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Dear Readers,Jennifer Weiner never disappoints She delivered one of the best books I ve read The character development is top hat She is so funny I love her sense of humor In case you are looking for a fun book with twists and turns spiked with a good dose of humor, this is the book for you I thank the author for publishing pleasant and nice books. I wanted something mindless for the summer but this wasn t even so bad it s good it was justbad For one thing it was impossible to feel for ANY of the characters There was Addie, who garnered some sympathy points for having spent her teen years obese and having had a recent break up with a boyfriendbut wait That man wasn t even her boyfriend but a married man that she slept with and continuously referred to as her boyfriend Nope Then there s the cop, Jordan, who is investigating the crime that makes up the novel s plot We re supposed to want Addie to get together with the creep who treats his wife poorly after her multiple miscarriages, masturbates to children s programming, constantly has an inner monologue about his co worker s ass, and breaks into Addie s house because it s love at first sight to sniff her clothing Plus this is the guy who is easily convinced that her brain damaged brother is the one who committed the crime because some random person says the brother stole stuff from lockers in high school And don t even get me started on the stupid crime plot line A horrible rape occurs so Valerie hits the guy with her car then runs away to Key West with Addie And then we watch as Valerie takes advantage of Addie, spends all her money, and acts as if nothing happened and of course they re Bffs again because this is mindless chick lit Oh and did I mention that Valerie ALSO has an affair with someone What is with the author and affairs THREE characters have them in this book Possibly the worst part is the fact that Valerie s rape is blown over when the rapist prays his sin away with a born again Christian and turns himself in to the police station Please, how belittling can you get Overall an unbelievable, nonsensical book that made me feel no connection to any of the characters But it s okay because in the end Addie has a baby from her older married boyfriend and ends up with the creepy cop A baby and a man, just like any woman needs, of course First, let me say that I am all for having a category of books that is good to read on the beach Not everything I read needs to be deeply meaningful But this book pushed the limits of what I am willing to tolerate, even if it s hot as hell outside, and I m just looking for something easy.The underlying storyline here is so rich there s a childhood friendship between two girls that went awry Weiner has the opportunity to dig deeply into this kind of ultimate betrayal, but instead, she chooses to turn the book into a caper Unrealistic police action Easy bank robbery Thelma and Louise on the loose.I m thinking that the author couldn t make up her mind about what kind of book she wanted to write, and she became trapped somewhere between silly and serious I love Weiner s narrative voice, and I think she has become established enough to shake herself free from the limitations of the chick lit genre. Okay, guys, you know I love me some Jennifer Weiner I have gone to bat for her before, and I probably will again HOWEVER This one s a stinker.The plot, such as it is, is that Addie Downs opens her door one night and finds her best friend from high school standing there, covered in blood Turns out that at their fifteenth reunion, Valerie ran over the guy who raped her during their school days, and then left him outside, naked and bleeding in the middle of a Chicago November.Strong start and then suckfest.The book hinges on everyone having problems Here, I ll give you some convenient lists.Addie s family had the following problems Mother was fat, died of cancer.Father had PTSD, died of aneurism.Brother got into a car accident at fifteen, sustained a traumatic brain injury, and was permanently disabled.Addie had binge eating disorder and topped out at 350 pounds.Val s family had the following problems Father didn t want her, abdicated all responsibility for her.Mother didn t want her, kept her, exposed her to all sorts of horrible things, including a would be stepfather who was also a would be child molester.High school acquaintance raped her.All very sad, but of course there s the requisite moment where Addie our narrator realizes that maybe, Valerie s life was not as glamorous as she thought No shit.Okay, so here were my major issues with this book First off, Addie s brother s injury is played for pathos, and it s not even his pathos it s Addie s and the rest of the family s Addie keeps talking about how he had all these dreams and was so athletic and now he s having