As we move into December, the rush for holiday gifts is here and will only build over the new few weeks. I may be a bit biased (I definitely am…), but I always think that a good book can be the perfect gift. The trouble is finding the right book for each person. Not to worry though, I have a few recommendations!
For the mystery lover: The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – this a quick, engaging read with an interesting look into the life of a woman living a lie.
For the sports fanatic or history buff: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown – an excellent read, this book focuses on the crew team from the University of Washington that rowed in front of Hitler and won gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics against all odds.
For fans of historical fiction and/or romance: Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams – filled with great characters and surprising plot twists, this story set in the 1960’s is one of my favorites from this year!
For YA adult readers: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – An imaginative and illustrative read, this story is filled with quirky and fun characters including a set of very competitive twins.
For everyone: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – This is an excellent book centered around two woman in France during World War II and how they each deal with the Nazi occupation. It’s a very powerful book that I think everyone should read.
Happy holidays and may the season be filled with books!
For a gripping page-turner, choose Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. This is one of the first books I think of when I’m asked for a reading recommendation this summer. The sharp humor and twisting plotline kept me so engaged that I didn’t realize the story was over when I had turned onto the last page. The Luckiest Girl Alive is the story of Ani, a woman living the perfect life in New York City, with the fiancé of her dreams and an editor’s position at a fancy woman’s magazine. If you think that this sounds too good to be true, then you would be correct. Ani has spent her entire life trying to fit into a mold of perfection while simultaneously despising the people who she so desperately wants to fit in with.
From childhood flashbacks, we learn that Ani’s life of cunning ambition has been fueled by horrifyingly traumatic experiences at her expensive prep school full of bullies and hormones. Knoll does a fantastic job of illustrating the inner turmoil and pressures that Ani, and so many other women, feel to “have it all” while simultaneously appearing effortless.
Luckiest Girl Alive has the dark and twisted feel of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn combined with the dramatic school moments of Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight and popular TV series, Gossip Girl. Through Ani’s tough exterior and go get ‘em attitude, Knoll has created a character that was just trying to fit in all along.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants an exciting and unpredictable mystery about a desperate woman living a lie.