Book Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

July 3, 2012 book review 5

Ruth Saunders has been through much in her young life.  Her parents were killed in a tragic car crash, and Ruth went through the windshield.  She was very young, and numerous surgeries have not removed the scars on the side of her face.  Her maternal grandmother moved from Florida back to Massachusetts to raise her and be right by her side for each surgery and recovery.  Nana and Ruth watch a lot of TV and Ruth’s love of  The Golden Girls, the way the women get alone, and support each other, influences her career choice. 

Ruth dreams of writing a television script, so off to California she and grandma go to fulfill her dreams, and though she begins small and has her heart she plugs along and eventually writes a script that a network is interested in.  The Next Best Thing is chosen to have it’s pilot filmed, and Ruth is suddenly caught in the struggle between her creative vision, narcissistic stars, the politics of the network and more.

Once again Jennifer Weiner has written a book that draws you in, and doesn’t let you put the book down.  She has created Ruth, a character so warm, so spunky and yet in obvious and less seen ways very scarred.  I wanted to simultaneously hold her and tell her all would be fine and cheer her on to achieve her dreams.  This book tell such a tugging story of Ruth’s young life, and how she never quite fit in.  All of her life her grandma was her rock and role model, a woman who had style and grace and what Weiner might call chutzpah!  I loved the Jewish references, Weiner writes what she knows, and yet doesn’t over sell the heritage and traditions she’s been raised with.

Weiner also uses an average woman as her heroine in this and many of her books.  I love how she’s used women who are not model thin or beautiful to create a beloved character, it makes me feel good about myself and I’m sure this is a feeling many women get reading her books.  This book has some wonderful, steamy sex scenes.  Jennifer Weiner does this so well, no playing around with suggestions, she gets it right, and honestly…pools and showers will cause me to blush, smile or a little of both for some time to come. 

I’ve given this book 4.5 out of 5 stars and I think it is a PERFECT summer read.  I am so excited that today is the publication day, and that I’ll be working this afternoon.  I fully intend to gush all over it, and recommend it to lots of people browsing for a new book!!

Thank you to Edelweiss and Atria Books for giving me  access to an e-galley of this book.

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner”

  1. Terra

    this is one I will pick up for sure, I enjoy this author her books are quick reads for me and good no brainers!!!

  2. Zibilee

    I haven’t read one of Weiner’s books in ages, so this one does sound like it would make a great poolside read for me. I delight in a good summer read, and this one sounds just about perfect. Thanks for the great review and for giving me the scoop. Perhaps I will pick up my copy soon!

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