luckiest girl alive book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

Luckiest Girl Alive is the first book I have read in a long time where the synopsis doesn’t do the book justice. Just when you think you have a bead on what a character is all about and where the plot is going, you are thrown for a loop. That made this book very good for me.

Our main character is TifAni FaNelli (yes, her name is really spelled like that, and it killed me too). She is the only child of parents who want to portray that they are richer than they really are. Her story is told through flashbacks of her high school life, when she was still known as TifAni, and a view into her now seemingly perfect life, where Ani is engaged to a man of high standing and living her dream life in New York City.

The problem is, Ani is trying to erase a past life that keeps pulling her back in. Because of the things that happened to her more than ten years ago, Ani can’t sleep, is possibly on the verge of an eating disorder, and could very well be getting ready to marry the wrong man.

As I read the first ten or so chapters of the book, I found myself disliking Ani very much. She is a mean girl in her workplace, constantly worried about wearing the right labels and having the perfect blowout rather than how she treats the people around her. She is cold to her fiance when he seems to be the only one who can tolerate her. But, as the story progressed and I found out what happened to Ani in high school, I realized her entire adult life has been a facade, and one she struggles to keep up.

It’s very hard to review this book without giving away the very events that make it so heart-wrenching. I will say that I absolutely did not expect where the author was going. After learning of Ani’s initial trauma, I thought the rest of the narrative would have her dealing with the fallout of that. I never imagined that it would be a catalyst for the climax that came, though.

I know some reviews are calling this book “the next Gone Girl,” but I think it’s quite far from that. I enjoyed this book just as much, but in a completely different way, than Gone Girl. I found myself more connected to the main character, for one.

Luckiest Girl Alive is a dark tale, but I think many readers will find themselves embroiled in the story on beaches across the nation this summer.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Carrie runs the blog Sweet Southern Home, and is a stay at home wife and mom to one little boy. When she’s not reading, she’s usually watching Netflix with her husband, playing outside with her son, or baking. Her family would describe her as sometimes annoyingly sarcastic, but mostly lovable. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.