Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

“It’s okay to be insufferable as long as you’re aware that you’re being insufferable.

I’m getting a little sick of publishers trying to raise interest for their new releases by labelling them as the “next so-and-so.” It’s a pretty lazy way to try to capitalize on a popular trend, and the books are almost never as good as the ones they’re being compared to. Divergent wasn’t the next Hunger Games. Percy Jackson wasn’t the next Harry Potter. And Luckiest Girl Alive definitely ain’t the next Gone Girl.

Ben Affleck will not be appearing in the movie.

Ani FaNelli looks like she’s living the dream. She’s got a great job writing for a women’s magazine. She’s got a killer body. She’s engaged to the stinking rich man of her dreams. But she has a…wait for it…terrible secret from her past. Well it’s not really a secret, considering everyone knows except for us. Something terrible happened to her in high school, and she’s been running ever since.

In the reviews of the book I read, people kept comparing Ani to Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne. I don’t really think that’s fair. Amy is totally batshit, but there’s a perverse method to her madness. She’s patient. She’s methodical. She’s unapologetic about what she is. She even makes a certain amount of sense, which is the creepiest thing about her.

Ani, on the other hand, is a status-obsessed jerk. If Regina George didn’t get hit by that bus and pick up lacrosse, she’d be Ani. If she thinks the hostess is giving her attitude, she goes for the mean-girl jugular. She delights in rejecting applicants for her magazine if they look like rich girls. She sizes up and hates every woman around her, from her mother, to her boss, to the girl in the bar, to the coworker who has the audacity to eat a macaroon while already being a whopping size 8. Every woman is her competition.

Once the book finally reveals the full story of what happened to her, the story starts to pick up but by then, I think it was too late. Ani gets a little more sympathetic as the book goes on. She lets up on obsessing about what others think about her and starts to focus on the life she actually wants.

This book wasn’t terrible. Even worse than terrible, it was just fine. I read it in a Barnes & Noble cafe while sucking down a $4 coffee. I think once I hit “publish” on this review, I’ll probably forget all about reading it.

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