seizures and drooling, and it s SO PAINFUL to watch knowing what he used to be And it s just like, how do you think he feels WE DON T KNOW Because he s just a device to make us feel sorrier for Addie.Also, okay Yes, there are people with compulsive over eating disorder out there I am one of them and yes, some of these people are extremely overweight I m not saying it doesn t happen, and I m not saying that those stories don t need to be told But the problem is, most depictions of fat people in English language literature are of people with compulsive overeating issues, and that is not terribly representative Also It feeds into ha a lot of negative stereotypes about fat people that we re out of control, mindless consumers, that we d be thin if we d only try harder, etc One of the things that I always respected about Jennifer Weiner is that she didn t play into any of that up until this point, her overweight characters have always been relatively healthy, just overweight Best Friends Forever is still not a conventional, She lost weight and everything was GREAT story, but there are enough similarities to make me feel really, really unhappy and disappointed.Finally, Weiner had to know that she would be inviting comparisons to Judy Blume s Summer Sisters The books have the following in common a devil may care mother, a neglected child of privilege, an outcast best friend, and a WELL KNOWN SEASIDE VACATION SPOT ON THE EASTERN SEABOARD And oh, the comparisons are NOT favorable Blume doesn t give her two sisters Vix and Caitlin equal narrative weight Caitlin is a bit of a mystery, and that s the point But Caitlin is still a fully realized character in a way that Val, her Best Friends Forever doppelganger, is not Weiner has a bit of a problem about randomly inserting best friend characters into her books and then not developing them at all usually this isn t too much of an issue, but she did the same thing with Valerie, and it just doesn t fly When the book is called Best Friends Forever, you cannot have one of the best friends be a fucking cardboard cutout I understand that Best Friends Forever is not Summer Sisters and that Weiner had a different narrative goal than Blume did, but FOR SERIOUS, that shit was just ridiculous.Recommended for If you re a die hard fan, go for it Otherwise, skip it. ( DOWNLOAD EPUB ) ♫ Best Friends Forever ♞ Addie Downs And Valerie Adler Were Eight When They First Met And Decided To Be Best Friends Forever But, In The Wake Of Tragedy And Betrayal During Their Teenage Years, Everything Changed Val Went On To Fame And Fortune Addie Stayed Behind In Their Small Midwestern Town Destiny, However, Had In Store For These Two And When, Twenty Five Years Later, Val Shows Up At Addie S Front Door With Blood On Her Coat And Terror On Her Face, It Is The Beginning Of A Wild Adventure For Two Women Joined By Love And History Who Find Strength Together That They Could Not Find Alone
I looked forward to Jennifer Weiner s latest novel, Best Friends Forever A Novel I ve enjoyed her previous books and I naively thought I d like anything she writes I was wrong The book s structure is nothing short of awkward Weiner tells the story from a few characters points of view, but there is nothing signifying the change except for a new chapter number But, a new chapter doesn t always signify a new point of view I had to backtrack several times to get my bearings on where I was in the story and it jolted me out of the novel s flow.Addie Downs, the main character, is a giant cliche, pun intended Did her last name really have to be Downs As in Downs Syndrome Very creative taunt for her high school classmates to chant I was hoping for somethingoriginal Why did both of her parents have to die and her brother be in assisted living all before she hit 20 Too tragic, even for chick lit Addie s best friend Val Where do I begin I couldn t help but think that she had a severe mental imbalance and needed treatment I didn t think it was funny to have a comedic relief character who furthered the plot into a mess of implausibility to also suffer from a mental disease or defect I found it mildly insulting for those out there who do suffer from a mental disorder Dan Swansea I doubt that his encounter with Val and Holy Merry would transform him into a respectable and decent human being who knows right from wrong, even with the flashback to the defining moment in Dan s relationship with his mother where she tells him that she s given up on him really Holy Merry Again where is the originality I understand that the author has creative license in character naming, but setting up your characters names to perpetuate the stereotypes you are having them play is just a little too much for me Police Chief Jordan Now there s a winner Masturbating to a children s show at night and saving the suburbs by day And what was the deal with