When Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll was been tipped as the must-read book of 2015, it went immediately onto our reading list. Yes, it’s taken us a little while to get round to it, but hey, we read a lot! Anyway, the novel entered the UK market in July last year with a position in the Top 10 New York Times Betseller list already under its belt, along with comparisons to previous blockbuster hits in the contemporary fiction world, including Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.
It’s no plot spoiler to suggest the protagonist is perhaps not quite as lucky as the title portrays, from the poisonous sting of yellow font on the front cover overlaying a deadly black rose, to the first sentence “I inspected the knife in my hand.” Not the subtlest of introductions but the subsequent pages turn effortlessly as this latest popular thriller unfolds.
With Reese Witherspoon snapping up the rights to a film adaptation in the US, and media outlets across both sides of the Atlantic rushing to leave rave reviews, the book has also gone on to perform sensationally here in the UK since its release, buoyed by traditional marketing techniques enhanced by social media.
Central to this has been Jessica Knoll, of whom it could be said has taken on a character herself in support of promoting her first fictional work. A former senior editor at Cosmopolitan in the US and currently an editor at SELF, Knoll has played a critical role in the story behind the story, with comparisons being made between herself and her fictional anti-heroine.
Supported by a clever influencer strategy helping to maintain in excess of 2 million impressions of the hashtag, #LuckiestGirlAlive on Twitter in only one week, the social buzz was peppered with cross platform author Q&As, interviews and competitions, including a $1,000 prize draw, covering everything from the contents on the page to Knoll’s career path.
Whether interested in Jessica’s steps to stardom, or fictional TifAni’s road to redemption, Luckiest Girl Alive is definitely worth a read for fans of crime fiction. We’d like to see the next smash hit focus on a more positive female role model. Drunk, damaged or dangerous has been the topic of debate around the female dialogues in the latest genre success stories including the aforementioned Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. While the tortured hero is not a new character concept for men either, it would be nice to see an inspiring female lead take the spotlight, we’re confident ‘good’ girls can be interesting too.