The Favorite Sister
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.

The Favorite Sister Details

TitleThe Favorite Sister
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 15th, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN-139781501153198
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

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The Favorite Sister Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Sadly, I have tried reading this book on two separate occasions now, and during this second attempt have only managed to make it a measly 10% in over a period of almost one week. One of my goals this year was not to push through books I'm not enjoying (as it never seems to result in a productive review for the author or publisher), so I'd rather stop here and state that it just wasn't for me. I would, however, encourage you to check out the positive reviews on Goodreads, as these readers have hi Sadly, I have tried reading this book on two separate occasions now, and during this second attempt have only managed to make it a measly 10% in over a period of almost one week. One of my goals this year was not to push through books I'm not enjoying (as it never seems to result in a productive review for the author or publisher), so I'd rather stop here and state that it just wasn't for me. I would, however, encourage you to check out the positive reviews on Goodreads, as these readers have highlighted aspects that you may find interesting and will help you decide if this book is right for YOU. I wish the author, publisher, and all those promoting the book much success and connections with the right readers. <3*Review copy furnished via NetGalley. Buddy Read with Irina <3
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  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    This is an entertaining and suspenseful novel. The story revolves around five successful women that star in a reality TV show that showcases their businesses and lives. It is revealed in the first chapters that one of the stars, Brett, has been murdered and the novel describes the events leading up to that point. The story is told in different points of view and alternates between the present and the past. The dynamic between the characters reminded me of the women in the Housewives reality TV s This is an entertaining and suspenseful novel. The story revolves around five successful women that star in a reality TV show that showcases their businesses and lives. It is revealed in the first chapters that one of the stars, Brett, has been murdered and the novel describes the events leading up to that point. The story is told in different points of view and alternates between the present and the past. The dynamic between the characters reminded me of the women in the Housewives reality TV shows, I generally don't watch them but still enjoyed this novel very much. If you're a fan of the Housewives series then you will likely enjoy this novel. I had a bumpy ride at the beginning when I was introduced to many characters all at once and felt confused about the story but around 20% I had a good grip of the people and was able to follow it easily. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction and thrillers/mysteries. ARC Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.FINAL NOTE: I did a Buddy Read with Crumb and we posted our thoughts on this thread. (spoilers are hidden)
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  • Crumb
    January 1, 1970
    Wicked and deliciously scandalousI am the first to admit that I love to read and watch books and shows that contain catty drama, gossip, and backstabbing. This one did not disappoint. This book was in the same vein as the Real Housewives franchise (Carol and I did a buddy read together, and she made this astute observation). I couldn't agree with her more.This book was about a reality show called, "The Goal Diggers." The show's aim was to showcase high-powered women carving out a name for themse Wicked and deliciously scandalousI am the first to admit that I love to read and watch books and shows that contain catty drama, gossip, and backstabbing. This one did not disappoint. This book was in the same vein as the Real Housewives franchise (Carol and I did a buddy read together, and she made this astute observation). I couldn't agree with her more.This book was about a reality show called, "The Goal Diggers." The show's aim was to showcase high-powered women carving out a name for themselves in the male-dominated world of business. The book follows two of the show's characters, Brett and Stephanie. There are many other characters in the book, other women in the reality show, however it is mainly Brett and Stephanie's story.In the beginning of this book, I really didn't like it at all. There were too many characters being introduced and I had no idea what was going on. In addition, the plot didn't really takeoff until the halfway point. However, once it did, there was twists and turns and drama, galore! Also, I felt more comfortable with all of the different characters, too. Eventually, I had a firm grasp on who all the major players were in the story.I did not like this book as much as Jessica Knoll's debut novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, but I enjoyed it, nevertheless. Knoll's sophomore book, had the same caustic humor and sarcastic bite that Knoll executed effortlessly in her debut. I could definitely hear her voice within the pages; trademark of an established and impressive author.Carol and I read this together, as a buddy read. If you would like to view our thoughts and comments, please Click here Please note that we marked all spoilers.Thank you to the publishers and Jessica Knoll for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    There are definitely things that I enjoyed in Jessica Knoll’s second novel, “The Favorite Sister”.... but my interest was not only in the plot: the mystery murder itself...as to what happened to Brett.....who murdered her and why? I was interested enough to find out what happened of course....and there ‘are’ a couple of those famous twists..........but I found Jessica’s writing entertaining- just for the sake of tidbit-funny - or tidbit powerful..... regardless of the story itself. Jessica Knoll There are definitely things that I enjoyed in Jessica Knoll’s second novel, “The Favorite Sister”.... but my interest was not only in the plot: the mystery murder itself...as to what happened to Brett.....who murdered her and why? I was interested enough to find out what happened of course....and there ‘are’ a couple of those famous twists..........but I found Jessica’s writing entertaining- just for the sake of tidbit-funny - or tidbit powerful..... regardless of the story itself. Jessica Knoll has some great quotes.....’throughout’. She has a great third eye into contemporary life. Here’s one quote I think many women might appreciate. “Society makes life miserable for women who are not thin. I am part of a growing minority determined to change that. SPOKE is the first fitness studio that mentions nothing about transforming your body, because study after study proves that your physical body has so little to do with health. Healthy people are people who feel connected to their communities, who are loved, and are supported by those around them, and who have a sense of purpose in their lives. Healthy people do not waste their precious energy trying to make themselves smaller”. This ‘power-to-the-women’ novel has lots of drama - secrets - lies - betrayal- and enough unlikable characters to dig your teeth into. Overall ....it was fun....great company while doing cardio at the gym. Thank You Simon and Schuster, Netgalley, and Jessica Knoll 3.5
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this novel, although not as much as her first book, which was The Luckiest Girl in the World. What was best about this story of five successful women on a reality TV show was the ending, which provided lots of fun unexpected twists and turns.Getting to that ending was a little challenging because the story is told from the points of view of the five different women on the show. I read this in ebook format, and woe is me if I had to put the book down in the middle of a chapter—it would I enjoyed this novel, although not as much as her first book, which was The Luckiest Girl in the World. What was best about this story of five successful women on a reality TV show was the ending, which provided lots of fun unexpected twists and turns.Getting to that ending was a little challenging because the story is told from the points of view of the five different women on the show. I read this in ebook format, and woe is me if I had to put the book down in the middle of a chapter—it would always take a couple pages to remember whose POV I was reading from. I always write down notes about the different characters, and thank goodness I did, because in addition to the five main women, there is a daughter and all the various female folks running the show. Trying to keep all the names straight was a challenge, especially because I had to put the book down for a week because life got in the way. The “favorite sister” is about two of the sisters on the program this season. Brett, a lesbian entrepreneur who was one of the leading characters on season one, is joined this season by her older sister Kelly, who had been the golden child growing up, but now works for Brett. The tension between them is just one of many rivalries on the show—some of the controversies are contrived for television, but not this one. All of the characters are necessarily cut-throat and looking out for their own business and success, hiding lots of secrets that are revealed over the course of the story.I’m not a “reality” TV fan, but the way the true secrets versus the made-for-TV rivalries made for some enjoyable reading. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES MAY 15, 2018.For more of my reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    So, I feel like this book will be on a spectrum.... you really will love it or not at all. I have seen many positive reviews for this one on goodreads but I'm on the other side of the spectrum. This was my first read by Jessica Knoll and was very excited to experience her writing! We can't all love the same books and unfortunately this one didn't work for me at all. The plot sounded awesome... 5 women on a reality show called the Gold Diggers in New York City. What more can you ask for? A little So, I feel like this book will be on a spectrum.... you really will love it or not at all. I have seen many positive reviews for this one on goodreads but I'm on the other side of the spectrum. This was my first read by Jessica Knoll and was very excited to experience her writing! We can't all love the same books and unfortunately this one didn't work for me at all. The plot sounded awesome... 5 women on a reality show called the Gold Diggers in New York City. What more can you ask for? A little bit of sas, gossip, lies, and murder. This had potential to be a a diamond in the rough... but man this diamond had issues with shining. I had to put this book down 3-4 times over the week to see if I could get into it. Each time, I felt the book kept dragging and dragging. I could not connect at all and was very very bored. It lacked substance in this book sandwich for me. Rating: 2 stars Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the arc in exchange for my honest review.Published to GR: 4/28/18Publication date: 5/15/18
