Rating: 3 Stars
No matter what you think when you see the cover and read the blurb, Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll is NOT a thriller. I went in expecting a thriller, and kept waiting for the twist which never came. I had seen the book on bookstagram, and as always, avoided reading reviews, which is why I never knew what genre the book belonged to. Not to say that I don’t like reading other genres, I do. And this book is not too bad.
I admit I am very squeamish reading about sexual assault and rape, especially so when it is a teenager who is later ostracized for it. It was something that made Bear Town almost unbearable for me even though I was so invested in the characters. This book also made me uncomfortable and angry, but I couldn’t connect with the characters at all.
Ani FaNelli was a character I had really high hopes of; she came off as cunning, ruthless, and a bit twisted in the beginning, and I was waiting for the moment when everything will go to hell because she was intent on taking revenge. So it was a shock when suddenly in the last quarter of the book, she became a victim and lost all the characteristics that Knoll had built over the course of the book.
The story is fast paced and keeps you interested. The past is such a big presence in the present that you want to find out what happened quickly. The author, however, makes you wait for the whole story, which is a testament to the author’s skillful writing. What doesn’t come up to the mark is the climax, or in this case, the lack of one. It is like suddenly it’s all over and we should sympathise with the poor victim, and isn’t it great how everything worked out to prove how strong a woman she is.
After writing in such detail about everything past and present, Knoll suddenly decided to end the book on a high note, with Ani becoming the ultimate hero of her own story. I just felt that there was something missing in that last quarter of the book. I wish I could have enjoyed the last part as much as I enjoyed the rest of the book.