Narrator: Madeleine Maby
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on May 12th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Literary, Suspense, Thrillers
Length: 11 hrs. 47 mins.
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Her Perfect Life
Is a Perfect Lie
Ani FaNelli seems to have it all: a glamorous job at a glossy magazine, an enviable figure with the wardrobe to match, and a handsome fiancé from a distinguished blue-blood family. But Ani FaNelli is an invention, that veneer of perfection carefully assembled in an attempt to distance herself from a shocking, sordid past.
As her wedding draws near, a documentary producer invites Ani to speak about the chilling incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School. Determined once and for all to silence the whispers of suspicion and blame, Ani must weigh her options carefully, when telling the whole truth could destroy the picture-perfect life she's worked so hard to create.
With a singular voice and a twist you won't see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the deep-seated desire to fit in and the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to "have it all". Ani FaNelli is a complex and vulnerable heroine - one whose sharp edges protect a truth that will move, scandalize, and surprise you.
Ani FaNelli is a successful magazine writer and she’s about to marry Luke, the man of her dreams. But, she’s still dealing with the demons from her high school days and feelings of inadequacy. A documentary about her troubled past threatens to expose the skeletons in her closet and the perfect life she’d constructed. Jessica Knoll’s debut is a thriller that pulls you in from the first page, and while it’s not as twisty as the other famous “Girl” thrillers, it takes a turn that I wasn’t expecting.
Luckiest Girl Alive features a complicated and damaged heroine that you hope will get some sort of a happy ending. She may be “unlikable” to some – she’s judgmental and status obsessed, so I felt distant from her but couldn’t look away from her story. Ani is out to prove herself and get the life she feels she deserves even if she chips away at her true self in the process. Through flashbacks we see the violence in her past that led her to where she is today.
I didn’t know too much about the story going in, and I think that it’s best that you go blind as well, so I won’t talk about the plot too much here. This is a gripping read that touches on themes like class, body image, and societal pressures that has a true crime element as well. It’s dark and violent too – I know there is a movie in the works but I think that it will be hard to see these events play out on the big screen.
I listened to the audiobook and narrator Madeleine Maby does an amazing job making Luckiest Girl Alive an absorbing listen. She really got the voice of Ani and played up the tense tone of the story. Sometimes books that play with flashbacks like this one are hard to keep up with when you’re listening but that wasn’t the case here. The story unfolds slowly, and the audiobook made the story a more suspenseful read for me.
You can see author Megan Abbott’s stamp of approval on the book cover and I think if you like the edginess of her crime fiction then Luckiest Girl Alive might be a good fit for you. Have you read it yet- or are you planning to wait for the movie?