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Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel Paperback – April 5, 2016
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Minor cover wear. No rips, tears or folds on pages or cover. Spine is bound tightly and in perfect condition. No underlining or writing on pages inside. Enjoy Prime shipping!
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couldn't seem to get past the first 3 chapters. Now, as a last ditch effort (to get
my money's worth), I decided to give it the old college try: and once I got past
those chapters, found it very interesting **until** reaching the 1/2 point. Up to
there, I found it interesting because it exposes attitude and lifestyle (posh
competitiveness) that I cannot imagine but just as I was feeling like 'enough
already" it took a sharp turn: telling a gripping story revealing truths about the
mental (and social) rollercoaster that adults can barely manage after trauma
and physical assault...let alone a 14 year old girl (protagonist at younger age)
who, as it turns out, continues to wrestle with those demons as a 20-something-
year-old faced with a major life decision.
Glad to see that she was able to confront a source of pain, by the end, to
confirm (and inadvertently verify) the name of the assault, and to form a
healthy mindset about what it means to move on from it. In other words, it felt
like she'd more closely met her true self after all was said and done. I liked that
all this did not feel syrupy and sappy: it seemed very realistic to me.
I am glad I finally read this book. Looking forward to more from Jessica Knoll.
Also looking forward to the movie version.
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. And even before I knew what had happened to her back in 2001, I saw Ani as an angst-ridden, over-aged teenager playing high school games to impress the competition.
Once the truth comes out - and it comes out very slowly - Ani's behavior makes sense. Knoll reveals Ani's story through a number of flash-backs, in which she describes the party that almost undid her, the friends who betrayed her, and the "incident" that forever defined her as both a victim and a villain. She did things back then that she can't put behind her, and things were done to her that she can't get past. In the novel, Ani is offered a chance to participate in a documentary being made about the incident at Bradley back in 2001 - she will have an opportunity to tell her side of the story. Luke isn't crazy about the idea (he would prefer she never talk about what happened back then), but Ani is convinced this is her one chance to finally move beyond what happened. She wants to look perfect on film, thin and gorgeous with Luke's gigantic rock on her finger demonstrating how perfect her life has turned out, in spite of what happened - after all, success is the best revenge, right? But has Ani really been successful? Is her life anywhere close to perfect? And is there any hope for her romance with Luke when she can hardly stand the sight of him?
Ultimately, LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE is about how hard it is to know ourselves in a world that's all about appearances and one-upping each other. Ani is convinced that a lot of money, an impressive job, and a blue blood fiancé are the things she needs to protect her from the horrors of the world. If everybody envies her, if they believe she has it all, she will no longer be either a victim or a pariah. But what she learns is that there is no protection from the reality of what really happens to us. Ani wants to move beyond her own tragedy without ever really seeing it for what it was, without ever owning her own role in it. And that's what haunts her.
I found myself drawn into this novel in ways that were intensely personal. While I couldn't identify with Ani's chic, moneyed lifestyle (I have never heard of many of the designers she covets, and her obsession with thinness and money are definitely off-putting), I did understand what it feels like to be a teenager who's an outsider - things haven't changed all that much since I was fourteen and trying to fit in. Ani tries to be someone she isn't, because she can't come to terms with who she really is. And that's something all of us can identify with. This is a sad, devastating story of a young woman's coming of age, a coming-of-age that has been delayed for thirteen years.
This is a brilliantly written novel with an identifiable if unlikable narrator who proves in the end that it is possible to take charge of your own life, even in the face of a cold and uncaring world. Growing up isn't easy for any of us. Ani takes a while to get it right, but she does get it right. I highly recommend LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE.
Fast forward a few years and a friend read it and couldn't stop talking about it. She was very convincing and I once again downloaded a sample deciding to give TifAni another chance. Once I finished the sample I found myself more intrigued than offended and I purchased the book.
I'm so very glad that I did. I've just finished reading it for the second time in the last week. Why twice in a week? Because I wanted to be sure that I hadn't missed anything during my first read. The truth is I'll probably read it a few more times. It touched me that deeply.
For any of you out there who were put off like I was or if you just want to read a book that will stay with you for long after you turn the last page then give Luckiest Girl Alive a try. It's just that good.