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll is a thriller that is set in what's become the new normal in America in the reality television circuit. The ladies in the story are cast mates in the show Goal Diggers. A bit of a take on a housewife drama type of show but opposite in the fact these women are young professionals.The story begins by giving the reader a glimpse at present time in which it becomes apparent that Brett who had been the star of the show is dead and the question becomes what led to The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll is a thriller that is set in what's become the new normal in America in the reality television circuit. The ladies in the story are cast mates in the show Goal Diggers. A bit of a take on a housewife drama type of show but opposite in the fact these women are young professionals.The story begins by giving the reader a glimpse at present time in which it becomes apparent that Brett who had been the star of the show is dead and the question becomes what led to that event. So after that opening flash to gain interest the story jumps back to just before the taping of the latest season of Goal Diggers began.Told by alternating between a few characters the book begins building the story of how Brett became the star and focusing on those around her. Brett's sister Kelly wants nothing more than to join Brett into the spotlight, Stephanie and Brett used to be friends but now enemies, Jen and Brett never got along and now Kelly is befriending her. Chalked full of drama the story takes readers through the layers to find out just what happened.After seeing reviews all over the spectrum for The Favorite Sister I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book and after finishing I feel I can see both sides. To me this was one that suffered a bit from the overly telling in too many places but also had a compelling story going on so I ended up a bit on the fence myself and rated right down the middle.Being the first book I've read by this author I'm not sure if this is a reflection of her style of writing or just a reflection of this particular story but to me it could feel scattered and unfocused quite often. In the middle of a conversation between characters is not the time to switch to a few pages of info dumping on a totally different topic so the plot felt buried within. The setting felt spot on though giving a glimpse into the behind the scenes of "reality" television and of course it was intriguing to find out just what happened to Brett. If rating separately the plot got the high marks and the style the lower.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Mackenzie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! The number of twists in this book had my head spinning! Jessica Knoll brings us a wonderful but terrifying portrayal of the dark side of sisterhood, leaving the reader wondering if the drama we see on Reality TV is actually less twisted than the truth. I found this novel absolutely captivating! Jessica’s use of alternating narrators kept me on my toes—I didn’t know who to trust or believe. Once I thought I had the dynamics and characters figured out, the narrator would change and everything Wow! The number of twists in this book had my head spinning! Jessica Knoll brings us a wonderful but terrifying portrayal of the dark side of sisterhood, leaving the reader wondering if the drama we see on Reality TV is actually less twisted than the truth. I found this novel absolutely captivating! Jessica’s use of alternating narrators kept me on my toes—I didn’t know who to trust or believe. Once I thought I had the dynamics and characters figured out, the narrator would change and everything I thought I knew was turned over.I have followed Jessica Knoll’s work since her days at Cosmopolitan Magazine, when she wrote her Josie stories. From there, I followed her blog as she kept Josie alive. Though I liked the Josie stories, it was really when she began writing about Elizabeth that I saw what is so special about Jessica as a writer. She writes damaged characters so well; I hate them, I love them, they break my heart, and then somehow they redeem themselves. Sometimes I want to cover my eyes as they are on paths to destruction. Other times I cheer as they show their human side. More than anything, she writes characters who are so dynamic, which makes them feel real. She excels at writing the woman who seems so enviable on the outside, only to find out how damaged they are from events in their life. When I read The Favorite Sister, I had no clue who to side with. But that is the point, right? It’s ok to love all of the characters, or to hate all of them. It’s ok to side with one, and then two chapters later side with the other. At times I loved all of the characters, and at other times I hated them all. But ultimately, there wasn’t a moment reading this book where I didn’t feel something. That is so important.Plot TeaserThe story is about two sisters. But the story is also about four sisters. There are two biological sisters—Brett and Kelly. And then there are the sisters formed through a shared experience—Brett, Lauren, Jen, and Stephanie. Brett, Lauren, Jen, and Stephanie are the only remaining cast members from the original cast of a reality show called Goal Diggers—a show about women in their late 20s/early 30s who own their own businesses and are doing incredible things. As the novel opens, we are at the end of filming of Season 4, and someone has died during filming. One of the original 4 sisters. Then we move back in time to before Season 4 is filmed, and Brett’s sister and business partner Kelly is joining the cast. But Kelly can’t possibly be prepared for the toxic world these seasoned reality show veterans exist in. They know how to work the system, they know how to interpret how production is manipulating them, and they know when to go with it and when to work against it. They know how to hide the truth—from production, from the public, and most importantly, from themselves. But at what point does the person they are for the show, become who they actually are?ReflectionsOne thing I loved about this story was the concept of sisterhood. As all women know, there are sisters you have from your family connections, but there are also the sisters you find in life. And really, these sisterhood connections aren’t so different. Sisters protect one another from outside forces, but despite the love between sisters, there are few dynamics more impacted by competition than sisterhood. We see this play out in the novel, both between biological sisters Brett and Kelly, and between the four original sisters of the show.I also enjoyed the setting being in this reality television world. It’s so easy to see the contestants as dysfunctional, but when you really dig deeper, it makes you wonder how much of that is caused by these people making money off of their backs, while manipulating them into torpedoing their own lives. Who is to blame, then? The people who want to do it in the first place? The production company for treating people as pawns? Or the public, for making this a lucrative industry? In the novel, we see four women who have already sold their soul to reality television. But then we also have Kelly, who is at the beginning of her contract. Kelly’s progression through the book is fascinating to watch. Will she be able to resist the seductive pull of fame and power? Or will she become another casualty?Stephanie was a truly magnificent character as well. Stephanie is a woman of color and a famous writer. But she grew up adopted in a white, wealthy neighborhood. Hearing Stephanie’s experience—how her skin color was almost more impactful on her life because of the privilege she grew up with and the absence of other people of color—was really a thought-provoking aspect of this book.I think from reading some other early reviews, it is easy to see this book as shallow, because on the surface it is about murder and reality tv. But as you read it, and as you really put thought into the characters and what they are telling you—the lies, the truths, the vulnerabilities—this book really is the perfect mix of salacious and deep. It hooked me because of the drama, but it got into my head because of the love and the tragedy and the characters.Thank you so much to NetGalley, to Jessica Knoll, and to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Reading.Between.Wines
