Trauma lurks behind the facade of normalcy in Jessica Knoll’s “Luckiest Girl Alive.” A writer for a women’s magazine in New York City, Ani is planning her wedding to the perfect guy, until her past intrudes,and a documentary of her high school years brings her back to face her demons. Alternating between flashbacks to the horrors of her teen years and Ani’s present day life as a twenty-something, Knoll slowly builds the drama until the past is revealed in miserable true-crime-story increments.
Although the reader is lulled into thinking the worst has happened, the surprise reveal to Ani’s past life elevates the story to more than just another tale of a dark and twisted beauty. Among the spate of recent fiction featuring girl characters with issues, Ani turns out to be redeemable, and the ending is both believable and satisfying.
The story is fast-paced with markers building to the unexpected shocking incident. You will keep reading to solve the mystery of Ani’s past; I read the book in a day.