that Key West trip Police work at its worst It was incredibly unbelievable Needless to say, I couldn t believe not even for a second that this story was plausible Unfortunately for me, it read like a train wreck and I just couldn t look away At least I can move onto something withsubstance now. Oh my God, this was horrible Jennifer Weiner, what happened Your first two books were pretty good chick litty, but good and then you give us this drivel I m not sure if she had a one day deadline and churned this thing out in a coffee and Bailey fueled all nighter, but this was utter ridiculousness Not believeable at all, not interesting at all, poorly sketched and redundant characters Down on her luck, lonely, self depricating fat girl Vivacious, bubbly, irresponsible friend as her foil Zany capers Irrational discoveries Men who say we make sense together, you know that the third time they meet someone Yadda, yadda, yadda.Holy hell This made my previous three horrible reads Swan Thieves, In the Kitchen and The Unnamed look like highbrow literature And for that, I m grateful, I suppose I guess it can always get worse Also, as a TV meteorologist I must say that I am dismayed, annoyed, pissed off at the characterization of TV Talent and meteorology in this book Hello Valerie is NOT A METEOROLOGIST Stop calling her one We do not read the weather We do not deliver the weather from atop mechanical bulls And most weatherpeople don t have their eye on the news anchor position and consider weather to be a means to an end There is no way this woman would have gotten a chief met job at a Top 5 station I really wish Weiner had done a teensy bit of research I m still pissed about it. A better title for this one might have been Only Friend Ever If that sounds depressing, well, at least it prepares you for the dark side of this book Adelaide Downs, the main character, really has only ever had one friend, but something happened between her and this friend during their senior year of high school The phrase ruined my life gets thrown around a lot but the exact event doesn t get explained for quite a while I really think I d have liked this bookif Addie had hadfriends in her life up to the point where the book starts late in the evening after a high school reunion that Addie doesn t attend Addie doesn t even have a dog The least the author could have done was give her a dog Although Addie is close to her parents and brother, tragic things have already happened to all three of them when the book starts Reading this, I really missed Jennifer Weiner s usual main characters, who may not have the bodies they want but who seem like they d befun to know and are definitelyfun to read about. I hate to say it but I m so disappointed in this book The characters aren t well developed and Weiner tries to pack too much plot into the book It felt like too much was explained, rather than shown to us I didn t like the Valerie character and didn t think she redeemed herself she just came off as unlikable and you wonder why Addie let her back into her life I also disliked the ending it felt thrown together, like a cop out and was way too cutesy I ve long been a fan of Weiner s work but I wish I hadn t spent the money on this book definitely not worth it. Do you ever feel like you should like an author or book just because everyone else does It s been three years since I read a Jennifer Weiner book, and Best Friends Forever reminded me exactly why.I know there are people out there that buy everything she writes, but after my second experience with a chick lit book that lacked any real imagination or characters I could relate to, it ll probably be longer than three years before I pick up another one Now don t get me wrong, I m a big fan of chick lit And romance And novels about best friends This book should have been right up my alley, but it just wasn t.In Best Friends Forever, Addie and Valerie were best friends all through their childhood until a big incident their senior year of high school that left them not speaking to each other Until one day after the high school reunion Val ends up on Addie s doorstep and asks for her help The book follows their weekend long adventure as they try to figure out what happened the night of the reunion and when they do, how to avoid the consequences Add in a couple of other strange characters e.g., Holy Mary, a member of a religious cult and you have your story.I felt the characters in the book were extremely one dimensional Val was the blond, irresponsible one that just wanted to have fun Addie was the sidekick, the girl who was always left behind even when trying to do the right thing The book was also way too predictable for me but who knows, maybe I m a good guesser I read it quickly, not because I wanted to find out what happened to these best friends but because I wanted to move onto another book.