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Publisher's Summary

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

Flash-forward 15 years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She’s just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you’re the only one who can help."

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It’s about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.

©2008 Jennifer Weiner (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, Best Friends Forever, is not leaving the special shelf where it's already wedged in with other books I reread every so often because they just make me happy." ( The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"In Addie, Weiner has created a steely, sympathetic narrator who is vulnerable but not pathetic, unwilling to settle for disappointment despite the bad hand that most of her 33 years have dealt. The novel is a welcome addition to the author's collection of tales about strong, clever women who carve their own niche in this world - much like Weiner." ( The Miami Herald)
Addie Downs - the Everygirl at the center of Jennifer Weiner's latest novel - just could turn out to be one of our favorite heroines of the summer.... Another superlative novel by Weiner, about a big girl with a bigger heart, that will have women and men of all sizes cheering." ( USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Liza
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 11-08-11

Fun reading book..........

Typical, predictable, easy reading book. Perfect to read on the beach. Didn't keep my interest though just wanted to finish it at the end. Not more to say. I wont recommend that anyone go out of their way to read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

very enjoyable

It was good and fun chic lit. Very good at describing her characters. I enjoy all of Jennifer Weiner's books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • easton, PA, United States
  • 01-31-14

Not Finished.. But compelled to review

I've loved every one of Jennifer Weiner's books that I have read but I have to say, I am about half way through and I am so disappointed. This story hasn't interested me and made me want to read more. I listen to my audio books on my hour ride home and sometimes while working, however, I am actually FORCING myself to listen to this one on my rides because I bought it. The story is boring, flips back and forth between when the "best friends" were younger and now older. Just nothing particularly intriguing or interesting about it. Don't judge Jennifer Weiner's books by this one if you have never listed or read any of her others, try others, not this one! I am hoping it gets better by the end. I also have to say that the female that is reading in this book sounds.. sleepy.. and boring.. I feel like it could have more life with some more emotion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

Any additional comments?

I was kinda disappointed in this book. I love Jennifer Weiner but this one was not nearly as good as some of her other books. There were some pretty funny momments but over all it missed the mark.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It was very interesting and insightful<br />

It brought me to see how my life was similar to this type of story. There were parts in this story that made me overcome certain incidents that heppened to me.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I am shocked by my powerful dislike of this book.

Spoilers ahead.
*

Good fiction asks you to suspend your disbelief in order to invest in the characters and sink into the story.

I'm happy to do that for Jennifer Weiner, who has written several other books I enjoyed. WHAT HAPPENED JEN?!

Is the authour a self-hating fat person? I hate to be harsh, but in contrast to other fat characters in Jennifer's other books, Addie's stories of struggle don't culminate in growth and self-acceptance. She loses weight through a restrictive diet, which many fat people have done, and then is *fixed* - and then gets pregnant! A pregnant neighbour moves in, who is ALSO pregnant! Yay! The cycle of friendship between neighbour girls continues! That's our big ending. The ending was tacked on.

AND given the character's very recent weight loss, the book did not at all address what happens to 95% of people who go on a self-hating diet and lose 50, 80, 100, 200 lbs - they GAIN IT BACK 95% of the time within 5-7 years! Especially when there are things like pregnancy happening. This "lost the weight, had a crazy friend adventure, then lived happily ever after" seemed like a complete cop-out for Jennifer, who I know is a large woman as well, so I have to wonder if the authour is really writing about a hope for herself? I'm sure she must know the stats, and as Jennifer established herself with fat characters like Cannie and Rose, I was shocked to see a weight loss rainbows and unicorns story in one of Jennifer's books!

There was no real resolution between Val and Addie - and I couldn't quite suspend my disbelief that Addie, who withdrew 10K in her own savings to cover Val's attempt at bank robbery, and had to LOSE 2K of it to a bank teller bribe, harbored no resentment of Val at all.

A relatable character would have been pissed, given their history of friendship and how Val had essentially dropped Addie for 10+ years.