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5Calling all fans of reality TV!! The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll is going to be for you if your guilty pleasure is binge watching reality TV because that's exactly what this book read like. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of this author's first novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, but after reading this book Knoll has a believer in me! This book also had a little bit of a Fitness Junkie vibe, but dealing with reality TV AND fitness, and not just fitness. The Favorite Sister is about a cast of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5Calling all fans of reality TV!! The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll is going to be for you if your guilty pleasure is binge watching reality TV because that's exactly what this book read like. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of this author's first novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, but after reading this book Knoll has a believer in me! This book also had a little bit of a Fitness Junkie vibe, but dealing with reality TV AND fitness, and not just fitness. The Favorite Sister is about a cast of women on a New York City reality show called Goal Diggers. The dynamic between these women (even including the 2 that are sisters) is a messy and explosive one. This book is packed with alliances, backstabbing, and SO MUCH drama. Exactly what you would (and should) expect from a book about a reality show. The book jumps around from people quite a bit and there are quite the list of characters, but I found it fairly easy to follow along and keep who was who straight. No way to get around it though, this book is a drama. It's definitely not a thriller or suspense, and I wouldn't really say it's too mysterious, even though there is a mystery aspect. You are basically reading this book for the delicious drama of a reality television show. Final Thought: Besides the fact that I am more than a little obsessed with the beautiful cover of this book, I really enjoyed it in its entirety. If you love reality TV and drama I am almost certain you will love this book too! I cannot wait to see what Knoll comes up with next!The Favorite Sister in 3-ish words: Sassy, Dramalicious & Symbolic
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    It is safe to say that this was not my favorite book. The premise of this book sounded very interesting and I read a lot of positive reviews, so I thought this book must be better than Luckiest Girl Alive, also by this Author. I dnf LGA. I just could not get into that book but decided to throw caution to the wind and attempt to read this Author's work again due to the high reviews of The Favorite sister.Well, we all can't like the same book. What works for some might not work for others. Was it It is safe to say that this was not my favorite book. The premise of this book sounded very interesting and I read a lot of positive reviews, so I thought this book must be better than Luckiest Girl Alive, also by this Author. I dnf LGA. I just could not get into that book but decided to throw caution to the wind and attempt to read this Author's work again due to the high reviews of The Favorite sister.Well, we all can't like the same book. What works for some might not work for others. Was it me or was it the book? It was not a good fit either way. I really enjoy this genre of book, but I find that I am just not into Knoll's writing style. The premise of this book sounded so intriguing, 5 successful women on a reality show called Gold Diggers. The show is set in New York City and ends in murder. The premise sounded as if this book would be high drama full of secrets, lies betrayal, jealously, and backstabbing with some mystery thrown in. My type of book - except it wasn't. I just could not get into this book. It was a real struggle for me.The ending did pick up for me and that is why I gave it 2 stars. I almost did not finish this book and decided to stick it out. I received an ARC of this book from Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Kaila
    January 1, 1970
    Reality TV is like driving drunk. You know it might kill you, but there is something rakishly sexy about participating in what may be your own demise. 2.5 stars. Oh, how I wanted to love this book. A murder mystery woven into the lives of five hyper-successful women, layered with all the drama and scandal typical of reality TV? Sign me up. The blurb just sounds so juicy and fun, the cast of characters is wonderfully diverse, and if that isn't enough, that final tagline promises the exploration Reality TV is like driving drunk. You know it might kill you, but there is something rakishly sexy about participating in what may be your own demise. 2.5 stars. Oh, how I wanted to love this book. A murder mystery woven into the lives of five hyper-successful women, layered with all the drama and scandal typical of reality TV? Sign me up. The blurb just sounds so juicy and fun, the cast of characters is wonderfully diverse, and if that isn't enough, that final tagline promises the exploration of a multitude of feminist themes. I wanted it all. But if it sounds like a lot is packed into these 384 pages, well ... that's because it is. To me, at least, the unfortunate side effect is that many of the well-intended storylines fall short.Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty to enjoy. All of the female leads are badass and unique, hardened by the trials they've had to face to get to where they are now. Nothing has been smooth sailing, and now that they're at the top, they'll do anything to stay there. The narrative is sarcastic, witty, and incredibly self-aware, and it's refreshing that no one is above acknowledging their own pettiness or ambition. I love that the chapters bounce between different narrators, giving us different sides of the same story and showing the effects that each woman's hunger for power has on the rest of the group. Maybe one day we will live in a world that will binge on five independently successful women doing nothing but building each other up. Until then, we have to occasionally knock each other down. There's so much diversity packed into this book that it's at the point of tokenism, but everyone - author and characters alike - embraces it, which is a new and intriguing perspective. The Favorite Sister tackles important questions of body image and positivity, racism, domestic abuse, misogyny, and so, so many stereotypes about women ... this novel will be the starting point for a lot of book club discussions. Unfortunately, the abundance of powerful themes means that the narrative can come off as soap-boxy and repetitive at times, which really is just a shame for what it's trying to accomplish.In terms of pacing, it's a slow start. The first half of the book throws you into the deep end with character background, and it's initially almost impossible to keep everyone straight - especially given that each of them have different on- and off-screen personas and storylines. I found myself having a difficult time liking or relating to any of the main characters as the plot progressed. All of their voices started to blend together. Having multiple narrators means each woman is able to cast herself as the victim and tear down the other characters, when the next chapter just spins it back the other way.It was only the last 10% or so of the book that truly picked up for me, but wow, that ending is a wild ride. All of the tensions that have been building the whole novel reach their boiling points, and the plot spirals straight towards murder in the blink of an eye. There are jaw-dropping revelations left and right as the depth of all of the characters' secrets, lies, and motivations find their way into the open, and everyone starts clawing for solid footing by finding ways to tear each other apart. I didn't predict one bit of it, but I loved every frenzied twist.The Favorite Sister has its ups and downs, but it simply wasn't the book for me. I couldn't get past the slow start and the increasing difficulty to like the narrators, even if I'm so very appreciative of Jessica Knoll's attempts to tackle so many relevant and important issues. I don't think anyone else should discount this book off-the-bat because there's still plenty about it to enjoy, but at the end of the day, it just didn't live up to my expectations. "Be nice, girls." She stands, pressing her palms together, like it will require divine intervention for such a miracle to happen. "The whole world is watching." Warm thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of The Favorite Sister in exchange for my honest review.Blog · Instagram
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    OK. This is going to sound like the beginning of a bad review, but it's not! ...so keep reading. If your reading experience is like mine, you're going to need to take a lot of notes in the first half. Multiple characters are introduced and many have heavy-handed character and relationship development (sometimes as seen through someone else's POV). It is damned hard to keep everyone straight in my opinion. In the ARC edition (and hopefully in the final published edition), the first few pages befo OK. This is going to sound like the beginning of a bad review, but it's not! ...so keep reading. If your reading experience is like mine, you're going to need to take a lot of notes in the first half. Multiple characters are introduced and many have heavy-handed character and relationship development (sometimes as seen through someone else's POV). It is damned hard to keep everyone straight in my opinion. In the ARC edition (and hopefully in the final published edition), the first few pages before the book actually begins show a synopsis which leads to a brief description of each of the five reality show costars: Brett, Kelly, Stephanie, Lauren, and Jen. Mark this! You likely will need to remind yourself. Unfortunately, I remember very little about the first half. It's just a jumble of getting to know the characters (specifically Brett and Stephanie). But like magic, the story became clear and a near effortless reading experience at around the halfway mark. I wish I could tell you exactly when. Maybe it was gradual, but I think I gave an audible, "Oh", and