Luckiest Girl Alive is 'Basic' in Book Form
...But you should definitely read it anyways
If Jessica Knoll’s debut thriller Luckiest Girl Alive were a person, it would be what society has deemed the “basic bitch.” It would be a girl who loves ordering spicy tuna & crispy rice and talking slightly louder than appropriate at Mercer Kitchen girls dinners, following that up with “way too many” vodka sodas at B Bar, and burning it all off at SoulCycle, which it would non-ironically refer to as “Church.” To me, Knoll’s book felt like nothing more than an amalgam of the tired misfit-rising-from-the-ashes trope and the name-dropping/label-whoring reminiscent of early ‘00s literature, in particular The Clique and Gossip Girl series. But I must be alone in that—because since its May 12 release, it has garnered 1,148 reviews on Amazon, 2,236 on goodreads, and has reportedly already been optioned as a film by Reese Witherspoon, who posted an Instagram photo singing the book’s praises boasting 40,800 likes and 2,000+ comments, mostly along the lines of “just bought this on your recommendation!”
I love Reese Witherspoon, and I don’t know anyone who has posted a positive Amazon or Goodreads review, but I’m sure they aren’t bad people, but come. on. First of all, the main character in this book is named TifAni FaNelli, which looks like a joke and sounds like a name of a Strega Nona [great book, btw] villain. The book charts TifAni’s [please note that each time I write this name, it is accompanied with an eye roll] progress from high school loser to high-powered New York City business bitch, who seemingly developed a monstrous ego at some point during the transformation. She is engaged to a Manhattan-born, Nantucket-bred WASP golden boy [that may even be the actual phrase Knoll uses to describe him] named Luke, whom she does not seem to love very much, as evidenced by the fact that she treats him horribly for the duration of the book. Actually, she herself is kind of a horrible person in general, informing the reader of her life’s dramatic, often tragic events with so little emotion that she comes off as feasibly sociopathic.
Qualms aside, I must admit that I could not put the book down. I just realized, three paragraphs into the review, that I haven’t even explained the plot [#professional], so if you’re still reading, thanks for sticking it out, and here goes: the story is a psychological thriller narrated by Tiffani, which alternates between her current life in New York and flashbacks to her experience in high school, where a tragic event occurred; the memories, which her loved ones have long urged her to let go of, become unavoidable when she is asked to return to her hometown and film a documentary about the tragedy in which she gets the opportunity to describe “her side of the story.” The book is undeniably shocking, but there were quite a few points that did seem gratuitously upsetting, thrown into the final edit for shock value’s sake.
While I likely haven’t sold the book, per se, I know I’ll regret deterring you from reading it because, given Reese Witherspoon’s involvement with the film, it has the potential to reach Gone Girl-like proportions of popularity. Grab a quick for some quick reading and copious eye rolling.