The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

Borderline mind-numbing, The Favourite Sister tells the story of five highly annoying, but wildly successful women who get their lives documented on a reality TV show.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

Genres: Mystery, Fiction
Published: 17th May, 2018
Series: N/A
Rating: 2

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.

One of the reasons why I never watch reality shows is because I think they have nothing to do with reality and honestly, if I want to see a bunch of drama queens flapping about, I just go to work.

Somewhere, very deep, there’s some feminist message hidden in this story. You know, women need to stick up for each other, and so on, but neither of these backstabbing bitches actually do anything remotely similar, except one time, and that’s entirely for the wrong reason.

In case I have not made it clear, all these women are quite unlikeable, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Usually these kind of characters are either so awful that I relish in their horribleness and follow their story with morbid fascination, or they do something to actually redeem themselves, making me feel sympathetic. Not these ladies however, and it was quite a disappointing aspect of the book for me. They were not intriguing psychopaths, just some fucked up people, exploiting their success from media exposure, a bunch of fake people doing everything they can to stay relevant to the show. All of them had a chance to actually make a difference, and influence people in a good way, but it seemed Brett was the only one who actually tried to do some good, and even her ways were rather questionable.

When it comes to thrillers, I equally enjoy the slow burners that creep up on you and hold you in their grip, and the fast paced ones that don’t even allow you to catch your breath. The Favourite Sister was unfortunately not either of these. With its long and tedious chapters it was verging on boring, and I’m not sure where all those hair-raising plot twists all the taglines boasted about were hidden. The story seemed to drag on forever.

The last, big reveal at the end of the story was meant to be shocking, but by that point I was so fed up with everything that happened, or rather not happened before, that I just shrugged and muttered “Noted, don’t care” under my nose and exhaled a relieved sigh once the whole thing was over.

“We have choices as women, and there is no right one to make – especially because no matter what you decide, the world will tell you you’re doing it wrong.”

Women’s empowerment and body image were also a hot topic these five women all tried to stand up for in their own way. Brett had SPOKE, a company that provided aid for women living under unsafe conditions. Her sister, Kelly had a yoga studio where they focused on well being, rather than body transformation. Steph, the writer, spoke about abuse, and Jen was into healthy eating and juicing to the extreme. It’s all nice on paper, but when shit hit the fan and their true selves got revealed, everything came crumbling down. In private, of course. Never in public.

The Favourite Sister is not a book I would recommend to anyone looking for a satisfying thriller, but if you enjoy shit stirring characters who create drama where otherwise there wouldn’t be any, you might enjoy this one.

I received my copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My opinion was not influenced by this.


  1. ‘if I want to see a bunch of drama queens flapping about, I just go to work…’ This just made my Monday morning 😀

    Great review Norrie.Sorry to hear that this one ended up being such a disappointing read. I think I will skip it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Might be a good idea!
      I think this style of writing doesn’t work for me, so i won’t read her other book, but people who liked this one compared to it to her first one in terms of enjoyment. 🙂


  2. “if I want to see a bunch of drama queens flapping about, I just go to work.” Ha ha, that made me laugh out loud.

    I don’t watch reality tv shows and I have a feeling those characters would annoy me and the absence of growth is something that really gets on my nerves. Who knows though, I’ve been proven wrong many times. 😊🙈 Great review Norrie! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ah, wondering the big reveal now. I DNf’d this one and writing a post today! We have similar feelings.Story was dragging. I could have finished, if it was more flowing.
    And also, it was SO American. I mean, there is nothing wrong with that but somethings probably only made sense if you’re living in NY? Don’t know.. Maybe i didn’t get it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, you are so right on that! It could have been a fast paced story, but nope!
      I don’t really watch reality tv, but maybe 15 years ago we had big brother in my country, and even that was a bit meh. But that was of course different cuz the people were locked up.
      So yea, this is totally unfamiliar but as far as i know they do have this kind of shows in the US and they are popular.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.