it was free sailing. I wish from the bottom of my heart that I could tell you to skip certain parts, to skim until page xyz, but I can't. My kindle highlights include over 100 quotes that still repeat themselves in my brain almost a week later and many of them are found in this first half. They support the themes of this book which make them pretty crucial to the reading experience in my opinion. In a first-glance story about reality TV, relationships, and murder, the dark, ugly, and fully woke themes are the shining star. The title: The Favorite Sister is multidimensional. It integrates the dynamics of family, group relationships (via a reality TV show), but mainly the "feminist sisterhood" where women everywhere publicly support each other in our united quest for equality/opportunity, inclusivity, and the socially accepted right to (gasp) be ambitious. But what I LOVE about Jessica Knoll's writing in this novel is her unapologetic view of sisterhood's dark side in all these arenas, but specifically in society. We publicly display our support for one another but the quiet (and not so quiet) sabotage that goes on behind the scenes is stomach turning. Ms. Knoll explores the factors that influence this hypocrisy, and although it's nothing most women don't already know, it sure is nice to have it boldly out there and validated. We support each other but we don't. How can we? Ambition is designed for a man's world and the women who manage to get out from under the weight and expectation of social norms face obstacles not only from the cozy men at the top but also from their fellow women competing for those shiny few positions. It is literally cutthroat. In "A Conversation With Jessica Knoll" found at the end of the book, she states, "There is real fear about what an ambitious woman might do, the status quo she might change. I liked the idea of creating women who should be feared." I liked it too. Very, very much.Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of The Favorite Sister. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.Source: NetGalleyAuthor: Jessica KnollPublisher: Simon & SchusterGenres: General Fiction (Adult)Pub Date: May 15, 20183/16/2018:I really need to sit on this rating and review for a bit. The first half was a scrambled puzzle of character development overkill that in my opinion was totally unnecessary (and was a chore for me to read if I’m being honest), but it ended strong with dark but fully woke themes related to sisterhood feminism in all its undercutting sabotage and publicly supportive glory. I can’t stop thinking about how true these issues are and this book won’t leave my brain. Very conflicted.Full review and rating to come...
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  • Megan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    It took me about a week after finishing this book to get around to writing this review - partially because life is busy, but also because I wanted to give myself time to process what I had read. Let me start by saying that Jessica Knoll is a fantastic author and certainly is an expert story teller. Everything I've read by her (this + her previous book) has been crafted in such a way that leaves me impressed and wishing for more. I have to give this book props for being unlike any other of the ma It took me about a week after finishing this book to get around to writing this review - partially because life is busy, but also because I wanted to give myself time to process what I had read. Let me start by saying that Jessica Knoll is a fantastic author and certainly is an expert story teller. Everything I've read by her (this + her previous book) has been crafted in such a way that leaves me impressed and wishing for more. I have to give this book props for being unlike any other of the many thrillers hitting the market today. It's got a reality-tv setting that's unique and enjoyable (I had worried it'd be hard to follow, but was pleasantly surprised at how different it was) and a cast of characters that's just as catty and drama-filled as you might expect given the circumstances. My one draw back? The jumping around of characters, while generally something that I'm an outspoken fan of, was actually pretty confusing to me. Perhaps it's because most of the characters had pretty ordinary names or maybe it was because I found myself attached to some characters more than others. I'm not sure, but if I have to point fingers somewhere, that's where it'd be. That being said, I truly enjoyed this read. It came at a complicated time in my own life and was just the distraction I needed. Not to mention, that ending! I'll let you discover it's secrets for yourself. Should you buy it?: Usually my 3-star reviews end up in the 'no' category here, but I'm actually going to recommend that you do give this one a go. I think if it sounds appealing to you or you enjoyed Knoll's "Luckiest Girl Alive," you'll find this one a lot of fun. **Thank you to netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book to review. These circumstances did not influence my views or this review in any way.**WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    When the Real Housewives and Big Little Lies collide—Jessica Knoll's The Favorite Sister is a perfect concoction of both reality television and female dynamics.When I heard Jessica Knoll was coming out with a second novel that exploited the reality television genre in the same vein of the Real Housewives, I was immediately sold. How can I get a copy? What do I need to do? Who's going to be Bethenny Frankel in her book?! I'd do almost anything to get my hands on a copy, no joke. The story involve When the Real Housewives and Big Little Lies collide—Jessica Knoll's The Favorite Sister is a perfect concoction of both reality television and female dynamics.When I heard Jessica Knoll was coming out with a second novel that exploited the reality television genre in the same vein of the Real Housewives, I was immediately sold. How can I get a copy? What do I need to do? Who's going to be Bethenny Frankel in her book?! I'd do almost anything to get my hands on a copy, no joke. The story involves five wealthy women in New York City who are all featured in the hit reality television show called Goal Diggers. Goal Diggers is a show that strives to show millennial women successfully undertaking careers, while pushing gender norms aside. This cast is uninterested in having children and being stay-at-home mothers; they'd rather break the Forbes 100 list. In this dynamic group, we have Brett Courtney—a twenty-seven year old lesbian woman who is unafraid of what people may say about her body image and runs a yoga studio called SPOKE. She is tattooed and voluptuous, and she makes no apologies for it. Stephanie Simmons can be deemed the token black woman character on the cast, but she is so much more than that. She is a successful author, businesswoman, and wife; who has just released her empowering memoir that is breaking sales records. Lauren Bunn has launched her innovative dating app that is growing in popularity each day, but her drunken antics have caught tabloid attention that overshadows all the success that she has gained. Jen Greenberg, daughter of philanthropist and socialite Yvette Greenberg, has become the voice for dieting and health food options, claiming that her food line not only encourages a healthy body and mind, but also is a catalyst for success. Lastly, we meet Kelly Courtney, Brett's sister and cofounder of SPOKE. Kelly is the newest cast member for the upcoming season and really doesn't fit the mold of the initial concept of the series. She has a twelve year old daughter and is a single mother with modest flair. Goal Diggers is set to begin filming, but nobody would have guessed that it would end in murder.I don't want to get any further into the plot than just introducing you to the cast and providing the main theme of the story. The story develops much further than that little blurb, but I felt that you really need a cheat sheet for the main five characters because we are quickly introduced to all five of them (and at least 3-4 secondary characters) immediately. Take the blurb about the cast and carry it with you while you read, I wish I had one! The beginning of The Favorite Sister was rough, I have to tell you. We are thrown way too much about the cast early on, with long chapters that don't provide us a break to digest what we just read. We don't really go anywhere in the first part of this novel because there's too much catch up for us to get to. The novel is broken into several parts, and each part is more enjoyable than its predecessor. Once I got to the halfway mark, I was hooked! As you get to the core of the story, we learn about the exploitation of reality television, we see the dynamics between family and friends, we see how society has forced feminism and women empowerment into a women-eat-women world, and we see fame and notoriety being used as a drug and the lengths people will go for that drug. One thing that I found so profound in The Favorite Sister was the theme of casual racism in every day life. We see a portrayal of how society uses casual racism in dating, business, and overall privilege. I did not expect this novel to even touch any of those topics, and for that I'm grateful. I believe that these thematic elements of the story will resonate with more readers than Ms. Knoll probably imagined. I loved that this story touched on all these different themes without feeling overloaded on plot. The plot is clearly defined as you go on and the story really doesn't deter from that. The Favorite Sister is NOT a thriller or a suspense novel in ANY CAPACITY and if anyone tells you otherwise, they're lying. The Favorite Sister really is a drama that may also feel like a tragedy at times. Ugh I can keep talking more about the story, but I think I drove the point home. It's time to pick up this book on May 15, 2018. Will I be buying a hard cover for my collection? Absolutely.Thank you Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.Real queens fix each other's crowns.
