Greetings from the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee! This is the second trip I’ve taken this month (which is insane for me, I’m such a homebody). The first trip was to Vegas with my husband for some R&R (kinda). The second is to Gatlinburg with the whole fam.
And can I tell you…Gatlinburg is the Vegas for kids. Seriously. There are candy stores on every corner (just like Beer stores in Vegas), arcades, restaurants, Ripley’s Believe it or Not whatever you can think of, mini-golf galore. It’s insane. And while there are a fair amount of much-needed distilleries and wineries, they seem out of reach when you are walking down the parkways wrangling a gaggle of over-sugared children.
But we are making memories. And the kids are having a ball. And mommy needs a nap on the regular. That may not be happening anytime soon, but I thought I’d check in and post a review of my latest read, The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll.
From the Publisher:
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.
While I really liked Knoll’s first book, Luckiest Girl Alive, I had a really hard time getting into The Favorite Sister, her latest work. But you know how sometimes you say, it’s not you, it’s me? I seriously think this book is a case of that.
The book opens in the future, with flashbacks to the start of the latest season of Gold Diggers, a reality show about successful, independent (and childless) women who are making a name for themselves. So the premise is fun. And there are so many characters that are doing things and gossiping and all that, which I think a fan of the Kardashians or Real Housewives would love.
It’s seriously a back-stage, insiders look into that type of show. The reason I think it’s me and not the book is that I’ve never really been into those shows. Now, I’m not trying to appear snobby or high and mighty, because while I may not watch those shows, I’ve had quite a run watching all of Bachelor Nation make fools of themselves on and off the cameras. But that particular breed of reality show is not my cup of tea.
For me, all the characters and details and gossip was all a bit confusing for me and the plot was slower than I’d hoped. I also felt like the whole “mystery” of the book was downplayed in favor of the behind the scenes reality show stuff. That was were I found the emphasis.
So without giving too much away, my recommendation is if you love gossipy, character dense novels with lots of fun and salacious details, pick this one up. Knoll is a former editor at Cosmopolitan, so she does that stuff very well. In retrospect, this one is a great beach read–out May 15.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for an advanced e-galley of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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