I was a fan of Jessica Knoll’s first novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, so I was excited to read The Favorite Sister, her second. This one taps into the nation’s obsession with the Real Housewives franchise (guilty). Here, the women on the show aren’t housewives, they’re boss bitches. The concept of Goal Diggers is that women can be young, wealthy, and successful without a man’s help. But is it really as empowering as it seems? Behind the scenes, these intelligent and modern women are still backstabbing each other and starving themselves. From the beginning, we know the latest season has ended with Brett’s death – her sister and new cast member, Kelly, is sharing her grief in tv interviews now. But then we back up to pre-production and filming to understand how the hatred between Brett and another castmate reached its boiling point.
Though the full plot of Luckiest Girl Alive seems filled with drama and almost unlikely, it was born out of Knoll’s own experience with sexual assault. Having lived it, the thoughts of the protagonist felt utterly real, even when the actions may have been fictional. That really resonated with readers. This novel may not have come from the author’s own life, but she did pick from very real things that have happened in reality tv. If you are a fan of the Housewives, you’ll recognize plenty of moments. As tensions between these catty women come to a head, the pace made my heart beat a bit faster. My only qualm is that it rushed to an ending but then even the present day/recap bit felt rushed. I would have liked a bit more insight from Kelly into their relationship – the idea of a sisterly relationship is in the title, after all.
4 out of 5 stars.