My second book review. A good one. It is rare for me to read a book that I enjoy so much <Book Review ¨Me Before You¨> and then move onto another that is equally satisfying, but in different aspects.
Luckiest Girl Alive is the debut novel by Jessica Knolls. I requested and received it as a birthday present because I had seen it lumped in with a myriad of other psychological thriller novels that promise to deliver the suspense that Gone Girl did. Now that was a good book. Along with the other books by Gillian Flynn. Back to the point. Ever since reading Gone Girl, I have been trying to select novels that reflect that deep, dark, twisted storyline. Luckiest Girl Alive delivers.
The main character – witty, biting, sarcastic Ani – is captivating and while there is this bitterness and hatred about her (which she earned), she is also charming and you fall in love with her honesty at once. Also, the author, Jessica Knolls, has said that she herself was a victim of gang rape at an early age similar to her protagonist, Ani. Don’t worry – that’s not really a spoiler. It is a large part of the novel which affects many tiny aspects and leads to the “cracks in the windshield” as the author writes metaphorically.
Basically the book is split chapter by chapter – every other chapter dedicated to a flashback so to speak, interrupting Ani’s current life. So as you get to know Ani, you’re also getting small glimpses into the past which has shaped who she is now. The author doesn’t give you the whole story all at once, and it keeps you guessing.
While it is not the edge-of-your-seat-nail-biting experience of whodunnit like Gone Girl, it is a book that I absolutely could not put down. I was hooked. It is full of suspense, psychological issues, abuse, murder, and in a sense – coming to terms and accepting who you are.
I also think that in today’s society as rape is so “questionable” anymore, and people make excuses and brush it under the rug, this is something that, as a woman, may make you think. I couldn’t help but reflect back on my own life and wonder if I myself hadn’t been taken advantage of a time or two. Nothing compared to the novel of course, but so often we are told “well if you are in the same bed alone with a boy, what do you expect will happen?” or having too much to drink is a crime. Even what women wear becomes viewed as “she was asking for it”.
I am so excited for this book to be turned into a film. Reese Witherspoon, who also had a hand in producing the film version of “Gone Girl”, has already purchased the rights, and Jessica Knoll worked on the screenplay. I have not seen anything official with casting although there are rumors and speculations of the most popular picks to play each character.
One thing I would like to see in the film that wasn’t detailed in the book is the end. When Ani finally finds proof of a secret her fiancé has been keeping and confronts him about it, I saw quite the drama that was inflicted and could unfold. This is gleamed over in the book as the author transitions to the resolution of the novel. I have found in my own writing as well that sometimes the most dramatic scenes are difficult to write and easily transition into the resolution. I can’t wait to see how this plays out on the big screen, though.
Trust me. You want to pick up Luckiest Girl Alive this summer. Don’t wait for it to hit theaters and then just go see the movie. Get it. Now. It is phenomenal. I cannot wait to see what else Jessica Knoll comes out with in the future, and I applaud her bravery for writing a novel that depicted something so personal to her own past and opening up about it.
Out of five stars, I would definitely award this novel all five.
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