The Delicious Viciousness of Jessica Knoll

“The thinking that women of all shapes and sizes can be beautiful is still hugely problematic, because it is predicated on the idea that the most important thing a woman has to offer the world is her appearance. Men are raised to worry about their legacies, not their upper arm and thigh fat, stretch marks, crows-feet, saggy elbows, ugly armpits, thin eyelashes, and normal-smelling genitals. This is how society keeps us out of the C-suite—it booby-traps the way to the top with self-loathing, then reroutes us on a never-ending path of self-improvement.”

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 castmates.

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.

The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.


The Favorite Sister wasn’t an instant hit for me. Not in the way that her debut novel was. But Knoll’s writing voice is one to be reckoned with.

The more I read, the deeper in love I fell. Her voice—vicious, brutally honest, and deliciously sarcastic—is unmatched at certain moments.

The downside was that there were too many characters to keep straight. Their generic names didn’t help either. Plus, there were parts that dragged on for too long in the first half, which only added to the confusion. Maybe if there was one less secondary character or if it was trimmed down? I’m not sure.

I still recommend The Favorite Sister if you like crime and dark humor like me. Stephanie’s sharp point of view was a personal favorite, even with everything that went down in the shocking end. If this book ever becomes a movie, Stephanie is the one to keep your eye on. 

“A woman living alone in a big ole’ house almost always invites the question of how she’s going to fill it. Partner, kids, multiple rescue dogs, each with its own Instagram account. But a five-million-dollar shack in the most expensive beach destination in the country answers that question with gorgeous restraint. A woman in a home only big enough for herself is the ultimate fuck you to patriarchal society. It says, ‘I am enough for me.'”


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