Overview: The second novel by Jessica Knoll— author of Luckiest Girl Alive, a NYT bestseller, the bestselling debut novel of 2015, and one of my all-time favorite fiction books. Summary courtesy of the book sleeve:
“Brett is dead and Kelly is not innocent.”
When two fiercely competitive sisters are cast on a reality TV series (called Goal Diggers), one will benefit immensely; the other won’t live through taping…
The Favorite Sister follows five singular women, all with one thing in common: unbridled ambition in a world that forces women to make shrewd calculations for professional & personal gains.
Novel Thoughts: Have you ever been super excited for a book to come out because the author’s last book was marvelous & the new storyline sounds great… only to be completely and utterly let down?
That is the only way I can describe my feelings after finishing The Favorite Sister.
Given my affinity for Jessica Knoll’s first novel, I wanted to & really tried to like it—which I think is the only reason I even finished it. Though the beginning starts off promising, we get introduced to so many characters, each one more shallow and vain than the next, that its hard to keep them all straight. There’s so many events of the rising action that keep you expecting it to get better, and then about three quarters of the way through you realize it hasn’t and you predict the remainder of the storyline.
There was a ton of hype for the book release, which only added to my disappointment. I felt severely misled, and I’d like to make a couple of discrepancies known.
The Favorite Sister:
…is not a thriller.
…is about as suspenseful as a Taylor Swift song.
…is barely about Kelly, the “favorite sister,” as the title suggests.
…has absolutely no relation--literal or metaphorical--to the pink umbrella on the cover whatsoever. It rains literally one time in the entire book.
…is not about five ambitious women: it’s about five severely narcissistic women.
…will make you despise reality TV. As my Bravo-loving roommate once wisely said, “You don’t want to see what’s behind the curtain.” I have no idea if the book accurately depicts the duplicity and scheming that goes on behind-the-scenes, but I imagine it’s not all that far off.
…they’re all liars. Every last one of them.
…and two of them have the last name of Courtney. That’s not a last name, it’s is a first name… MY FIRST NAME!!! (I’m kidding) (But am I really?)
Recommendation: The cover, summary, and reviews of this book were as fabricated as the storylines the reality stars invented. Rather than give a bad recommendation, I recommend this book to anyone who finds this TRUE summary compelling:
No one is who she says she is.
A story behind-the-scenes of the reality show “Goal Diggers,” five middle-aged women (all surprisingly immature, given their age) continually betray one another while each faces their own battle with severe NPD.
You will come to despise all of the main characters…and then, you will come to learn that each of them lied about their entire identity, making your hatred explode. The cast consists of one “lesbian,” one “vegan,” one “victim of abuse,” and one alcoholic (no quotes because at least that much is true). The most honest character is a self-righteous single mother, and probably the most unlikable character of them all.
The juiciest drama goes on after the cameras are turned off. Though not every character ends up dead, by the end, we promise you’ll wish that all were!
One Last Thing: I will say… I can blame no one but myself for falling for the branding tricks the publisher used: I totally bought into this fake news-of-a-novel. It just goes to show that all you really need to make a bestseller is 300 pages of writing, an eye-catching cover, and a six figure marketing budget.
..BRB going to work on my future bestseller!
In my reviews I aim to be unbiased & steer clear of major spoiler-alerts (no promises though!)