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a hard read to get through. I know that doesn't sell it too well, but this isn't going to be a book that many can get behind anyway. If you are a fan on The Real Housewives series on Bravo, then you will be able to relate and connect with the storyline and it's obnoxious and self absorbed characters. If you are not a fan, I can't see this being able to hold your interest for very long.Personally-I think its premise is so relevant to today's pop culture, but the biggest reason for t This book was a hard read to get through. I know that doesn't sell it too well, but this isn't going to be a book that many can get behind anyway. If you are a fan on The Real Housewives series on Bravo, then you will be able to relate and connect with the storyline and it's obnoxious and self absorbed characters. If you are not a fan, I can't see this being able to hold your interest for very long.Personally-I think its premise is so relevant to today's pop culture, but the biggest reason for the higher rating is for the sheer brilliance of the writing. (And yes, I happen to be a huge Housewives fan) I ended this book with an even higher level of respect for this author than I did before.Knoll held me captive with her first book, Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel, and her ability to create a character full of snarkiness, delusion, insecurities and craziness, yet still get me to feel empathy for her.Here, she was able to do the same thing again, but times 5. 5 separate women who will do whatever it takes to stay relevant, outshine the other, and keep the spotlight on themselves-even if it comes to murder.But this book isn't without its issues, as you will see from plenty of other reviews. As for me:-I think the chapters where too long, and I learned to read to the end of the chapter before quitting for the day, as it took way too much time to figure out what was going on, who's POV I was reading, etc. when I started back up.-The mystery of the death of the main character seemed to take a back seat to the backstabbing and cruelty these women threw at each other. Because of this, there was a lack of suspense that typically propels me forward, eagerly wanting to get tot the end where it's all revealed. Even the twist seemed to fall a bit flat to me.So-do I recommend this read? If you are a Bravo fan, I say Yes! Even though I knew a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, there was a lot I learned as well about how these shows are filmed. If you've never watched, I'd give this a go, as you might be surprised how you take to these women. But if you have watched and aren't a fan, then I can honestly say that this won't change your mind!Looking forward to what comes next from this author, as she certainly writes outside the box!ARC provided by NetGalley
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  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-copy of The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll from NetGalley for my honest review. First off I wanted to say that I loved Jessica Knoll's first book, Luckiest Girl Alive, so I was very happy to get a free e-copy of The Favorite Sister. This is a story about a reality TV show called Goal Diggers. Brett and Kelly Courtney are sisters and the show's stars. The reality TV show is all about self made women. The sisters have a lot of secrets and there is a lot of jealousy. There are I received a free e-copy of The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll from NetGalley for my honest review. First off I wanted to say that I loved Jessica Knoll's first book, Luckiest Girl Alive, so I was very happy to get a free e-copy of The Favorite Sister. This is a story about a reality TV show called Goal Diggers. Brett and Kelly Courtney are sisters and the show's stars. The reality TV show is all about self made women. The sisters have a lot of secrets and there is a lot of jealousy. There are also three other women, all being very competitive. Women, jealousy, the pressure of being beautiful and the best at all they do then leads to murder. There is a lot of drama and backstabbing. The book is very well written. I give Jessica Knoll a lot of credit for the work she put into this book. My only problem with the book is there were so many different characters it got confusing at times.
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  • Wendi Lee
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 stars*Goal Diggers is the first so-called feminist reality television show, featuring five successful women. We learn very early on that Brett, one of these women, has died, and her sister, Kelly, has apparently replaced her on the show. But how did Brett die, and who is covering up the circumstances of her death? Reality TV is not my cup of tea, but The Favorite Sister is a well-written, intensely readable novel about the women who become reality TV stars, and how it strains the bonds of s *4.5 stars*Goal Diggers is the first so-called feminist reality television show, featuring five successful women. We learn very early on that Brett, one of these women, has died, and her sister, Kelly, has apparently replaced her on the show. But how did Brett die, and who is covering up the circumstances of her death? Reality TV is not my cup of tea, but The Favorite Sister is a well-written, intensely readable novel about the women who become reality TV stars, and how it strains the bonds of sisterhood and friendship. The characters are all well-drawn, and I enjoyed reading about their lives. There are also several twists in the plot that are very memorable! Let's just say that my guesses for what happened to Brett were all wrong! Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for an ARC.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Calling all Real Housewives fans, line up ladies, because have I got THE perfect juicy summer read for you! If you’re a fan of any reality TV shows I have a feeling this book will be for you actually, it’s like getting an insiders look into the making of a reality show with the added bonus of a murder mystery, I mean is there anything better?! Not to me, and this will be one of the most talked about books this summer, I have no doubt about it, so mark your calendars.It took me a little while to Calling all Real Housewives fans, line up ladies, because have I got THE perfect juicy summer read for you! If you’re a fan of any reality TV shows I have a feeling this book will be for you actually, it’s like getting an insiders look into the making of a reality show with the added bonus of a murder mystery, I mean is there anything better?! Not to me, and this will be one of the most talked about books this summer, I have no doubt about it, so mark your calendars.It took me a little while to keep the cast of characters straight here, you’re thrust right into the action and keeping all the players and their over the top personalities and complex lives separate took a bit of time. The beginning is also setting the stage for what’s to come later, so be patient to start and the reward will come later, and believe me, it really does! You hear from Brett, her sister Kelly and Stephanie, Brett’s ex BFF and man do they have a lot to say. These are women with strong and loud opinions, bad ass entrepreneurs, boss bitches, exactly the type of women who dominate shows like RH, but their fictional show, Goal Diggers has a female empowerment edge that eschews traditional roles and this book had a lot to say about current social issues, especially those effecting women today. Sure, reality TV isn’t the classiest setting for feminism, but it’s sure as hell makes for an entertaining read!This was juicy and a little campy, Knoll has an acerbic wit and her pop culture references were so on point and hilarious. She created a cast of characters that were, at face value inspiring, strong women but underneath the surface they were actually all hiding some pretty dark secrets. They’re they type of people that you love to hate when you watch reality TV and in the end I can’t decide if I really liked any of them, but that didn’t stop me from being fascinated by them. They are cutthroat and super driven and will do all sorts of messy and shady things to get what they want, again how could I not be entertained?! Plan to pack this in your beach bag this summer and prepare for some drama…The Favorite Sister in three words: Biting, Dramatic and Edgy.
