ARC Book Review: The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
ashley | Confession: I’ve been meaning to read Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll for so long, it glares at me from my to-read pile every time I go to pick out another book. But I just haven’t picked it up. Then Simon and Schuster Canada sent me an ARC of Knoll’s new book, The Favorite Sister, and I figured, well, I’ll just start there.
Another confession: I’m not a huge fan of reality TV. In fact, I typically avoid the genre like the plague. But I was strangely drawn to the weird competitiveness that’s spawned by such a setting in this book. As much as the manipulative drama drove me crazy, it also drew me in. This gave an insight into the finely orchestrated “reality” that I imagine you see in shows like this, highlighting who pulls the strings, how alliances are formed and how far people will go to not get kicked out of the spotlight.
I was hard pressed to find a character that didn’t make my skin crawl on one level or another, I can’t say I really related to any of them or saw myself in any of them, but at the same time, it was such a mixture of cliché women that it was hard not to see certain familiar things in all of them.
The story wove back and forth circling around a murder which is mentioned at the very beginning, and then a few times throughout, but not nearly enough to make it seem like the priority in the story. The priority is looking on the time in question and seeing what these girls did to each other, following the torrid path that lead to the demise of one of them.
My interest and enjoyment of this book fluctuated throughout. Sometimes the drama drew me in and I couldn’t believe the way these women were behaving, other times they seemed so over the top that it hardly seemed believable and I was reminded that this was a book and that reality television is anything but real.
But the twisted ending and the surprises along the way made it worth sticking with for the read and Knoll shows that she’s able to weave a complicated story with a lot of different moving parts without leaving any gaping holes or eye rolls. I definitely want to go back now and read Luckiest Girl Alive, or maybe I’ll just wait and see what she has store for us next.
may 15, 2018