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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
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The Favorite Sister (edition 2018)

by Jessica Knoll (Author)

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16316106,446 (3.15)3
Member:SheTreadsSoftly
Title:The Favorite Sister
Authors:Jessica Knoll (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2018), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
While I enjoyed this book (both the audio version and e-book), I was left slightly disappointed and longing for something more like Luckiest Girl Alive. If you are expecting another edge of your seat story, this really isn't it. However, the characters were all interesting and had their own reasons for you to like or dislike them. I felt myself being drawn to certain characters and then immediately repulsed by something they said or did. And isn't that just like life and female relationships? One day you have one best friend, and the next, its someone else. Women can be fickle, their loyalties constantly changing. And you see that a lot in Reality TV, the setting of this story. In the end, do the women feel content with the truth the way it plays out on TV because of their longing for fame and fans, or do the actions that play out on TV become the truth, despite what we know really goes on behind the scenes? ( )
  erthom02 | Nov 20, 2018 |
I lovvved The Luckiest Girl Alive and could not wait to read The Favorite Sister. This novel is a bit different than Knoll's debut, but still focuses on complex women having moments of being likable and unlikable aka acting like an actual person with good qualities and faults. It is a psychological thriller and falls into the unreliable narrator because the characters are millennial women who are on a reality tv show that is suppose to show empowered women being awesome, but succumbs to typical reality tv drama with fights and makeups. We know Brett is killed at the beginning of the novel and the rest of the book is leading up to what is thought of to have happened, how its being explained on the show, and what actually happened. I could of done without the final twist, it felt unnecessary. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Oct 4, 2018 |
I didn't really like this book, which is disappointing because I loved the first book by this author. The story jumped between too many characters right off, so it was hard to follow at first and I lost interest in the characters. ( )
  ChrisWay | Sep 2, 2018 |
I loved Jessica Knoll's Luckiest Girl Alive and was very anxious to get my hands on The Favorite Sister. Unfortunately this book was not for me. The premise of the story is interesting; A reality show focused on powerful business woman and the behind the blurred lines between reality and reality TV drama. Within the first two chapters a never ending stream of characters are introduced. While the author did a great job writing the book in the same fast paced, hip verbiage of a new-age socialite and can be challenging to follow. It took me far longer than usual to complete this book and I was not thrilled with its predictable ending.
I look forward to future works from Jessica Knoll but saddly I will not be recommending this book to my friends ( )
  cgrizwold | Aug 21, 2018 |
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me an eARC of this book!

As you’ve seen on my various “Not Just Books” lists on this blog, I do have a soft spot for a couple reality TV shows. I tell myself that my enjoyment of “ANTM” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is rooted within the inherent creativity that is at the heart of the premises; be it fashion modeling and the skills that go into it or the many facets of doing drag as performance and style, I love seeing these contestants do what I know I never could. But I’ll also be honest here: I do enjoy the petty catfights and drama that almost always arises when you put these people into high stress situations. So “The Favorite Sister” by Jessica Knoll was SUPER intriguing to me within it’s premise. I quite enjoyed her previous book “Luckiest Girl Alive” because of the issues that she tackled under guise of soapy snideness, so I had hopes that her next story would do the same. Along with juicy, sudsy characters tearing each other to shreds, of course.

So the good news is that this is a book that has a plot and mystery that will completely suck you in and not let you go until it’s good and ready to. I was reading this book on one of our late Spring snow storm days and it was the best way to pass the time because it kept me interested and wanting more. The plot concerns a reality show called “Goal Diggers” and the women who make up the cast of the show and all the problems that they have as they strive to maintain their status and fame. Mostly, it details the lead up to and fallout from the murder of the fan favorite Brett, a spinning studio owner who is proud of her curvy body and is an out and proud lesbian. It’s told between three perspectives and jumping through time: there’s Brett’s perspective, of course, but then there are also the perspectives of Kelly, Brett’s sister (mainly told after the fact), and Stephanie, Brett’s former best friend. They all have their own levels of unreliability, as they all have reasons to lie and distort the facts, and as the story slowly came out the rug got pulled out from under me a number of times. Knoll continues to be adept at creating twists and turns that you don’t see coming, even as she intricately lays the groundwork for them so they feel natural and believable. There were a number of moments where I said ‘whoa’ as a new surprise was sprung, and I definitely felt the need to keep reading to see what was going to happen next.

But ultimately, I think that the biggest drawback of “The Favorite Sister” is that all of the characters are completely reprehensible, and so unlikable that I didn’t find myself connecting to really any of them. While I had a fun time reading about how they were all behaving badly, and how they would all justify their behavior in ways that were totally laughable, I ultimately found myself hating almost all of them. The sole exception to this was Layla, Kelly’s twelve year old daughter, but you don’t get much sense of her outside of being a kind and creative (and driven) kid. I appreciate what Knoll was trying to convey, that even within a show that is supposed to be about lifting women up and encouraging them to think outside of what society wants them to be, they are still going to be judged by each other and by themselves because society is so damn ingrained in them. I get that. I appreciate that. It’s not a bad take at all. But when none of them really move beyond being laughably shallow (Lauren), ridiculously cruel (Jen), horrendously deluded by self grandeur (Brett), or just kind of there (Kelly), who do you root for? I had hoped that I could root for Stephanie, as she is probably the one who comes closest to having complexity. She is the only black woman on the show, she’s edging near the age where cast members generally get the ax, and she’s trying to prove herself beyond being a token and model minority. But ultimately she too was just terrible, and the various things that she was going through never QUITE justified the awful shit that she pulled. This was unfortunate because this derailed the commentary that I think that Knoll was trying to achieve. And it’s not like Knoll doesn’t know how to write unlikable characters who have depth and complexity; Ani in “Luckiest Girl Alive” is INCREDIBLY unlikable, but as you learn more about her past and her experiences you understand why she is the way she is. Stephanie, and the other characters, get some glimpses, but you never get the feeling that their behavior is justified with the limited exposure we do get.

I think that if what you’re looking for is purely guilty pleasure mean girl drama, “The Favorite Sister” will probably scratch that itch and give you everything you need. On a purely entertainment, watching bad people get what they deserve level it was very satisfying. But don’t go in expecting to have characters that you can relate to and root for, because you will not find that here. ( )
  thelibraryladies | Aug 20, 2018 |
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"When five hypersuccessful 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 27, the meteoric success of her spin studio, and her 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 that requires her to protect their shocking secret. Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful best-selling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, nonworking 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. Lauren, the start-up world's darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers' recovery narrative, everyone loves a comeback story. And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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