I spent quite a bit of time on Bethenny’s Frankel’s Instagram this morning looking for something that it seems I imagined that I saw. I seem to be losing brain cells by the hour, these days. Here’s the story, as I thought it happened. In my memory, I saw a photo on Bethenny’s Instagram of her sitting next to a table with perhaps a plant and a book called Luckiest Girl Alive. I’m always interested in what others are reading and was interested to know what sorts of books Bethenny reads. So I went to Amazon and the reviews said the book was kind of a cross between Gone, Girl and Sex In the City. That sounded good to me so I bought it and then remembered that I wanted to read The Girl on the Train. So I did. I read The Girl on the Train first because of the movie publicity and because people kept bringing it up here and I was terrified that someone here was going to spoil the book for me. I liked The Girl on the Train, I don’t see all the hype about it, but it was good.
It is important to know that when I began reading Luckiest Girl Alive I believed that I was reading a book that Bethenny liked. Whether or not that is actually true is a bit fuzzy at the moment. From the very beginning of the book, I thought that this was a book that she could have written. The protagonist is mean, anorexic and extremely materialistic. I hated the author’s writing style, it’s overly descriptive, she uses metaphors on virtually every page, and she repeats them throughout the book. She doesn’t go through a door, she goes through the mouth of the building. Later on it’s the windows that she simply refers to as eyes. Every little noun comes with four to six unnecessary adjectives. The protagonist explains basic etiquette as if it is some sort of inside knowledge. Every designer ensemble is chronicled in excruciating detail. The author is just trying to hard and it’s exhausting.
I always buy the hardback.Unlike a certain Atlanta housewife, I actually do have a library in my house with actual shelves that were overfilled months ago. When I move, I pay a lot of money to move all of these books, most of which have not been opened in years from the old place to the new place. I paid almost $20 for the book, so I felt compelled to read the damn thing. I knew that the gist of the story was that the protagonist, TifAni, had a traumatic experience in high school. She went to a private high school that her family couldn’t really afford because her mother was pushing her to get into the upper class of Manhattan and land a rich man. When the story opens she is engaged to such a person. It has all worked out for her. I expected the book to be a lot of materialistic, skinny white bitch stories like you might read in a summer issue of Cosmopolitan. Not surprisingly, the author works for Cosmo and it’s obvious in every chapter. But hey! I wasn’t trying to buy Shakespeare. I love a some chick lit on the beach. This could be a great diversion, if only I didn’t hate TifAni.
But it is far from a light and breezy story. There are topics that I choose not to read about. Triggers as the shrinks like to call them. I did not expect to find those topics brought to the forefront of this story. Nor did I expect there to be a lot of graphic violence. But there was. I just wanted to finish the book. Let the bitch have her happily after wedding in NYC and live in her stupid fancy apartment. Again, I was thinking about Bethenny the whole time. TifAni is getting married for all the wrong reasons. She is doing everything she does in her life because that is what she has been told success is. Be blond. Be skinny. Put on an act. Marry the richest man you can reel in. Have a baby. Make sure your engagement ring is bigger than everyone else’s. Spend all your money on appearances. Get noticed. She even does a documentary on her life. It’s Bethenny. The more I read about TifAni, the more I disliked Bethenny.
I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but I will say it is quite the page turner.It doesn’t take to long to find out how TifAni turned into the person she is. Despite the “trying to hard” writing, and the unlikable protagonist, the horrible, disturbing plot line. I could not stop reading it. I thought it ended without giving us a lot of resolution. What finally happened in the end wasn’t really described much at all. It just sort of ends. That was disappointing. Unlike The Girl On The Train, there is only one point of view throughout the book.
So it’s not an uplifting book. It’s not particularly well written. I could take you to places you would rather not go emotionally. But I kind of recommend it in spite of all of that. The characters stay with you a while after you’ve read it. You know how when you write a letter of recommendation for someone and say ” I highly recommend this person without reservation?” Well, I recommend Luckiest Girl Alive with lots of reservations.
Next up on my reading stack is The Couple Next Door. All I know about it is that it is a suspense novel and that a crime occurs in a neighborhood and everyone is a suspect. I’m not sure when I will have time to read it, but I’ll let you know.
I also ran across one of my favorite books that I used to give to high school graduates and college graduates back when I did things like that. Dr. Suess’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go. This YouTube was on TMZ today as part of a lawsuit because someone used the book and illustrations to make a parody. This video is not part of the lawsuit, this is just an assignment for some graphic artist type class. Not sure how they got John Lithgow to narrator their final project, but they did. I thought we could all benefit from someone reading us a story. Enjoy!
Now what are you reading? What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Enjoy the open forum. Please do not spoil TV shows, books or movies in your comments. Thanks!