BOOK REVIEW: The Next Best Thing – by Jennifer Weiner

brthenextbestthing

Title: The Next Best Thing
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
First published: July 1st 2012
Finished reading: December 29th 2014
Pages: 448
1

“You don’t get perfect-but I was going to grab this happiness and hold it as tightly as I could. I was going to enjoy it for as long as it lasted.”

myrambles1review

I had promised myself to start using my TBR jar again as soon as I finished the Bookish Bingo challenge. I guess that didn’t work out the way I planned… Instead of getting a nice surprise and a refreshing read, I got The Next Best Thing. Which ended up being closer to my next worst nightmare than anything else. Sure, a contemporary romance novel isn’t exactly my cup of tea in most cases and the problem with this book could have been me. Still I struggled and had to literally force myself to finish this book, crossing my fingers things would get better later on. Unfortunately, the tremendous amount of cliches, boring characters and bad storyline in general just make me think I’ve wasted my time reading this book. If you are into contemporary romance, you might like this novel by Jennifer Weiner, who knows? But if you don’t, it’s best to stay far away from The Next Best Thing.

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Ruth Saunders was left without parents and with terrible scars on her face and body after an accident when she was a little girl. She was raised by her grandmother and now that she has grown up, she is determined to make it as a screenwriter in Hollywood. She moves to Los Angeles with her grandmother and soon discovers it is harder than she thought to get a job without the typical pretty face… And while she gets a job in the end writing for a different show, this is not what her dream is. She has written her own show, The Next Best Thing, and desperately tries to convince the big guys of approving her show. When she finally succeeds and she gets the green light to run her own show, she doesn’t realize things won’t go as she had planned initially. Soon enough the show she had originally written is being altered piece by piece, leaving it without its original message. And there is nothing Ruth can do about it. And not only that, certain men are causing her problems and try to break her heart…

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Even writing the short summary made me realize how much I disliked The Next Best Thing and I wonder how I managed to finish this novel. I’ve heard Jennifer Weiner‘s earlier books are way better, but I don’t think I will give those a try after having read this one. The cliches, bad storytelling and boring characters just ruined it for me. It might have been a case of not-for-me, but unless you love contemporary romance and cliches, my advice would be to stay away from this one.

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15 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Next Best Thing – by Jennifer Weiner

  1. Thanks for the honest review, I’m the same – a bit shaky about the whole romance novel thing, unless it’s got a bit more depth like Jojo Moyes stuff. Don’t think I’ll be trying this one.

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    • I don’t mind romance only if it is not cheesy and pointless, if not I normally don’t even try a novel. I don’t know how this one ended up on my TBR pile, but it is definitely not recommended if you don’t like cheesy and bad quality chick lit. Although I suppose it will do for a beach read…

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    • I’ve heard her earlier books are better and one of her books (I think it was In Her Shoes) was even made into a movie… But this one is definitely not worth reading even on the beach, unless you don’t have better books around. 😉

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  6. What a shame, it feels such a waste of time reading a book you hate! I thought she was better than your average chick-lit author too, but obv not now…personally I think anyone who tries to do anything in Hollywood without looks is either very brave or very naive. Very sad but true.

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    • Her earlier work is suppost to be better, so it could be the case… I know chick lit in general is not my thing, but even keeping that in mind I couldn’t appreciate this novel. And unfortunately Hollywood is a world that cares more about fake and ‘perfect’ than real… Not a place I would want to live; I prefer brains over looks and absolutely dislike shallow people. 😉

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  7. Hmmm, how discouraging! I’ve read a few of her books, and especially enjoyed Good in Bed (which I think was her first?). But the Hollywood aspect doesn’t interest me at all, and this sounds like one I can skip!

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      • I’d say yes (re Good in Bed). The title and cover had turned me off initially, but once I gave it a shot, I found it much more moving than I’d expected.

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