Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 400
Received: Received from publisher from NetGalley

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

Blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns with an irresistible story about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood…

At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she’s hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear and eye for writer’s rooms, bad behavior backstage and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood rollercoaster and a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.

My Review:

I absolutely adore everything Jennifer Weiner! Her writing style is amazing, very sarcastic and funny. This book was inspired from her work on the short-lived television show "State of Georgia" where she had some of the same issues to deal with that Ruth does in this book.

I really love underdog stories, and that is exactly what this is. Ruth is not the most beautiful person in Hoolywood, she has some issues with scars over her body from an accident when she was young, making her very self-conscious of herself (especially living out in Hollywood). But Ruth makes a name for herself in the way she knows how. Despite all her problems, she knows how to come out of it on top. I connected a lot with Ruth because she is someone who would rather be in the background (writing the story) rather than out there acting, where everyone will know who she is.

I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ruth and her grandmother. It was nice to see characters who rely so heavily on one another, her whole inspiration for the show being her relationship with her grandmother. Weiner definitely adds in some of the quirkier scenes with Ruth and her grandmother.

I did feel a little disappointed with the ending of the book. I wanted just a little more to see where Ruth takes her life after dealing with everything. The ending leaves Ruth with a choice but it is not fully concluded and it just left me wanting more (even just a few more chapters about her life).

This book was definitely a fun read, nice to see the behind the scenes of how a tv show gets made. Weiner definitely brings out her amazing writing with this book, but it just left a little more to be desired. 

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