I discovered Luckiest Girl Alive during a day I was feeling a little less confident in myself. I felt like I needed a change, and a new book was definitely the first step I wanted to take towards something different.
I took a spontaneous trip to Target an afternoon while I was on my way to work, made a beeline to the book section and pulled up Pinterest on my phone. I have an entire pinboard dedicated to books, reading, writing… pretty much everything good in this world. A few days before this, I found a list on Pinterest filled with books that I needed to read this summer. Usually I just kind of skim those lists and move on with my life, but this time I put it to good use and scrolled through while walking through the book aisle.
As soon as I found Luckiest Girl Alive, the description underneath had me hooked after the first sentence. The reviewer compared the main character to a “female Don Draper.” My eyes darted to the shelves and my hands snatched the first copy I could find. (I absolutely love Mad Men, as well as books with strong and cutthroat female leads.)
It took a few chapters for me to understand the flow of the novel, which switches from present day to flashbacks to the main character’s (AniKa) time in high school. I was intrigued with AniKa. The first handful of chapters proved that she wasn’t always this beautiful, thin, successful and strong woman making it big in New York. She was actually an outcast in high school, desperately trying to fit in with the “cool kids” and struggling with her weight. For a while, she was starting to see herself actually belong. AniKa joined the cross-country team to help her figure, and she was invited to hang out with the HOs (Hilary and Olivia) and the cute jocks from the soccer team. However, very quickly everything took a turn for the worst.
I won’t give away any spoilers, but this book threw some of the most surprising curveballs I’ve read in any recent novel. I thought the first incident was the main explanation for AniKa’s secret past, but there’s an even more shocking occurrence that had me literally screaming, “WHAT?!” in the middle of my living room…alone. One of my roommates came home and I was still muttering, “Oh my God…oh my GOD what..” for the rest of the chapter.
The only aspects of this novel that I wish the author had developed more were AniKa’s present day friends. Granted, they weren’t huge parts of the story development but it’d be nice to have learned a tiny more about some of their personalities besides the generic dislike or indifference AniKa has towards most of them. I was also never really convinced with Luke. He seemed too perfect when he was first introduced, and I never really grew to care about him even though he was a large part of AniKa’s life.
If you like a suspenseful back story, strong female leads, and a little touch of darkness…definitely give Luckiest Girl Alive a try!