Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review: The Favorite Sister

Author: Jessica Knoll
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

From Jessica Knoll—author of Luckiest Girl Alive, the instant New York Times bestseller and the bestselling debut novel of 2015—comes a blisteringly paced thriller starring two sisters who join the cast of a reality TV series. One won’t make it out alive. So…who did it?

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her castmates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.

This is not your typical thriller, but we all know this is how Jessica Knoll writes! I was completely intrigued and drawn in from the first page. The novel is written around a reality TV series and just like all the reality TV shows we know and love today, the characters are cutthroat, completely manipulative, and compulsive liars.

The story involves five wealthy women in New York City who are all featured in the hit reality television show called Goal Diggers. Goal Diggers is a show that strives to show millennial women successfully undertaking careers, while pushing gender norms aside. This cast is uninterested in having children and being stay-at-home mothers; they'd rather break the Forbes 100 list.

From the start of the novel, readers know that there has been a murder and they know that Kelly Courtney, the sister of the victim, is somehow involved. This is found out in the opening pages of the novel and the action ensues from there. All the women on the show each have secrets and amazing back stories just like you would expect. It felt like I was watching some of my favorite shows – Desperate Housewives, Big Little Lies, you name it!

This book is highly suspenseful but don’t expect it to be fast-paced. It is a slow burn, but Knoll drops some of the best twists along the way. Her writing is very subtle. I found myself reading a passage, going back and re-reading it, and then thinking, “wait, did that just say what I think it just said?”

Knoll writes characters that you will hate, but you are supposed to hate. They are awful and, I thought, exceptionally fleshed out. This book is just how I imagine the behind the scenes work on any modern reality show.

“It is a dangerous thing to conflate feminism with liking all women. It limits women to being one thing, likable, when feminism is about allowing women to be all shades of all things, even if that thing is a snake oil saleswoman.” 

“This is how society keeps us out of the C-suite—it booby-traps the way to the top with self-loathing, then reroutes us on a never-ending path of self-improvement.” 

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review***

No comments:

Post a Comment