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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

The Favorite Sister (edition 2019)

by Jessica Knoll (Author)

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2012692,348 (3.06)3
"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)
Title:The Favorite Sister
Authors:Jessica Knoll (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2019), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll


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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
If you like Desperate Housewives or Real Housewives of wherever, you'll love this. I wasn't that into the "show" part of it since I've never been into either of those shows but I loved the thriller/whodunit aspect. I never really figured out how Brett died until it was actually revealed. I guessed the killer a couple of times but Jessica Knoll does an awesome job of keeping you second guessing and making you change your mind. What I really enjoyed though, is reading the Q and A's with Jessica at the end. This book is so much more than it seems.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  vickimarie2002 | Feb 19, 2020 |
3.5 stars.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll is a drama-filled mystery about the mysterious death of a cast member from a popular reality show.

Brett Courtney is the youngest member of a reality show which features women who have successfully built businesses on their own. With the latest season about to begin filming, the hunt is on for a new cast member, and against all odds, Brett's older sister, Kelly, is chosen along with a guest spot for Kelly's twelve year daughter, Layla. Rounding out the stars for the upcoming season are Lauren Bunn and two other original cast members health guru Jen Greenberg and novelist Stephanie Simmons. Stephanie and Brett are close friends but they have been on the outs since the previous season of the show ended. Jen and Lauren are close friends who team up with Stephanie against Brett as plans are finalized for upcoming taping. Brett is not exactly thrilled Kelly is joining the show since they have never quite managed to escape the rivalry that has marred their relationship since childhood. Kelly is seriously unprepared for the amount of backstabbing and nastiness that are hallmarks of the successful show, Goal Diggers.

The novel opens with Kelly's interview with the show's creator, Jesse Barnes. Kelly is discussing the events that occurred during filming the previous season. Jesse and Kelly are putting their spin on the stunning murder of one of the cast members. The chapters then alternate between Brett and Stephanie's perspectives as the current season of Goal Diggers is seen during flashbacks.

None of the women are particularly likable and there is plenty of cattiness and outright attempts to sabotage one another as filming begins. Brett is incredibly philanthropic minded and she is excited that her efforts to help disadvantaged young girls in Morocco are about to pay off. Kelly works with her sister and Layla has successfully launched a social media campaign to sell the villagers' wares. Kelly and Brett's relationship is competitive and they often settle their differences with physical fights that began during the childhood.

Stephanie is the oldest of the women and her newest novel is a memoir which details a harrowing ordeal that occurred when she was a teenager. The book has been optioned for a movie and she is hoping talks with a big name producer will jumpstart production of the film adaptation. Stephanie and Brett have not spoken to each other since the previous season of Goal Diggers ended and she has garnered the support of Jen and Lauren to scuttle Brett's plans. Stephanie's marriage to her unemployed actor husband Vince is also in trouble and as she continues with her book tour and filming the upcoming season of Goal Diggers, their future together is in jeopardy.

Jen and Brett do not get along at all since they are on opposite sides of health issues. Brett is overweight and advocates for women to be comfortable with their weight as long as they are healthy. Jen is super skinny and she believes women should monitor their diets, watch their weight and exercise to ensure good health.

Lauren's claim to fame is an innovative dating app and as Jen's friend, her loyalty lies with her. Lauren is the "fun" one on the show and excessive drinking feature heavily into her escapades. She is considered to be the expendable one so she is easy to convince to join in with the other women's schemes.

The Favorite Sister is well-written but the novel is incredibly slow-paced. The characters are unsympathetic, manipulative and downright nasty. They quickly seize the opportunity to betray each other and expose one another's secrets in order to grab ratings and secure their positions on the show. The slow parceling of information is a bit frustrating since Jessica Knoll saves the majority of the plot twists for the novel's surprise ending. Fans of reality television will most likely enjoy this intriguing mystery. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
DNF at 15%

We have choices as women, and there is no right one to make—especially because no matter what you decide, the world will tell you you’re doing it wrong. But when you make the choice to become a mother, it becomes the choice that defines you, fair or not.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

I really wanted to like this one, but I could not get behind the characters and their story. There was a lot of subtle body-shaming disguised as praise for women with tiny waists and big breasts. These women were supposed to be part of a show about supporting each other and being successful in a world of men; however, they just use each other and look for ways eliminate their competition. I really liked the concept of sisterhood and feminism, but that isn't what we see.

These women are catty, underhanded and cruel people that take advantage of others to benefit themselves. One person even uses her twelve-year-old daughter as a pawn to make herself more desirable. Another woman referred to a mother as "udders," because being a parent isn't good for business. It was appalling what these women would do, and I didn't want to continue reading about them. I felt like this book had the potential to be so much more than it was.

I was also a little confused about who was what, when, where and why. The timelines were a little skewed and I occasionally forgot where I was supposed to be. The wording was weird, too.

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on May 31, 2018.
( )
  doyoudogear | Oct 10, 2019 |
I have to admit I am not a fan of reality drama shows at all. This novel is centered around the people involved in a reality show but thankfully it also details their lives "off stage" and demonstrates the complex personalities and relationships between them.
The focus is on Brett and Kelly; two sisters who are involved in the show but little do the other participants know that there is a dark secret one sister is harboring. The beauty of this book and the writing is how we slowly learn the stories of the other characters.
As I mentioned, I was not keen on the subject matter but the book kept my interest due to the development of the plot and characters. ( )
  Veronica.Sparrow | Apr 30, 2019 |
The Favorite Sister is a great tongue in cheek read about a rather complex reality TV group of women. I enjoyed the take, with a focus on independent women building their own empires as well as the diverse cast of characters. I was disappointed that a death was revealed early on. I think it would have been more shocking had the author decided to reveal this detail at the end. This piece fell a bit flat for me, but overall I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. ( )
  kelseymorgan88 | Apr 25, 2019 |
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