The Next Best Thing Certainly Is...
I have to say that there is something about Jennifer Weiner’s books that always make me feel like I’m the main character. Maybe because the heroine isn’t the “perfect” size four model. Or maybe it’s because the women never had it easy in the looks department. Or maybe it’s just because it’s damn good writing. Jennifer Weiner is a writer for the female underdog, and this is what attracted me to her books in the first place. Her exploration of not-so-perfect sex and not-so-perfect women is something that every woman can relate to (even if you are a size four model). In her newest novel and the tenth she’s written, The Next Best Thing, Weiner jumps into the world of network executives, screen writers, love and the bond between her main character Ruth Saunders and her grandmother.
In The Next Best Thing, we follow a woman with a scarred face and spirit as she moves up in the crazy Los Angeles “Show Biz” scene from assistant to show runner. It sounds like the perfect rise for a heroine, but what the story shows is that it’s not easy to get to the middle in this business, and even then you have to give up on your vision of perfection.
Ruthie Saunders finds out that the Hollywood Dream of making it is not always a dream and can be a down right nightmare with annoying actors, the politics of dealing with the network and behind the scene love affairs that almost always go wrong. In the book she does an ideal job of describing some sex scenes without making it seem like a porn. From performing oral sex on a jerk, to having boring sex with her boring boyfriend, to having the best “sex” of her life with a man paralyzed from the waist down, Weiner’s sex scenes are vivid but not graphic. Her sex scenes always work.
I love a good “chick” read, and Jennifer Weiner provides plenty of them, but this book started off a little slow for me. I think that there was some stuff that could have been cut out and the book would have been just as effective but nevertheless, it was still a good read and I believe that this was Weiner’s next best thing.