This is a lighthearted, witty look at a quirky family from multiple perspectives. The family members all have their faults, but are essentially lovable. The author, Judy Astley, is always entertaining. Polly March, the narrator, comes across as droll, but her voice is also tinged with the wisdom of experience. Blowing It is a fun read.
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.
The overly dramatic narration destroys Keyes' wonderful wry wit. I really wish I had just bought the book.
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