Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Luckiest Girl Alive resonated with me. It was one of those novels that at points I had to force myself to keep reading, not due to it being bad but due to it being too real. Not perhaps with some of the circumstances but with the descriptive sense of emotion.
The main character, yes rather a silly name Tifani Fanelli - known when we first meet her as Ani - is eminently unlikeable. This continues throughout the book. She's about to marry a rich guy and the first part of the novel focuses very much on her reasons for doing this and her constant struggle to seem as if she "fits in" to that world. She is sarcastic, seemingly selfish and as I said terrifically unlikeable in a lot of ways. And honestly I never truly warmed up to her...
About to film a documentary - a "retrospective" on an incident at a private school she used to attend, we start to get some of her backstory. Gain a better understanding of her - whilst she perhaps was always annoyingly needy the fear factor came later, as we see her as a teenager this comes more into focus. There are some emotive themes here which I won't go into as I don't want to spoil it - but Jessica Knoll does a great job of showing us then and now, the nuances of what have brought her to this point.
Some of the most powerful scenes in this book happen in one spot - when Ani is telling her story of that day to camera and we finally see the end game fallout - but this point IS more powerful due to the slow build up preceding it, both in the present time and in the past - getting a feeling for all those involved, and even hints of the aftermath that has followed Anni ever since.
The reveal moment is not what this book is all about though and that was something else I loved about it. It is a tool to allow the character to choose her path through life - the path of least resistance or a possible one to real happiness and acceptance. What happens after the reveal is just as important, or perhaps even more so, than what has gone before it. The true unpredictability of this one is not WHAT happened but what eventually Tifani will choose because of it.
There is a sentence in this book that stayed with me.
"You only scream when you're finally safe."
I get that.
I would definitely recommend this one - not as the next Gone Girl - SERIOUSLY publicity people ENOUGH already you are doing this book AND Gone Girl no favours whatsoever - but as a strong and resonant character piece that talks about truth and consequences, puts one human being into a major spotlight warts and all, where the huge event in her life is not necessarily the one that defined her and her choices are up for the harshest scrutiny. You may not like Tifani but you will want her to be ok. Whether or not in the end you think she will be I guess will come down to your own feelings and the path you may have taken. Food for thought indeed.
Great book. One I will return to.
Happy Reading Folks!