Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Next Best Thing
I have to say that Jennifer Weiner has become a favorite author of mine in the past couple of years. After starting out with her Good In Bed a while back, I was hooked (for that review, click here). It's so nice to have someone write about real women with real body and emotional issues. Every protagonist in her books is the kind of underdog you want to root for.
I've recently noticed that she's only written 10 books...and I've read six of them to-date. I think I might have to just round it out and finish up this smallish number, I already own two of the others I haven't read yet...that leaves only two more.
The Next Best Thing is Weiner's newest book, released in July of this year. Interesting note, after finishing this book, I read some other reviews and found out that this book is semi-autobiographical. Also, if (like me) you've read The Guy Not Taken, this book is a continuation of one of those short stories. Yay, I was super excited about that!
The main character, Ruth, is an aspiring sitcom writer whose pilot script, The Next Best Thing, gets picked up. Ruth lives with her sweet grandmother, who coddles her a bit since Ruth was the victim of a childhood car accident where she was physically (and emotionally) scarred for life AND lost her parents.
This book follows Ruth's struggle to make her Golden Girls-style sitcom dream a reality, all the while dealing with executives, annoying television actors, a huge crush on her old boss and all the other types of politics surrounding Hollywood.
For me, this book was a solid 3 out of 5 stars. It didn't wow me like Good In Bed and I felt the ending was left a little open. I would have appreciated more of a definitive closing, but I think Weiner might have been making a point with it. It ends with the message that Ruth is happy with how things have turned out and that while things might change tomorrow, she'll be happy with what she has today. It's a nice idea, but I think that I (along with other readers, judging from other reviews) would have liked a bit more closure. I definitely recommend this book, like I would recommend just about any Jennifer Weiner book. In fact, it might be a good stocking stuffer for someone you know (or you could just slide it under the tree for yourself)!