The following book review was written by our amazing student worker Avishi Jalan ’20, who is writing from Mumbai, India.
From the beginning to the end, I was not able to put this book down. The story took my breath away, and its twists and turns made my head spin.
The book alternates between the protagonist Ani’s present-day life in New York where she is preparing for her wedding and for a documentary about the trauma which we still do not know, and the memories of her first months at Bradley. One of her early experiences that she recounts is so horrifying that I couldn’t imagine anything worse. It easily accounts for a lifetime of nervousness, insecurity and sleepless nights. But Knoll makes sure the reader is aware that there is more to come as they turn the pages restlessly, trying to come to the root of her problems.
Knoll keeps the tension tight and tries not to make Ani sympathetic to the readers. Ani does not deny manipulating the people around her, but we do feel sorry for her, for all the trauma she went though. She is so convinced that manipulation is the only option for her, and that everyone around her has an angle. It is hard to hate a girl who wishes to be invited over by friends before a dance to try on different outfits.
The title is just as misleading as the book. It shows us that sometimes, the luckiest girl alive, is not so lucky, and there is more to what meets the eye. This book could be mistaken as a chick flick where the best outcome for the protagonist is hooking up with the right person in the Hamptons. It has more under the surface than we think and has very little to do with the handsome and rich fiancée. The characters are twisted and full of depth, and I truly enjoyed swimming to the shore of the book.
The Luckiest Girl Alive is available in the Krupp library, but it might be worth looking into an e-book from your local library depending on where you are located!