The Favorite Sister – Jessica Knoll
Release Date: May 2018
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
Synopsis: When five hyper-successful 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 twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.
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 which requires her to protect their shocking secret.
Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working 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.
Review: Like a lot of people, I had a hard time starting The Favorite Sister. There are a lot of characters thrown at you and you’re kind up dumped in the middle of a situation in two different time periods, so you really have to have your wits about you. I kept mixing the women of Goal Diggers up–which one was the holistic hippy chick again? Who was sleeping with whose husband? I think if this had had a stronger beginning, I would have enjoyed it more.
I also wasn’t completely sold on Goal Diggers, the reality TV show all of these ladies (I don’t even know if that’s the right descriptor for these women!) are on. I sadly can’t imagine a platform that aims to lift women up being a popular reality show… though I guess there was enough drama on the show to kind of skirt that point, maybe? I don’t know. It just felt weird to me.
Even so, Knoll’s writing is fantastic. She’s witty but without trying. She’s great at character building and bringing these bitchy women to life, so much so that it can be exhausting. With all of the backstabbing and underhandedness, you almost feel like you’re binge-watching a marathon of Real Housewives or some such.
I really liked Knoll’s first book, Luckiest Girl Alive and was hoping for more of the same dark, twisty writing. I wasn’t disappointed, but at the same time, The Favorite Sister was a different monster. I look forward to seeing what Knoll comes out with next.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.