Book synopsis from Amazon: 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.
“The Next Best Thing” IS the next best thing to come down the pike from seasoned and dependably enjoyable writer, Jennifer Weiner.
You cannot help but fall in love with Ruthie and her grandmother. They are everything you want in characters you’re going to spend several hours with. One of Ms. Weiner’s biggest strengths is the realness of her characters. Reminiscent of Cannie Shapiro from “Good in Bed” and Rose Feller from “In Her Shoes” – Ruth Saunders just feels like anyone. It seems as though “The Next Best Thing” is coming to us with a back to basics style of story-telling that this author does so very well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was amusing without trying to be and heartwarming without being cheesy. It teaches a lesson without being all in your face about it.
I did find it… ironic? Funny? That a character writing a a TV show with a “coming-of-age” theme is doing so in a “coming-of-age” book. At any rate, the thought of that made me chuckle more than once as I’m sure it was exactly what Ms. Weiner intended.
All-in-all, a fine read and a nice way to spend the weekend. I give it just a breath under 4 out of 5 pre-torn pairs of panties. (Read the book, you’ll get it. I laughed right out loud.)
I won an advanced readers copy of “The Next Best Thing” at a book signing with Jennifer Weiner. It is coming out this Tuesday, July 3rd, and will be available at a bookseller near you. I was not compensated in any way for this review it is my honest opinion of the book.