At 28, Ani has the perfect job, perfect physique, and perfect fiancé (including the perfect engagement ring). On the surface she has everything but underneath her perfect demeanor, Ani is struggling to keep up. When events from her past threaten to overwhelm her, her flawless facade starts to crumble.
I liked this book. It is, at times, a dark and tragic story that touches on the cruelness of children and the desire to fit in.
The book flips from current time and the past, depicting Ani in her late 20’s and as a teenager. When Ani was in high school, she was TifAni and a new student at the Bradley School where she did anything to fit in. After she suffers a painful and public humiliation, TifAni decides to reinvent herself and becomes Ani.
Ani is a complicated and tragic character. She’s very sympathetic because of what happened to her in high school. It’s clear that she was just a naive girl who got in over her head. As an adult, Ani may have a lot of flaws and she may not be that likeable, but she’s ambitious and is a woman who goes after what she wants. Society places such worth on how a person looks and what they wear, so it’s not difficult to see why Ani acts like she does.
This book is far from perfect. It covers a lot of issues that can be triggering to people including bullying, rape, eating disorders, homophobia, and violence. Ani is manipulative, self-serving, and shallow. Every action she takes is calculated to make herself look better. However, I felt that her character was real.
This is a story about a girl confronting her past. It’s a story about a girl who would do anything to belong and what happens when ‘anything’ goes too far. It’s a story about a girl that wants to be the girl that people want to be and look up to. It’s a story about a girl who just wants people to like her.