Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ani FaNelli is engaged to a wealthy man, has a great job, and is finally about to lead the life she's always wanted. But Ani is hiding a secretive past - as a teen, she endured a traumatic event and she's kept her secrets hidden ever since. Now, as she's about to get married, Ani is struggling to contain her past and lead the life she's always wanted.
This was an interesting book - Ani is truly a despicable character in many ways, though as her past unfolds, you start to learn more about what has made Ani who she is. Her finance and her school-hood friends aren't much better. Perhaps the best thing about this book is Knoll's ability to eventually make Ani sympathetic, despite many of her faults. She's a complicated and multi-faceted character, which is a refreshing change from many novels.
The novel is suspenseful for sure, but because it was so consistently billed as the next "Gone Girl," I kept waiting for an even bigger twist, which was a bit of a letdown. I probably would have enjoyed the novel even more if I didn't have all these comparisons swirling in my head. In the end, it was a good read and certainly a fast one, but doesn't necessarily live up to its billing.
Paper Towns by John Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Quentin is a typical high school kid - watching school life from behind the scenes and adoring his neighbor and classmate Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. However, one night Margo pops up in Quentin's window and asks for him to accompany her on a revenge-seeking adventure. They have an epic night and Quentin returns to school the next day, expecting things to have changed. However, Margo never shows up and eventually Quentin realizes she isn't coming back. He finds some supposed clues that lead to her whereabouts and tries to track her down, but suddenly Margo is consuming his entire life.
I'm not exactly sure what I thought about this one. Margo and Quentin's night out was fun to read about, but the book starts to lag after Margo disappears. It seems like Quentin becomes overly obsessed with Margo - to the extreme - and his search takes forever. You never quite realize why Margo is so special. The book picks up at the end, but by then, I was a little jaded.
Also, and this is just my own pet peeve, I dislike reading books after they've already been made into movies, because I can only picture the actors as I read the story, versus my own imagination. Not sure why this bothers me, but it does.
Still, this was a fun story and definitely hilarious at points (I very much love Quentin and his friends), so I think it's worth a read. However, if you're looking to feel as much emotion as say, when reading "The Fault in Our Stars," you'll be a little disappointed.
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