Monday, August 27, 2012

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner Review

Hey Everyone!!

Today's a sad day...

One word...

Summer has come and gone, way too fast, friends have left to head off to their schools, and now it's time to get back to business.

Luckily, I believe I will still have time for reading, because my online classes allow me to do that!  Which is AWESOME!!! Reviews might just not be coming in as normal as usual.  But I'm hoping to have at least one up a week!


So now to my review!!

Actually before I go into The Next Best Thing, I wanted to say some back ground information about Jennifer Weiner, the author.

Jennifer Weiner is not only the bestselling author of books like In Her Shoes, which was made into a movie quite a few years ago, featuring Cameron Diaz; but she was also the writer and creator of the ABC Family TV series State of Georgia, which featured Raven Symone (The Cosby Show & That's So Raven).

Why am I bringing this up, you may be wondering?

Well, after reading The Next Best Thing, I can't help thinking that her experience on the show may have been the inspiration for her newest novel The Next Best Thing!

You all remember Raven, right??

I used to love watching both The Cosby Show and That's So Raven growing up!

She was also a great inspiration!  She was one of the only normal sized girls on TV!  It was awesome!

Well, to make a long story short, I was quite the bit sad that Raven got into the mind set of the "Hollywood Way" on decided she needed to lose weight. I mean don't get me wrong, she is gorgeous in The State of Georgia, but she was also super pretty in That's So Raven!!
Before when she was on That's So Raven and she was acting super confident, and a bit obnoxious sometimes...come on, please tell me you remember the scream!!

NO? Well, here you go, just a short video to remind you...
Well, now that I've revived your memory, and quite possibly popped your ear drums (I'm sorry if that is the case, please don't bill me for your hearing aid!!!)...let me continue...

Anyway, so yeah, Raven!

Anyhow, now to my review!!

The Next Best Thing is Jennifer Weiner's newest book! It's the story of Ruth Saunders, making her dream come true of becoming a Hollywood writer!  At least, that's the dream she's always thought she's had.

But when it finally starts happening, she might soon realize it isn't what she always hoped for.  There is SO much that goes on in the process of making a TV show, a HIT TV show!  It's crazy!  For instance, the shows that are currently on TV those are only like like 1 percent (probably even less) of what gets sent into the studios every year!!! Crazy right??

The Next Best Thing: A NovelWell, anyway, Ruth is living in LA with her grandmother, and learning the ropes of Hollywood.  Her dream show, the story based on her own life growing up without parents and only her grandmother...may not turn out to be that show anymore when it airs.

In fact, it's practically nothing like her original idea!  It's oversexed, dirty, disappointing to her grandmother, and the dialogue is way different.  So many rewrites and reshoots that Ruth has practically lost count!

Along with the show, Ruth is dealing with her personal life, of dealing of pains from the past, her recent break-up, and her crush on one of her ex-bosses!  It's tough! And the only two things keeping her sane are her grandmother, and a swimming pool to do laps in!

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this one!  Jennifer Weiner gave me a good idea of what to expect when writing for Hollywood...disappointment, and the slaughtering of your work!  It's sad, but I bet unfortunately true!
I got really excited every time Dave (her crush) came into the picture, because I was looking forward to what would happen!  I also found it very refreshing to have a male character that was a love interest that wasn't necessarily a living God!  Dave is in a wheelchair, after a terrible accident in the senior year of college that left him paralyzed.  I thought it was great that Ruth, feeling flawed herself, falls in love with Dave none the less!  I thought that was a great change from my normal reads, where it's usually only the girl that has some sort of flaw about her, not the main guy/love interest.

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if The Next Best Thing was a story based on her experience with The State of Georgia, just because of so many different things! For one, Ruth has to deal with the change in her main actress...the main character in her show was supposed to be a robust, normal sized girl, and was cast by a size ten former child star in the book...then after the pilot has been shot and approved,  Ruth goes to a meeting with her star, and finds out her star has undergone a major weight loss!  In fact, there's practically nothing left of her star!!

That reminded me a bit of Raven, because she was a child star....and then she lost quite a bit of weight!  Who knows though??!

There were a few other similarities I noticed between the show and book, that I found interesting.   

Overall rating:

I actually only have one complaint about The Next Best Thing and that was I did feel that once in a while there a bit too many details. I got bored a couple of times, because Weiner would be describing one thing, and it would last for like a page and a half to even two pages.
But other than that, I loved the story!  The characters!  Great message!  Just an overall really great contemporary novel! :)

The Romance Bookie :)


  1. I will have to read this at some point :) but I will read "Swim" first.