What Jessica Knoll reads

The New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive has just released her latest twisted thriller, The Favorite Sister, and we don’t know who’s more excited, Reese Witherspoon or the team at She Reads. Find out which books the talented and wildly popular author loves with this exclusive reading list from Jessica Knoll herself.

The most recent book she couldn’t put down:

The Wife by Alafair Burke

As the last book that Jessica couldn’t put down, The Wife is a psychological suspense novel that will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. When Angela’s husband is accused by two women of a horrific act, she can’t help but think that it was a silly mix-up but then one of the girls goes missing and Angela suddenly isn’t sure what to think about the man she married.

Knoll’s summer vacation pick:

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

If Jessica could only take one book along on a month-long vacation this summer, she’d pack Megan Abbott’s latest release, Give Me Your Hand. Kit and Diane had a complicated high school friendship. But one secret would eventually ruin their relationship, causing the two to drift apart completely. Over 10 years later, the two will come face-to-face, competing for a highly elusive position in the research field and when their games begin to get dangerous, they’ll both have to step back and look at their relationship or risk permanently ruining both of their lives forever.


The latest books from the authors that inspire Jessica’s work:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It didn’t take long for Flynn’s Gone Girl to become a huge success and it’s no wonder Jessica looks up to this amazing author. When Amy Dunne disappears, her husband is left to pick up the pieces but as more evidence comes to light, an elaborate scheme is unveiled, leading to an utterly shocking ending you won’t see coming.

The Outsider by Stephen King

Stephen King’s 2018 release is a horrific story about what happens when a small town gets involved in a gruesome murder investigation. When an 11-year-old boy’s body is found, a suspect is taken into custody right away. But as the townspeople dig deeper into the case, it becomes clear that the suspected Little League coach isn’t who everyone thought he was and that this crime is more complex than anyone had thought.

Brave Enough by Cheryl StrayedBrave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Bestselling author Cheryl Strayed once ran a column, documenting the twists and turns of her interesting life and has taken the wisdom she’s learned from her past and put it in this pocket-size book. This short read packs a powerful punch with over 100 quotes and thoughts from the accomplished author.


Books Jessica reads over and over again:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

In this literary favorite, Sylvia Plath takes readers into the mind of a woman in the midst of a breakdown with exquisite detail and heart. As she divulges into this intense time in Esther’s life, her insanity becomes tangible and readers become eerily aware of the struggle she’s going through.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This dark read from one of Knoll’s favorite authors reminds us of aspects of her own thrilling work and is a book sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. A story about a murderous family who is forced to deal with the difficult ways of a distant family member, this legendary book is a must-read for horror fans everywhere.

(feature image courtesy of Tyler William Parker)
Jessica Knoll

Jessica Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and bulldog, Beatrice.

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