and the City. . . . Knoll hits it out of the park.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Readers guessing what the ‘dark underbelly’ of this story is can guess again. It is just the beginning, a trap set by the author [who] scatters the clues so obscurely and randomly that peeking at the ending is just a waste of time. . . . No shortcuts here. . . . Knoll’s knack for social nuances on both sides of the socioeconomic tracks deserves mention for the high praise it already is receiving in the book world.”—Buffalo News

“This Summer's ‘GoneGirl.’ A debut thriller you won't be able to put down….Ready to buy it for your beach vacation? (And devour the whole thing before you even startpacking?)”—Purewow.com

“Knoll slowly reveals the harrowing truth in a debut that’s part The Devil Wears Prada, part We Need to Talk About Kevin.”—O Magazine

“If you liked ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train,’ this one’s for you.”—The Sacramento Bee

"... billed by many as the ultimate fix for those suffering Gone Girl withdrawals, but we think the twisted storyline and deeply layered narrator, Ani, are in a class all their own."-- goop.com

“Jessica Knoll brilliantly constructs a new literary frenemy you'll love to hate in this New York Times instant bestseller.”
-The Huffington Post

“This summer, Luckiest was a beach read we missed as soon as it was over; now, it's the latest project on Reese Witherspoon's production docket. Equal parts Prep, Gone Girl, and The Devil Wears Prada, Knoll's debutnovel...actually, should I just stop there? I mean, if you're not going to read it after I've invoked those three titles, this is where we part ways.”
—Glamour.com

"Ani is many things,but true betches will definitely find her relatable….if you want a good reason to start a book club or just want an answer to the "what have you read lately?" question douchebags ask you on a first date, this is your read. Also, the book is being turned into a movie that Reese Witherspoon is making a' laGone Girl so you too can be one of those annoying people who talks about how the book was 'sooo much better' than the movie. Seriously. Just read it."
—The Betches

About the Author

Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in New York City with her husband. Luckiest Girl Alive is her first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (May 12, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476789630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476789637
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,801 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kathy Cunningham TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jessica Knoll's LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE reads like a mash-up of Curtis Sittenfeld's PREP and anything by Gillian Flynn. Twenty-eight-year-old narrator Ani FaNelli is living what she thinks is the perfect life - "cool job, impressive zip code, hungry body, and the kicker - dreamboat fiancé." But from the first page, when she imagines plunging a steel blade into husband-to-be Luke Harrison, it's clear that whatever she exhibits to the world around her, something inside Ani is dark and broken and desperate. Because something happened to Ani when she was a freshman at Bradley, an exclusive Philadelphia prep school. Back then she was TifAni FaNelli, from the suburbs, with dreams of fitting in with the old-moneyed crowd at Bradley. Like Lee Fiora in PREP, TifAni makes a lot of bad decisions in her first few months at Bradley, but what ultimately happens is horrifying and beyond her control. Even so, the events of 2001 are what define Ani in 2014 - however she appears to Luke and her friends, in many ways she is still a fourteen-year-old girl struggling to make sense of a horror she can't escape.

It's difficult to like adult Ani, who narrates the novel with heavy doses of snark and bitterness. She's obsessed with her weight (she's desperate to fit into a size 0 dress for her rehearsal dinner), with wearing the right designer clothes (the wrong ones can peg her as a phony), with using the right words ("nice to see you" is right; "nice to meet you" is wrong), and with cultivating a life where she seems cool and self-possessed and comfortable and always in control, even when she never is. The problem is, it's exhausting trying to keep up with this image of herself.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Throughout the first half of Luckiest Girl Alive, I kept thinking to myself, why am I reading this? Ani is a self indulged, miserable woman seemingly engaged to the perfect, wealthy man who she doesn't love and when she walks down memory lane, there is nothing, nothing, good there either. Ani, formerly TifAni, likes to do everything right in the upper crust society of New York. Details matter or someone may guess she is a phony who actually had to claw and fight her way to fit in to the role of New York Woman's Magazine writer and overcome some horrific happenings in her teenaged years.

This book, for me, was a rough one. Some characters are over the top, including TifAni herself. Her snot attitude expounds each page and when she remembers her school days, her friends and their friends are a nasty bunch who attend a pricey private school. Life in the present time is spent trying to fit into a 2 or was it 0? wedding dress by starving herself. You get the idea anyway.

The book does improve by 3/4 of the way through which I was happy about because I'd been reading about all these nasty people for far too long. Once 3/4 of the way through, the huge event that made TifAni, Ani is revealed-then the reader wrestles with that event for quite some time.

All in all, I found this book to be quite a downer. The characters were hard to connect to due to the absence of any good redeeming qualities. I am sure lots of people will like this book and find it to be a page turner, for me, I often put it down instead of turning the next page. But, I did finish it and it did get better and the last section of the book, I read quite quickly.

This book will be a matter of taste, and it won't be for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
With Gone Girl comes a new genre of writing--one where things seem one way, and then masterfully shift to show they were something different the whole time, like that picture where you think you are looking at a vase and then find you are looking at two faces, or is it still a vase? The lines are the same, but your perception is changed to see things in a way that, although they were right in front of you the whole time, you didn't see before. Girl on A Train also does this well, even with a drunken narrator.... In the case of this book, it's more like you are looking at a picture and then the drunken artist comes along and sloppily erases it and draws something else right in front of you, burps in your face, and expects you to be amazed. It's lazy, sad, flat read and I found it insulting to reader and the genre.

That is to say, if you enjoy the mental workout of a twisty plot and trying to piece together what will happen, don't buy this book. If you find the exploitation of national tragedy distasteful, especially if it's done in a lazy way, don't buy this book. If gaping plot holes and flimsy characters bother you, don't buy this book. If there are any other books available to you, don't buy this book.

I gave the book one star because there are a few funny parts, but overall I found the whole thing barely readable. A character who seems to be tough and interesting in the first chapter devolves into a whiny, vapid victim with no redeeming qualities, and yet we are supposed to root for her and care what happens to her? Things that are already part of our collective fear and sadness as Americans are leveraged in a pathetic way, to make us feel by memory what the writer could not by skill.
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