United States of America
| 3.5/5 |
12 May 2015
| Simon & Schuster (USA)
Macmillan Publishers (Australia)|
Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
Sharp Objects, Dare Me, Dark Places, The Girl in the Spider's, Killing Floor
Luckiest Girl Alive is a 2015 New York Times Bestselling mystery novel written by American author Jessica Knoll and is her debut work. It was first published on May 12, 2015 through Simon & Schuster in the United States and Pan Macmillan in Australia, and is written in the first person narrative. The work follows a young woman that has sought to reinvent herself in her adult life after a series of horrifying events her teen years. During the book the lead character, Ani Fanelli, is referred to by several different names, TifAni FaNelli, Tif, and Finny.
In April 2015 Lions Gate announced that they had optioned the film rights to Luckiest Girl Alive, with Reese Witherspoon's Pacific Standard set to produce.
Luckiest Girl Alive Wikipedia
At first glance the 28-year-old Ani appears to have a perfect life, as she works as an editor at a glamorous women's magazine and has a loving fiance from a good family. However Ani also hides a secret - during her formulative high school years she underwent a series of horrifying and emotionally crippling events that have continued to impact her well into her adult years - one of which is a school shooting that occurred at her school the prestigious Bradley School. She agrees to take part in a documentary about the event and during the course of the book readers discover that Ani was gang raped when she was fourteen by some of her fellow students. She tries reaching out for help after the rape, but finds little to no assistance or sympathy. Instead Ani is subjected to cruel bullying and taunts by her peers, who do not believe that she was assaulted. As the story progresses Ani begins to question whether or not she is truly happy with who she has become and whether or not this life is truly the one she wants and needs.
While writing the novel Knoll drew upon her own experiences as a survivor from a gang rape that occurred during her teens and the bullying she received afterwards from her classmates. Knoll did not initially make this public knowledge while promoting the book and told fans that she based the book's rape and aftermath on stories she had heard from others. In March 2016 Knoll wrote an essay for the online feminist newsletter Lenny Letter where she wrote about her experiences as a rape survivor. She further stated that she came forward after interacting with several fellow rape survivors at book signings, as it " really killed [her] to see the looks on these women's faces when [she] would say, 'Oh no, you know, I just made it up,' and [she] just never wanted to see that look on anyone's face again". Knoll later stated in an interview that she "was so conditioned not to talk about it that it didn't even occur to [her] to be forthcoming".
Critical reception has been positive and Luckiest Girl Alive has received comparisons to Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train. The book received praise from Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, the latter of which wrote that "Recent newsworthy topics create a backdrop that can, at times, make the reader uncomfortable. Yet the visceral tension Knoll creates actually complements the reading experience."