Luckiest Girl Alive
  (Redirected from Jessica Knoll)
Luckiest Girl Alive is a 2015 New York Times Bestselling mystery novel written by the American author, Jessica Knoll, and is her debut work.[1] It was first published on May 12, 2015, by Simon & Schuster in the United States, and Pan Macmillan in Australia, and is written in the first person narrative.[2] The novel follows a young woman who has sought to reinvent herself in her adult life, following a series of horrifying events during her teenage years. During the book the lead character, Ani Fanelli, is also referred to by several different names: TifAni FaNelli, Tif, and Finny.
Luckiest Girl Alive

First edition
AuthorJessica Knoll
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster (US)
Macmillan Publishers (Australia)
In April 2015, Lionsgate announced that they had optioned the film rights to Luckiest Girl Alive, with Reese Witherspoon's Pacific Standard set to produce.[3] It was announced in February 2021, that Mila Kunis is set to star in the film, now at Netflix. Produced by Made Up Stories and Picturestart, the screenplay was written by Knoll and will be directed by Mike Barker.[4]
At first glance, 28-year-old Ani appears to have a perfect life. She works as an editor at a glamorous women's magazine and has a loving fiancé from a good family. Yet Ani also hides a secret – as a teenager she underwent a series of horrifying and emotionally crippling events, including a school shooting, that have continued to impact her well into her adult years. During the course of the novel, it is revealed Ani was gang raped when she was 14. She tried reaching out for help after the assault, but was subjected to cruel bullying and taunts by her peers, who did not believe her. As the story progresses Ani begins to question whether she is truly happy with who she has become, and if her current life is the one she wants and needs.
While writing the novel, Knoll drew upon her own experiences of being gang raped and bullied as a teenager.[5] Knoll did not initially make this public knowledge while promoting the book, at first telling fans she based the rape and aftermath on stories she had heard from others.[6] In March 2016, Knoll wrote an essay for the online feminist newsletter Lenny Letter, describing her experiences as a rape survivor.[6] She further stated that she came forward after interacting with several fellow rape survivors at book signings. She said:
It really killed me to see the looks on these women's faces when I would say, 'Oh no, you know, I just made it up,' and I just never wanted to see that look on anyone's face again".[7]
Knoll later stated in an interview that she "was so conditioned not to talk about it that it didn't even occur to [her] to be forthcoming".[5]
Critical reception has been positive. Luckiest Girl Alive has been compared to Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train.[1][8][9] The book received praise from Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, the latter of which wrote that "Recent newsworthy topics create a backdrop that can, at times, make the reader uncomfortable. Yet the visceral tension Knoll creates actually complements the reading experience."[10][11]
  1. ^ a b Cowles, Gregory (2015-05-22). "Inside the List". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  2. ^ Jessica Knoll (14 May 2015). Luckiest Girl Alive. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4472-8622-6.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave. "Lionsgate Sets Drama 'Luckiest Girl Alive' with Reese Witherspoon". Variety. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  4. ^ "Mila Kunis to Star in 'Luckiest Girl Alive' Film at Netflix". TheWrap. 2021-02-22. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  5. ^ a b Alter, Alexandra (2016-03-29). "Jessica Knoll Reveals the Rape Behind Her Novel, 'Luckiest Girl Alive'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  6. ^ a b Knoll, Jessica (2016-03-29). "What I Know". Lenny Letter. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  7. ^ Kim, Eun Kyung. "Author Jessica Knoll: My rape at 15 inspired 'Luckiest Girl Alive'". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  8. ^ "A Guide to Millennial Femininity". The Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  9. ^ "Book review: 'Luckiest Girl Alive'". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  10. ^ Busis, Hillary (2015-04-30). "Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  11. ^ Cadden, Mary (2015-07-16). "Thrilling 'Luckiest Girl' asks: Is she?". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
Last edited on 2 July 2021, at 02:56
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