Luckiest Girl Alive: The true story behind the Netflix show and all you need to know about the book

Luckiest Girl Alive is a new Netflix show starring Mila Kunis that has just been released, but what's the real story behind this film?

Luckiest Girl Alive
(Image credit: Netflix)

Luckiest Girl Alive is the latest Netflix drama that has shocked fans, but what is the real story behind this mystery thriller drama?

Netflix's Luckiest Girl Alive focuses on Ani FaNelli whose life starts to fall apart when the secrets of her past come back to haunt her. 

"Luckiest Girl Alive centers on Ani FaNelli, a sharp-tongued New Yorker who appears to have it all: a sought-after position at a glossy magazine, a killer wardrobe, and a dream Nantucket wedding on the horizon. But when the director of a crime documentary invites her to tell her side of the shocking incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Brentley School, Ani is forced to confront a dark truth that threatens to unravel her meticulously crafted life," read the Netflix description.

Fans are already obsessed with this new film that first aired on Netflix on October 7, 2022, but what's the truth behind this story based on the best-selling book by Jessica Knoll? Warning, there are spoilers ahead...

The True Story behind Luckiest Girl Alive

Jessica Knoll's novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, was published in 2015 and was featured on best-seller lists for nearly four months. The author revealed that while most of the book is fictional, there are certain scenes and plotlines that were part of her life. 

In the film, Ani is gang-raped by three of her male classmates. Following this violent assault, Ani's experiences are downplayed by her classmates and even the adults in her life call into question whether she is telling the truth. 

The Luckiest Girl Alive

(Image credit: Netflix)

The author, Jessica, revealed that she had a similar experience and was the victim of rape when she was a teenager. Opening up about this traumatic experience, Jessica revealed in an article for Lenny Letter, "The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact. The second was my literary agent, five years later, only she wasn’t talking about me. She was talking about Ani, the protagonist of my novel, which is a work of fiction. What I’ve kept to myself, up until today, is that its inspiration is not."

The author revealed that she denied any similarities between herself and the main protagonist of the book, but eventually admitted that she too was a victim of gang rape.

"The day I pitched this essay, a woman approached me at a book event in New Jersey. 'You said you did some research for your book,' she said. 'Did you interview a rape victim?'" wrote Jessica in her article. She then admitted to the woman, "Something similar to what happened to Ani happened to me." 

The Luckiest Girl Alive

(Image credit: Netflix)

While there are other clear differences between Ani and Jessica, the focal point of the narrative is based on truth. 

Jessica compared herself with her character and highlighted some key similarites that mirror her life. "Ani is 28 in the book; I was 28 when I wrote the book. Like Ani, I grew up in the suburbs and attended a tiny private high school where, surrounded by old-money Ivy League strivers, I was a bit of an outlier. In adulthood, Ani writes about sex for *The Women’s Magazine*; I was an editor at *Cosmopolitan* for the first five years of my career."

The film is still currently available to stream on Netflix in the US and UK.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

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