The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books (July 2012)
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback (coming May 2013), ebook, audio
Format Read: Hardcover
My thoughts: I picked up my very first Weiner novel, Good in Bed when it was first released in 2002. I was a huge fan, snapping up each of the next several novels with eager anticipation. As time went on, I grew less and less enthusiastic about her releases. When Best Friends Forever was released in 2009 I didn’t touch it and still haven’t read it today. My enthusiasm for her work sort of waned but never completely went away. One day I happened upon a short story freebie offered on Amazon titled Swim and decided to download it.
In Swim, Weiner introduces the characters featured in The Next Best Thing and allows you to get to know them. I mention Swim in my review of The Next Best Thing because it really enhanced the story for me and and renewed my enthusiasm for Weiner’s work.
Meet Ruth Saunders, a television writer hoping that her sitcom will make it on the air. Ruth lives with her grandmother who raised her, in Los Angeles. Supported by an amusing cast of characters we follow along as Ruth learns lessons about life, love, and television.
In typical Weiner fashion, our main character has a hang up about her appearance that she has to work through. While it was mentioned from time to time, I didn’t feel like it made up the bulk of the story and found this to be incredibly refreshing. The relationship between Ruth and her grandmother was a tad bit stifling at times, but for the most part its extremely sweet. Of course there has to be a bit about a guy. Will they get together or won’t they?
Overall, The Next Best Thing was a pretty good read. It has prompted me to go back and revisit some of the novels that I elected to skip over in the past.
© 2012, Teresa. All rights reserved.