The dynamic of their friendship didn't really work for me. I could identify with Addie in several ways, but Addie didn't seem to have much of an inner life - she didn't seem at all conflicted when Val swept back into her life like a Cat 4 hurricane, especially when Val explained she'd maybe killed her rapist, the man and event that resulted in the destruction of their friendship and the narrowing of Addie's world, and Addie's complete abandonment to deal with the deaths of her parents and the long-term needs of her brother ALONE. Gee, she really could have used a friend during those years! Where were you VAL!?

Addie apparently forgives Val for everything, instantly, without any sort of inner dialogue - which is what initially threw me out of the narrative. Just, "Oh hey, you're back, sure I guess I'll go on the lam with you as you dodge the law for maybe killing your rapist. Why not! I only have an appointment with an oncologist and a potentially expensive fight for my life coming up, but hey, even though you dumped me as a friend I'll jump RIGHT BACK on your bandwagon!"

She still isn't even a tiny bit resentful of the money she spent on this trip when she finds out she's actually pregnant, not dying, and now needs to provide for her child as a single mother on a greeting card designer commission. Val is a TV personality with money for monthly laser skin resurfacing, but offers Addie no help with setting up her house for the new baby.

What about the baby's father? He just disappears? She never tells him? That thought never seems to occur to Addie either - again no inner life! Just, "My baby." That's it.

And the rapist repents. Yay? This part of the book pissed me off, because these men don't repent. They certainly don't apologize to their victims, admit guilt, or turn themselves in. They don't suddenly start to care that their mother was disappointed in them. The "Holy Mary" thing? What the heck was that?

No, entitled guys like that don't suddenly wake up and feel sorry. Maybe they go to therapy and become better men. Maybe another man they look up to sets a better example and THEN they start to do some inner work.

It was icky and gross too because the book sooooort of implies that if Val had just been able to tell the rapist that he had hurt her and she was angry with him, that maybe he would have had this epiphany back in high school. I'm sure that's not what the author intended, but I can see that interpretation.

The cop narrative was boring to me. I'm not a fan of the beach-read-mystery genre, and I didn't know that Jennifer was trying to write for it. It was OBVIOUS where that story line was going from the very beginning, and as the story is supposed to be about Val and Addie, I found myself impatient to get back to their chapters, and not really invested in what the cop was doing or thinking, since clearly he would end up with Addie in the end.

Oh, and he has no problem with raising Addie's child from a previous, very recent affair. AFFAIR. His last wife cheated on him, yet he's perfectly happy to make a lifetime commitment to a woman who slept with a married man for months, was dumped, but is keeping his baby? What??? That's not the kind of conversation that happens SO SOON into a relationship! This baby is the result of a longer-term affair with a married doctor. Her relationship with the cop is BRAND NEW and she's not even six months out from the last encounter with the doctor. Cop immediately says he will commit to raising her baby.

Um, RED FLAG!? What???

Why not do a flash-forward or something to when the child is a toddler and the cop proposes?

This whole book seems like Jennifer took a swing at a concept and came up with a half-decent first draft. For whatever reason it was rushed to publishing, or maybe it was an awesome first draft and it was butchered in editing.

Sadly, this does not at all live up to my J. Weirner favourites. Sorry. Returned the book.




  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your money

I love Jennifer Weiner so imagine my disappointment with a story that couldn't hold my interest at all. The storyline was far fetched. The characters were unlikable and impossible to connect with. The narration was weird. I forced myself to finish it because I was hoping it would get better and didn't want to waste my money....but 12+ hours later, I just feel like I wasted more than money. I wasted time.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Yuck

I usually enjoy jennifer weiner. This book was dull and incredibly ridiculous. Started out pretty well then took a dive. Would not recommend spending money on this one.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not up to her usual standards

I usually love Weiner's books but this was was not up to her usual quality. Can you spell OBVIOUS PLOT? I could see things coming 5 minutes away. And the stupidest plot elements! Not to give anything away but ... bank robbery? A lump that's not?? Skip this one unless you're desperate.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Ridiculously bad book

The narration was good, but the story was really terrible. At multiple points I almost threw in the towel...and I should have. Just terrible.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LoveReading
  • 05-20-18

Perfect summer story

A perfect blend of humour, pathos and warmth. Weiner's characters are nuanced and engaging while both narrators add an extra dimension through their excellent performance.