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  • Daniel Balici
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5The Favorite Sister is an upcoming publication by the author of the best-selling mystery novel Luckiest Girl Alive, which I read in the fall last year and unfortunately found neither as engrossing as other readers nor as reminiscent of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train as it has been aggressively marketed to the audience. Despite my slightly underwhelming experience with that book, as I was browsing through the Edelweiss catalog my interest was naturally caught when noticing Actual rating: 3.5The Favorite Sister is an upcoming publication by the author of the best-selling mystery novel Luckiest Girl Alive, which I read in the fall last year and unfortunately found neither as engrossing as other readers nor as reminiscent of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train as it has been aggressively marketed to the audience. Despite my slightly underwhelming experience with that book, as I was browsing through the Edelweiss catalog my interest was naturally caught when noticing that a new Jessica Knoll work of fiction was available for advance reading. I felt fortunate and surprised at the same time the moment when my ARC request was approved and I immediately started The Favorite Sister.Thematic wise, the plot is constructed around a reality TV series titled Goal Diggers that features successful women owning profitable businesses or making a prosperous living from other sorts of activities (e.g. writing), seemingly meant to serve as a source of inspiration to aspiring and ordinary female entrepreneurs. In reality, Goal Diggers lays more emphasis on the dynamics of the relationships between the current protagonists and the ongoing or emerging conflicts and tense situations generated by the women's strong willingness to maintain the fans' interest in their persona and therefore prolong their participation in the show. I believe that Jessica Knoll did a praiseworthy job with regard to genuinely capturing the drama of a reality series, the behind-the-scenes aspects which are often considerably different from those presented to the audience, the ever increasing competitiveness between the participating women who are vying for popularity and appreciation in the eyes of the viewers as well as the Goal Diggers producers. Furthermore, Knoll did not shy away from displaying an abundance of diversity in her book in several regards, another aspect in addition to the aforementioned ones that contributed to my higher enjoyment of The Favorite Sister as compared to the author's previous publication.Interesting and unsettling was the way in which Knoll developed the narrative perspectives in that the reader gets a direct insight into the mechanism of Brett, Kelly, and Stephanie's minds through first-person narratives, while Lauren and Jen's psychologies are indirectly grasped by the reader through the way the other characters view the two. There is an event in the second half of the book that somehow explains the structure the author opted for, in my opinion. As you might have already noticed, I have not mentioned anything murder-related in my review yet and this is not random as the death of one of the protagonists represented nothing but the mere culmination of the rivalry between the women in the show. Other than that, the book wants the reader to understand the personalities of each protagonist and those things that drive their actions in their public and personal lives. I will not go so far as to say that the novel lacked decent twists and revelations, but these literary devices were not the reason why I kept turning the pages.Lastly, I would like to emphasize the quality of Knoll's style of writing. She undoubtedly makes proper use of her vast, intellectually sophisticated vocabulary when crafting her novels. However, as I said in my review of It's Always the Husband, having the impression of reading an overwritten novel can be an exhaustive and at some point not enjoyable experience. This is how I felt as I progressed through The Favorite Sister.All in all, I am glad I had the opportunity to read The Favorite Sister in advance and I think that Jessica Knoll brings an array of novelties in her second publication and takes a new creative direction than those realms she explored in the Luckiest Girl Alive. Bearing all this in mind, The Favorite Sister can be deemed a worthwhile read and I am convinced it will appeal to those who have been captivated by the Luckiest Girl Alive. I would like to thank Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for supplying me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh. I'm so disappointed. I loved Knoll's debut novel, "Luckiest Girl Alive"- it was one of my favorite books of 2015, so I had high hopes for her latest creation. I think I was expecting too much this time around. It pains me to give "The Favorite Sister" such a low rating because I respect and admire Jessica Knoll. The plot of "The Favorite Sister" just didn't work for me. I tried, I really tried. Even though the writing is strong, I couldn't get into the story and the characters. The first ha Ugh. I'm so disappointed. I loved Knoll's debut novel, "Luckiest Girl Alive"- it was one of my favorite books of 2015, so I had high hopes for her latest creation. I think I was expecting too much this time around. It pains me to give "The Favorite Sister" such a low rating because I respect and admire Jessica Knoll. The plot of "The Favorite Sister" just didn't work for me. I tried, I really tried. Even though the writing is strong, I couldn't get into the story and the characters. The first half is really boring, and there's just way too many characters (5 to be exact). I couldn't keep all the characters straight, some felt interchangeable. I'm also not a fan of backstabbing, bitchy, superficial, and egotistical women who will do no matter what for social status/fame/wealth. The whole reality t.v. plot felt a little silly to me (think The Real Housewives of New York meets Shark Tank). The story wasn't compelling enough. It wasn't until 200 pages in that the story began to pick up some steam. I thought the ending was pretty good, I liked that I was completely wrong about what I thought was going to happen, but I was left feeling unsatisfied and frustrated. I understood the purpose and message that Knoll was trying to send, but I couldn't find one redeemable character. There was no one I could root for, no one I felt connected with. Everyone was generic and cliché-ridden. I don't think I was the intended audience for this novel. I think Jessica Knoll is a total badass, she's such a strong woman, but I can't really recommend "The Favorite Sister", but I would definitely recommend "Luckiest Girl Alive" (can't wait for the film). I wish her luck and success, I'm sure this novel will be another bestseller for her. This book is scheduled to be released May 15, 2018.Thank you, Simon & Schuster for sending me a free ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    My final rating for The Favorite Sister would be between a 4 and 4.5-stars. I really, really enjoyed this. It wasn't what I expected and it is not really the type of book I would normally pick up for myself but regardless, it was a blast to read. Since finishing, I have been thinking about how best to classify this one. We know the world loves to categorize things - as this book definitely points out! I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as a thriller if I were discussing it with friends. I foun My final rating for The Favorite Sister would be between a 4 and 4.5-stars. I really, really enjoyed this. It wasn't what I expected and it is not really the type of book I would normally pick up for myself but regardless, it was a blast to read. Since finishing, I have been thinking about how best to classify this one. We know the world loves to categorize things - as this book definitely points out! I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as a thriller if I were discussing it with friends. I found it more 'contemporary women's fiction' than 'thriller'. There is a dead character, you know that from the beginning and then the narrative fills in, taking you through the events leading up to that death; but I personally didn't feel it was psychologically suspenseful. It was a great character piece; the characters were full of it - ambition and snark galore!In addition to very strong character development, I loved the overall writing style. It was very modern - full of current pop culture references and slang. I had never read a book that follows a cast of reality television stars...in fact, I don't even watch reality television. The author did a wonderful job of creating a fun and fast-paced novel that actually had a much deeper level of societal analysis; misogyny, feminism, women/women relationships - I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this! The way the author constructed the relationships of these women laid bare a common problem - we are raised, as women, within a society that forces us to view other females as a constant source of threat and competition - statistically, very few women succeed at the levels the characters in this story succeed - so if your friend is succeeding, does that mean there is no room for you too? Maybe I am reading too much into it but I felt this was an excellent expose on the current state of the feminist movement/status of women in American society!My only negative, and it is a very small one, would be that I felt through the middle it dragged just a little bit. Besides that, the pacing on the front and back-end were both excellent. Thank you so much to the publisher for allowing me to read this book early and to share my thoughts on it. I am really looking forward to this book being released and to reading other people's opinions on it. I think it is going to be well received and I will definitely be recommending it to some friends!
