Book Reviews

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll


Women would willingly tear off their limbs just to live the kind of life Ani FaNelli lives. Ani (pronounced Ah-nee) has the beauty and the elegance that can stop traffic; the poise and the attitude that make people wonder what she does for a living and who she is in a relationship with, the fashion sense that not every woman can pull off, and the cutthroat determination to make it to the top no matter the cost.

You think you know Ani FaNelli, but you truly don’t. Not a lot of people do. Because before Ani became the most sought-after sex columnist for New York City’s The Women’s Magazine, before she became the blushing bride-to-be of the very eligible, the very handsome, and the very moneyed Luke Harrison, and before she secured that posh and exclusive Tribeca zip code, Ani FaNelli was TifAni FaNelli, a young and innocent girl who lived through an ordeal so horrifying that no fourteen-year-old high school girl should ever have to.

This close to her wedding day, Ani finally decides that she’s ready to talk about what happened that year at The Bradley School. Agreeing to be interviewed for this documentary, on her own terms, sounds just like the perfect arrangement. It’s time to heal old wounds and finally start over with a clean slate, with a powerful new last name and an influential new husband.

But there are just some things you can never really run away from, no matter how much you think you’re doing well in life, and how much you think you have all the things you thought you had always wanted.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed reading Luckiest Girl Alive, but not without thinking it was a waste of time at first, or that this bitch heroine should just die a slow and painful death. So glad I stuck around to finish it, though. Just imagine a present-day Carrie Bradshaw, only cold, narcissistic, ruthless, and always hungry, minus the tacky blond hair and the cigarettes. Ani FaNelli cracked me up with her snarkiness and self-loathing, and the cynical way she viewed life, love, sex, husbands, and food. But this book burns like acid, and you’re in for some really shocking slew of scandal and secrets. You will love-hate Ani and face palm yourself through every bad decision she makes. She will keep you on your toes, have you gritting your teeth, and shaking your head. She will hurt you and break you, and even make you feel just a bit sorry for her. It’s something I couldn’t really put down, but it’s far from perfect. I guess it succeeded in hooking me to the story long enough to get to that ending, which was okay, but not really.