By Julie Carlson
Luckiest Girl Alive
By Jessica Knoll
Jessica Knoll’s debut novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, is making waves in Hollywood. Reese Witherspoon and the Lionsgate producers behind the Gone Girl movie have already optioned film rights to this best-selling novel. Novels like Luckiest Girl Alive are difficult to review because you don’t want to spoil things and give too much away. After a shocking and humiliating incident as a teen at a prestigious school, protagonist Ani FaNelli reinvents herself in New York City. From the moment you’re introduced to Ani, you know something is off kilter, with her weird quirks, highbrow attitude, desire for luxury and wealth, and even her job as a magazine writer. Knoll does a stellar job of keeping the reader guessing who Ani really is behind the carefully crafted façade. All you need to know about Luckiest Girl Alive is that it’s a must-read! Dive in without any preconceived notions––you won’t be disappointed.
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel
By Melissa de la Cruz
Are you a fan of fairy tales? Disney characters? The ABC TV show Once Upon A Time? If you checked any or all of the above, then The Isle of the Lost should be on your to-read list. This fantasy story is geared toward the Disney set. The Isle of the Lost is a prequel to the upcoming Disney Channel movie Descendants. Best known for her Witches of East End novels and its Lifetime TV series, Melissa de la Cruz hits another home run with this book. It’s about the teenage children of Disney’s most famous villains: Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar, and the Evil Queen. Told from alternating viewpoints, the main story centers on Mal, the surly and deadly daughter of Maleficent. Despite being considered young adult (YA), a genre for older teens, the novel has a middle-grade level feel in certain parts. This is especially true when it comes to the dialogue.
By Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything by debut author Nicola Yoon is a heartfelt story about a young girl named Madeline who has SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome), which means she’s allergic to everything. For 17 years, Madeline has not once stepped outside her airtight controlled home. Then a teenage boy, Olly, moves in next door. The romance in the novel plays out in a believable manner and provides a nice respite to many of the darker novels popular today. Madeline’s tender and moving voice shines through in Yoon’s beautiful narrative, and readers who pick up this novel will commiserate with Olly and hope for his happiness after reading about the abuse he suffers at the hands of his father. One of the most engaging aspects about Everything, Everything are the many things Madeline experiences for the first time and experiencing them along with her.
3 MORE BOOKS TO TRY
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny
By Holly Madison
Hugh Hefner’s former number-one girlfriend and star of The Girls Next Door offers a glimpse behind the walls of the legendary Playboy Mansion in this candid memoir.
The Wright Brothers
By David McCullough
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough takes readers to the days of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the courageous brothers who introduced the world to flight, in a dramatic historical tale.
Primates of Park Avenue
By Wednesday Martin
In this witty memoir, Wednesday Martin unveils the social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers and cleverly details her antics as she tries to fit in to this secretive and elite group of well-coiffed women.
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