Monday, July 9, 2012

(91)The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

The Next Best Thing

Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Pages: 400


Ok, I am back!  The last couple of weeks have been so busy around here.  We have had out of town guests two weeks in a row.  And I found out that my job is basically being eliminated, so every waking moment the last few weeks has been spent scouring the internet for a job.   The job situation (I think - I hope) has been taken care of, so the last few days have been spent reading.  A lot.  It feels good, too.  To be reading again.  My brain feels active again.  Think of it like an athlete going weeks without working out.  But Thank God, my brain has resumed it's workout sessions.

First up is the latest book by Chick Lit author, Jennifer Weiner.   Her newest novel features Ruth Saunders.  Ruth has had somewhat of a rough life.  At age three her parents were killed in the same car accident that critically injured Ruth and left her scarred (both physically and emotionally) for life.  At some point Ruth heads West to pursue her dream of being a Hollywood writing.  With her Grandma along for support the two of them make a new life in Hollywood.  While working on other shows Ruth works on her developing a script for her own show.  It is a dream come true when she gets the call from her Agent that the network has agreed to shoot a pilot.   As she puts together her cast and crew (with intervention from the network bigwigs) Ruth starts to watch her dream showly turn into a nightmare.  Is she willing to sacrifice her heart and soul just to get The Next Big Thing into the Fall lineup?

I really enjoyed Ruth's story. She is a strong female character who has had a run of bad luck, both professionally and romantically, but she does not let it get her down. The supporting cast of characters are just as refreshing as Ruth herself.  First there is her Grandma, then there are her bosses, "The Daves" and of course the interesting cast of actors that will be starring in the Ruth's television show.   The "romantic" part of the story is just as sweet and fresh as you would expect from Jennifer Weiner.

Bottom line, The Next Best Thing, is a refreshingly wonderful Chick Lit novel that gives you a sneak peak inside the "wonderful world" of Hollywood. While I was reading this book I often wondered how much of the story was based on the author's experience while a writer/producer on the cancelled State of Georgia. The story is pretty simple, but it is packed with big heart and lots of spunk.  The perfect book if you are hanging out by the pool this summer, and really in this stupid crazy heat, who isn't out by the pool?

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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