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  • Mackenzie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! The number of twists in this book had my head spinning! Jessica Knoll brings us a wonderful but terrifying portrayal of the dark side of sisterhood, leaving the reader wondering if the drama we see on Reality TV is actually less twisted than the truth. I found this novel absolutely captivating! Jessica’s use of alternating narrators kept me on my toes—I didn’t know who to trust or believe. Once I thought I had the dynamics and characters figured out, the narrator would change and everything Wow! The number of twists in this book had my head spinning! Jessica Knoll brings us a wonderful but terrifying portrayal of the dark side of sisterhood, leaving the reader wondering if the drama we see on Reality TV is actually less twisted than the truth. I found this novel absolutely captivating! Jessica’s use of alternating narrators kept me on my toes—I didn’t know who to trust or believe. Once I thought I had the dynamics and characters figured out, the narrator would change and everything I thought I knew was turned over.I have followed Jessica Knoll’s work since her days at Cosmopolitan Magazine, when she wrote her Josie stories. From there, I followed her blog as she kept Josie alive. Though I liked the Josie stories, it was really when she began writing about Elizabeth that I saw what is so special about Jessica as a writer. She writes damaged characters so well; I hate them, I love them, they break my heart, and then somehow they redeem themselves. Sometimes I want to cover my eyes as they are on paths to destruction. Other times I cheer as they show their human side. More than anything, she writes characters who are so dynamic, which makes them feel real. She excels at writing the woman who seems so enviable on the outside, only to find out how damaged they are from events in their life. When I read The Favorite Sister, I had no clue who to side with. But that is the point, right? It’s ok to love all of the characters, or to hate all of them. It’s ok to side with one, and then two chapters later side with the other. At times I loved all of the characters, and at other times I hated them all. But ultimately, there wasn’t a moment reading this book where I didn’t feel something. That is so important.The story is about two sisters. But the story is also about four sisters. There are two biological sisters—Brett and Kelly. And then there are the sisters formed through a shared experience—Brett, Lauren, Jen, and Stephanie. Brett, Lauren, Jen, and Stephanie are the only remaining cast members from the original cast of a reality show called Goal Diggers—a show about women in their late 20s/early 30s who own their own businesses and are doing incredible things. As the novel opens, we are at the end of filming of Season 4, and someone has died during filming. One of the original 4 sisters. Then we move back in time to before Season 4 is filmed, and Brett’s sister and business partner Kelly is joining the cast. But Kelly can’t possibly be prepared for the toxic world these seasoned reality show veterans exist in. They know how to work the system, they know how to interpret how production is manipulating them, and they know when to go with it and when to work against it. Most importantly, they know how to hide the truth—from production, from the public, and most importantly, from themselves. But at what point does the person they are for the show, become who they actually are?One thing I loved about this story was the concept of sisterhood. As all women know, there are sisters you have from your family connections, but there are also the sisters you find in life. And really, these sisterhood connections aren’t so different. Sisters protect one another from outside forces, but despite the love between sisters, there are few dynamics more impacted by competition than sisterhood. We see this play out in the novel, both between biological sisters Brett and Kelly, and between the four original sisters of the show.I also enjoyed the setting being in this reality television world. It’s so easy to see the contestants as dysfunctional, but when you really dig deeper, it makes you wonder how much of that is caused by these people making money off of their backs, while manipulating them into torpedoing their own lives. Who is to blame, then? The people who want to do it in the first place? The production company for treating people as pawns? Or the public, for making this a lucrative industry? In the novel, we see four women who have already sold their soul to reality television. But then we also have Kelly, who is at the beginning of her contract. Kelly’s progression through the book is fascinating to watch. Will she be able to resist the seductive pull of fame and power? Or will she become another casualty?Stephanie was a truly magnificent character as well. Stephanie is a woman of color and a famous writer. But she grew up adopted in a white, wealthy neighborhood. Hearing Stephanie’s experience—how her skin color was almost more impactful on her life because of the privilege she grew up with and the absence of other people of color—was really a thought-provoking aspect of this book.I think from reading some other early reviews, it is easy to see this book as shallow, because on the surface it is about murder and reality tv. But as you read it, and as you really put thought into the characters and what they are telling you—the lies, the truths, the vulnerabilities—this book really is the perfect mix of salacious and deep. It hooked me because of the drama, but it got into my head because of the love and the tragedy and the characters.Thank you so much to NetGalley, to Jessica Knoll, and to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this multi character drama about 5 women on a reality tv show that turns murderous, it has a wide range of themes, a good diverse set of characters and an intriguing storyline.Admittedly not as much as I enjoyed The Luckiest Girl in the World, but still a pacy read with some fascinating threads and some beautifully done twists and turns.I think my main very slight issue with it was there was a lot going on and I didn't engage fully with any of the characters to the point that I I really enjoyed this multi character drama about 5 women on a reality tv show that turns murderous, it has a wide range of themes, a good diverse set of characters and an intriguing storyline.Admittedly not as much as I enjoyed The Luckiest Girl in the World, but still a pacy read with some fascinating threads and some beautifully done twists and turns.I think my main very slight issue with it was there was a lot going on and I didn't engage fully with any of the characters to the point that I cared that much what happened to them. Occasionally this heads down a rather token path and they are all slightly entitled and unlikable.That said though it was an interesting concept executed well and if you are a fan of the first book you'll see the same great, addictive clever writing in this one - it's just the story that wasn't quite as haunting as the last, not quite living up to that promise. However I look forward very much to more from Jessica Knoll.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Reality TV, the latest craze. We think we are getting a peephole view of the lives of strangers, but what happens when the cameras stop rolling for five successful, competitive women is nothing short of deadly. You think the players on those reality shows can be brutal?THE FAVORITE SISTER by Jessica Knoll is a look at the rest of the story when egos, pride, jealousy and insecurity erupt and family rivalries boil over. Told from several points of view and alternating between past and present, thi Reality TV, the latest craze. We think we are getting a peephole view of the lives of strangers, but what happens when the cameras stop rolling for five successful, competitive women is nothing short of deadly. You think the players on those reality shows can be brutal?THE FAVORITE SISTER by Jessica Knoll is a look at the rest of the story when egos, pride, jealousy and insecurity erupt and family rivalries boil over. Told from several points of view and alternating between past and present, this chaotic tale is filled with interpersonal conflicts, both real and contrived for the cameras as these powerfully intense personalities crash, clash and sometimes come together in the name of power and control. Is it the fault of these women that they can be so heartless or has society warped their sense of values in the name of success? Either way, prepare to enter the vipers' den...Jessica Knoll has colored a world behind the cameras in the fractured shades of a tumultuous storm. Trust is a weakness, honor is easily dismissed and family ties are similar to be wrapped in barbed wire.I found I could not relate or even actually like any of the five main characters. Points of view change abruptly and because their voices were so similar, it was jarring to play catch up. Too much vitriol, too many insecure egos and game-playing made this a difficult read to enjoy for me, perhaps because I am not a fan of the nastiness of reality shows and being part of the lives of these characters off screen was like an exercise in drowning in acid. That said, if you can dodge the daggers, the ending is worth the effort, because this author can write!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Simon & Schuster! This is my honest and voluntary review.Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 15, 2018)Publication Date: May 15, 2018Genre: Women's FictionPrint Length: 384 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Mandie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick, enjoyable read. Full of drama and suspense. Dark, and thought-provoking! So many twists and turns. