Last year I started a casual online book club called Busy Girls Book Club with some friends via a Facebook group and I loved it. The only trouble is I haven’t been able to get stuck into too many books this year so I’m on a mission to move the book club over to my blog so it encourages me to tackle a few more books and I can connect with even more ladies who are keen to sink their teeth into great reads, and of course, at any pace.
True to the name, this book club is for the busy girl who mightn’t get the chance to ready many books, but when she does have a moment, she wants to read only the best and juiciest books out. (That’s me to a tee!)
I thought I’d kick things off with a review on our first read from the BGBC and wrap up a few of my own thoughts on this edgy and very popular novel.
LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE BY JESSICA KNOLL
Please note, this is a review on the book and there may be some plot spoilers so if you plan to read Luckiest Girl Alive be sure to revisit this post afterwards and share your thoughts with me!
Before getting into this book I had herd A LOT about how good it was and how it sat within the same genre and style of The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl (two of my favourites!) Naturally it was a popular choice in the book club, plus Reese Witherspoon is a huge idol of mine and she highly recommended it to her own book club (#RWBookClub) so I was dying to read it!
Anyhow, I quickly hooked into this novel and found the first few chapters surprisingly difficult to digest. The lead character of Ani is a difficult one to relate to. The book is set in two different time periods and flicks between Ani as an adult (present day) and Ani as a teenager in high school. The Ani character of the present day is one living the ‘high life’ in a very career driven, overly confident and over the top manner. She has a fabulous job and seemingly fabulous relationship with a wealthy and eligible bachelor Luke who is also her fiancé. We quickly find out the relationship with her fiancé and her lifestyle is not at all as glamorous and perfect as she likes to portray to outsiders. Ani is very superficial as an adult and there’s a lot of talk about her proving to others how wonderful she is now and how much weight she has lost to the point that people from her past often don’t recognise her. She is very status-driven.
It isn’t until a few chapters in do we start to understand Ani (the adult) once we learn more about her tumultuous past as a teen. I found the teen character as equally difficult to find likeable however I often felt sympathy for her as she continually tries so hard to impress class mates and to fit in. The writing can get incredibly gritty and I suppose that goes to show how successful Jessica Knoll is as an author because there were times I felt irked or uncomfortable as a reader looking into the events unfolding for Ani as a teen.
A lot of the BGBC ladies comments on this book were similar to mine. Many felt sympathy for Ani and for the ‘tragic events’ that occur throughout the novel. The build up to what happens towards the end of the novel after we discover Ani was physically and sexually assaulted by some of her class mates is quite intriguing and it really sucked me in. I felt the main event that is referred to throughout the book was left a little late in the plot but as it was occurring the story was intense and interesting to read.
One reader in the BGBC said she didn’t feel Ani ever actually figures out who she is as an adult as this story is very much about a teenager discovering herself and the impact of high school bullying and assault. I have to agree. Throughout the book Ani continues to try and express herself as a confident and successful woman, although deep down she is broken and constantly seeking approval and attention.
I was a little disappointed after finishing the novel as I felt the ending was a little abrupt although overall the book was a good read, just not my favourite read, however I would recommend it for those into a bit of a gritty, thriller-esque novel. I definitely think it does sit in a similar genre to The Girl on The Train and Gone Girl but I think it is secondary to these two novels in terms of how the story unfolds and how sucked in I felt by the writing.
Have you read Luckiest Girl Alive? What are your thoughts on the book? Would you recommend it? Feel free to comment your thoughts here!
*Disclaimer: Notes on any of the books reviewed in the Busy Girls Book Club are my opinion only unless otherwise noted.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This book has been a serious page turner for me! I can’t wait to debrief and chat about it in the coming week! Be sure to pop back and share your thoughts with me!
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