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Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

I have two main reasons for reading Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. The first is because I listen to The Toast and both Jackie and Claudia loved this book and recommend it. After listening to them talk about it I became interested in reading it. While they were talking about it they also said that the movie about the book is coming to Netflix and stared Mila Kunis. I love her and would love to watch her in a movie. So I read the book and then watched the movie the night I finished the book. At first I had no idea what the book was about and was not going to read any thing about it until I was talking to my mom about it and she looked it up and read what it was about. Going in I had some idea what it was about, but really had no expectations because I do not love every book recommended by Jackie and Claudia. 

Content of the Book:

Ani FaNelli is living the life. She lives in a glamorous New York City apartment with her handsome and successful fiancĂ©. She is a well-known writer at magazine. But Ani is just a facade, she has built this so call perfect life. With her wedding just months away Ani is approached to be apart of a documentary focused on the traumatic events that occurred while she was a student at the prestigious Bradley School. With her new perfect life in danger of being tarnished with what comes out in the documentary, Ani has to be careful when finally telling her truth years later. Through Ani's narration and a plot twist no one sees coming, this book explores the desire and effort someone will put in to 'have it all'. 

What I Liked About This Book:

For once I feel like the author gave us everything about the character. She gave us the bad habits, the quirks, the positive and negative sides, and even gave us reasons to route for her and to route against her. The author also did not try and sway the reader to either like or dislike the character. She gave the reader the freedom to make that decision on their own. There was always something going on that kept me entertained. I read this book while I was traveling for work and while I was working extremely long hours. I found this book to be a place where I could escape into someone else's head and think about her life and problems and not what was going or not going on in my life. I listened to an interview with the author and movie screen writer where she said that a lot of readers find Ani annoying and dislike her. I would not say I disliked her, but I also wouldn't say I loved her, I also more than tolerated her. There were parts of her personality that I liked and parts that I disliked. For this book that is how I think it was meant to be. The author does not want you to see her as the worst person ever, but they also don't want you to see her as an angle. As you can tell from what I have wrote so far about this book, I very much liked and enjoyed the character development in this book. I think it is its best selling point. Now onto what I liked about the plot of the book. I am not one to shy away from books with hard to read or taboo topics. If you are then this book is not for you. This book is littered with pain and very traumatizing events. When it comes to that pace of the book the story picked up from the start and progressed evenly from then on. There were higher more dramatic points and straighter more steady points, but overall it had interesting plot points from beginning to end. I found that this is one of those books where you can get comfy and just read, read, read without stopping. I also felt like there was so must interest built around the other characters that you became invested in how their story's ended in addition to Ani's. I could tell while reading this book that it would make a great movie and had a lot of anticipation about finally getting to watch it. That last thing I will say about what I like about the book was how raw the author allowed the character to be. She did not hold back and it gave the book the grit that was necessary for the heavy topics in this book.

What I Disliked About This Book:

I do feel like you need to be able to focus and put all your attention into this book when you are reading it. I struggled to do this at times just because of the work situation I was in. I did find that once I was able to get that focus I was sucked in and couldn't stop reading. A comment that I had made in my notes while reading this book was, why so many nicknames. I thought this while watching the movie too. I have made this comment about books in the past. I find it distracting and confusing. When one character has a bunch of different nicknames given and used by so many characters I find it hard to keep track of who is who. I will say that watching the movie reduced this confusion as you were seeing the person who they were talking to unlike in the book. Something I did not totally dislike but will mention in this section is the length of this book. At times it does seem to drag on a little, but in the end you see why the author took the time to include that slightly duller moment.

Do I Recommend This Book?

Yes, I do recommend this book. I also think you should read it before watching the movie just because you get even more details and inner thoughts from Ani. With both the book and movie I will add a trigger warning that this book includes scenes of rape and school shootings. I think this is worth mentioning even if it might give away some of the plot. 

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