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to say from the beginning that The Favorite Sister is not going to be for everyone. It's set on a reality TV show, and there's a lot of pettiness & backstabbing happening. However this book is going to work for some people, and I'm one of them. I found this book to be so damn entertaining, and I loved it.This is not a thriller. It's a drama with a mystery, and at its core, a character study of successful women who maybe didn't make the best choices to find their success. The Favori I'm going to say from the beginning that The Favorite Sister is not going to be for everyone. It's set on a reality TV show, and there's a lot of pettiness & backstabbing happening. However this book is going to work for some people, and I'm one of them. I found this book to be so damn entertaining, and I loved it.This is not a thriller. It's a drama with a mystery, and at its core, a character study of successful women who maybe didn't make the best choices to find their success. The Favorite Sister gave me a lot of things to think about, and this was a very layered story to me. I'm not going to go into it to avoid spoilers, but I'm just going to say that, for example, it made me reflect on how we relate to other women in regards to success. I loved seeing the characters unravel, and the women I thought I knew at the beginning of the book were not the same ones at the end. You never really know anyone, and this book shows how easy it is to deceive. There are so many intriguing topics in this book - success, class, race, body positivity, fame, friendship, secrets, etc. Jessica Knoll did a great job at trying to cover different aspects of life as a modern woman. The book is quite self-aware, and I was surprised by multiple insightful passages in the book (since it's a book about a reality show). I had a lot of fun with this book. I would recommend this book for fans of books like The Last Mrs. Parrish, Lie to Me, The Wife Between Us, and The Perfect Mother. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an early copy. The Favorite Sister will be out on 5/15.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me a free ARC of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.Synopsis:The Favorite Sister gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of the taping of a reality TV show. We learn at the start of the novel that one sister, Brett, does not live through the taping of the newest season of Goal Diggers, a show that is all about young successful women. We also know that her sister (and frenemy) is not tota Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me a free ARC of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.Synopsis:The Favorite Sister gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of the taping of a reality TV show. We learn at the start of the novel that one sister, Brett, does not live through the taping of the newest season of Goal Diggers, a show that is all about young successful women. We also know that her sister (and frenemy) is not totally innocent. But we don't know what actually happened until the end of the novel. As a reader, we are transported back to the beginning of the season and we are slowly shown who all has motives and what really happened. My review:The Favorite Sister is a fresh mix of reality TV drama (think Real Housewives or even The Hills) mixed with a murder. If you hate reality TV or some of the "lighter" murder books, then this may not be the pick for you. It was a definite hit for me!The Favorite Sister primarily switches between sisters Brett and Kelly as well as castmate Stephanie for the narrating. We find out early (this is not a spoiler - I promise!) that Brett dies sometime during the filming of the newest season of Goal Diggers. We know Kelly knows more than the police and TV viewers about what happened, but hasn't come clean for some reason. That is about all we know when the book opens and rewinds us back to before the filming of the season.As the book progresses, the readers are slowly introduced to what exactly happened and what led to Brett's death (murder?). It also explores the complexities of female dynamics and what women do to stay on top. As a younger sister, I definitely enjoyed Jessica Knoll's exploration of Brett and Kelly's relationship. While this book is light and pokes fun at the female relationships (especially those portrayed on reality TV), it also tackles some pretty serious issues as well (eating disorders, body shaming, racism, sexism, etc). I do need to add that this book has several narrators and I found it hard to keep them all straight for the entire reading. Many were a bit one-dimensional and none really had any character development to speak of. I was totally fine with this, as I wasn't really expecting that from this light and fun novel. I have to admit that I confused two of the characters (Jen and Lauren) for most of the novel, but don't really think that this affected up my overall enjoyment. The primary characters and narrators - Brett, Kelly and Stephanie - are easier to remember and identify with. These ladies are flawed, but aren't we all?I enjoyed the fun of discovering what really happened in The Favorite Sister and I hope that you do, too! I would not classify this as a thriller (as the back of the ARC says), but rather a drama-filled, binge-worthy read! If you want a book to get lost in on a long flight or while hitting up the beach this summer, then look no further than The Favorite Sister! I'll definitely be passing my copy along to my sister to read as well!
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  • Bonnie Plante
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for an ARC of this book. Brett, Stephanie, Jen and Lauren are the stars of the hit reality series "Goal Diggers." These are women who are young, beautiful, powerful and successful. These women helm companies that promote and build up other women. They are women helping women. Or are they? With a full cast of supporting characters, this book follows the lives of the "Diggers" both on and off screen. After a bit of a slow start, the story line comes in Thanks to Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for an ARC of this book. Brett, Stephanie, Jen and Lauren are the stars of the hit reality series "Goal Diggers." These are women who are young, beautiful, powerful and successful. These women helm companies that promote and build up other women. They are women helping women. Or are they? With a full cast of supporting characters, this book follows the lives of the "Diggers" both on and off screen. After a bit of a slow start, the story line comes into focus. And what a story line it is! It is full of lies & deceit with plenty of infighting to keep the reader entertained. While the characters start out fairly superficial, they are fleshed out over the course of the book. The result is an entire cast that one will both love and hate simultaneously. There is lots of back and forth in time, which can be confusing but it is absolutely all worth it. The last 20% of the book sends the reader on an adventure that will NOT be soon forgotten! The twists and turns and surprises are nothing short of amazing. Jessica Knoll out did herself this time. She delivered a book that is better than Luckiest Girl Alive. Excellent read!
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t enjoy shows like The Real Housewives of (Whatever City They’re in Now). If I did, I think I would have enjoyed this book more.The book features a group of women who are in a reality show similar to the above mentioned. While they aren’t all wives, they are all ambitious, bold and vicious. And I hated them.It can be really hard to read a book where you dislike every character. Aside from their basic personalities, they tended to lecture. There would be paragraphs of lectures on everything I don’t enjoy shows like The Real Housewives of (Whatever City They’re in Now). If I did, I think I would have enjoyed this book more.The book features a group of women who are in a reality show similar to the above mentioned. While they aren’t all wives, they are all ambitious, bold and vicious. And I hated them.It can be really hard to read a book where you dislike every character. Aside from their basic personalities, they tended to lecture. There would be paragraphs of lectures on everything from race to feminism to LGBTQ issues from various characters. I almost deleted the book half a dozen times. I only kept reading because the author kept reminding us we had a murder coming up. (Honestly, I found myself wishing the entire cast of the show would be murdered en masse – that’s how much I hated these women.)But a little past the 50% mark, something happened. Secrets came out – shocking ones. And I kept reading. I still hated these women, but I had the oddest satisfaction in knowing that, based on these secrets, I was 100% right in hating them. To be truthful, I was reading strictly for the satisfaction of watching these awful women fall. (Yeah, not very nice of me, I know.)And then our murder – and what a murder it was! I’ll just say that it certainly didn’t happen the way I expected to. And then when you find out another truth -wow!As for the ending of the book, it’s not pretty. But it fits perfectly with our awful characters.I don’t know that I’d read the author again. I hated our characters and really didn’t like myself very much as I gleefully cheered for their downfalls. But I got a wow of an ending!*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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  • Sue Fernandez
    January 1, 1970
    I truly want to thank NetGalley for an e-ARC of this title. It is a genre I read a lot. That said, I just could not get through this. I kept getting the characters mixed up, realized I wasn't caring about them, and the plot was wearing thin. I later realized I'd also tried to read this author's previous title, and I had the same problem. I'm not saying everyone will feel this way, but I did.
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