Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451617755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451617757

Book Description

Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits 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 showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

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

About The Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Then Came You. She was the co-creator and co-executive producer of the ABC Family sitcom State of Georgia, which aired in 2011. She lives with her family in Philadelphia. To learn more, visit

My Review

Jennifer Weiner's books are consistently good reads.  The Next Best Thing is a story about a writer in Hollywood that provides the reader with a behind the scenes realistic picture of the process behind getting a new show on the air.  It is also a love story between a grandmother and a granddaughter thrown together by circumstance.  And the love they both find in Hollywood.

Ruthie's parents died when she was young in a terrible car crash that left Ruthie fighting for her life and disfigured.  Her grandmother gives up her retirement to raise Ruthie and she raises her well.  Her grandmother works hard to instill a sense of self worth in Ruth.  She is her biggest supporter.  And heads off to Hollywood with Ruth when she wants to write for television.  Ruth works as an assistant and works her way up while working on her writing skills.

Weiner's Hollywood is portrayed with all imperfections.  What sells is what really matters.  Good writing and good stories are rarely appreciated in the world of network sitcoms.  Quality be damned.  If women are not stick thin then they aren't worth anything.  Cosmetic surgery abounds. These realities pepper the journey Ruth embarks on as her concept and script for The Next Best Thing go full circle.

Loved the ending!  How delicious!  A perfect conclusion for Weiner's two Golden Girls.  The Next Best Thing is out on July 3rd.  Excellent summer sure to give it a shot.

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