Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The Next Best Thing: A NovelThe Next Best Thing: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This is the story of Ruth Saunders.  She lost her parents in a horrible accident that left her scarred and somewhat deformed.   Throughout most of her childhood, Ruth has suffered with her multiple reconstructive surgeries, which could only do so much for her looks. Ruth of course has a major problem (as well as most people who see her) to see beyond her scars.  She has now grown up and is living her dream of   writing a screenplay and having it picked up by a network.  Now she is the “showrunner” which is as far as I’m concerned a wonderfully thankless position!

How her script is adapted for TV, how the script is basterdized, the actors being petty, what goes on in a studio; all the problems that go on behind the scenes, is what takes up the bulk of this book.   The book has been divided into thirds and I really found the first third to be a fascinating look into the personal life of Ruth as she grows from a pained and broken child into a wonderful, caring woman. The second third of this book is just excessively technical--- lacking personal interactions and concentrating on business and business relationships.  In this section as, well as part of the third. Ruth can come off as a spineless woman almost afraid to say boo.  And I can understand this somewhat---after all she is afraid to rock the boat – but this is her dream and I feel that people shouldn’t compromise for their dreams’.

The third section of the book starts Ruths redemption, as the screenplay has finally made it to the screen, to audiences etc and Ruth is forced to  acknowledge that this is not her project anymore. In this section, we will also find Ruth making a very huge relationship mistake.

But never fear, this is a Jennifer Weiner novel and all will be made clear in the final pages asthis book finally all comes together and a ‘happily ever-after’ both for her show and for her love, is achieved.


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