Jennifer Weiner has a great sense of humor and it's as good as ever in The Next Best Thing. One reviewer mentioned that there was a lot of whining. Maybe so, but it's funny whining. Although it's a lighthearted story, it puts the Hollywood culture of shallow beauty into perspective, while emphasizing the importance of inner resources and heart. Some of the obstacles Ruthie (the main character) had to surmount became a bit tedious in places, but I found myself rooting for her and had a hard time putting the book down.
If you've never read Jennifer Weiner before, then start with Good In Bed. For Weiner fans The Next Best Thing is an informative saunter through the glitz, glam and gross extravagance of the television industry.
The author does so well with the daily injustices thrust on over-weight women, but her portrayal of one with a disfigured face, with a hot body (of which Weiner is excessively enamored) was off and even grating.
Still, Jennifer Weiner delivers her normal humorous and evocative fare, even with the trite, predictable, pat ending that you generally only see in, well, television sit-coms.
Love to Read
That is was different and unique story, interesting subject the TV industry
Her voice was was irritating to me. I think this makes a better read than an audible book
Olivia Thirbly was a great voice for the main character, Ruthie. She didn't overact or ham it up, like many tend to do. She kind of gave it to us straight, in a good way. Her voice made me sympathize with the character without feeling sorry for her or pitying her.
This is definitely a summer, chick-lit book, but with substance. The usual non-sense, reality suspending scenarios that you usually find in a chick-lit book are missing here and thank goodness!
We get an insiders look into making it in Hollywood, getting a tv show produced and being a writer. The characters were well written and had believable relationships. The dialogue felt real--this is how real people talk and express themselves.
Would definitely recommend.
Have to admit I didn't finish listening to the book. Got about half through before I decided to move on. Didn't find the story particularly interesting and the reader ....well she sounded as if she was reading.
Except for the surprise ending (which in hindsight was fully in line with the deus ex machina approach of this author), I couldn't find much to like about this book. I'm all for an author rooting for her main character, but when the narrative is so clearly partial to the heroine, the readers find it hard to sympathize with that character (why even bother when the author goes out of her way to accommodate her), and even more so when the heroine is so whiny, mean-spirited (all the while rationalizing her own bigotry), and a borderline stalker.
As for the narration, I found it tolerable but not very credible: the narrator often lapses into the very same question intonation for statements that the heroine criticizes in others.
I am really enjoying this author's writing! love the way it's read. This was a fun listen!
As usual, Jennifer Weiner takes you through a relatable emotional rollercoaster & tells a story theough conversations. Her typical protagonist once again faces body & self esteem issues but the story is told in a way that makes you a part of the characters lives, draws you in & keeps you hooked.