The Next Best Thing: A Novel

The Next Best Thing: A Novel

3.2 128
by Jennifer Weiner
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

When the author of Good in Bed and Then Came You writes, book clubs flock and readers rejoice. In her latest story, Jennifer Weiner invites us into the life of aspiring television writer Ruth Saunders, who follows her dream to Los Angeles, where she lives with her winningly unconventional grandmother. Success seems imminent when her sitcom (which shares the title of the book) is accepted; but her jubilation dampens when the creative rubber hits the hard road of television business reality. For poor Ruth, Hollywood it seems is a devil's brew of strong egos and money-minded bureaucrat. Even worse, her completely crush-worthy boss seems immune to any of her tentative advances. A fiction with the words "future blockbuster movie" written all over it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451617771
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
28,351
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the author of ten novels, including In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and was the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC Family sitcom State of Georgia, which ran during the summer of 2011. She lives with her family in Philadelphia. 
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Good in BedIn Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Who Do You Love. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth:
March 28, 1970
Place of Birth:
De Ridder, Louisiana
Education:
B.A., Princeton University, 1991
Website:
http://www.jenniferweiner.com/

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The Next Best Thing 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 127 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Jennifer Weiner's novels. The Next Best Thing was not worth the read. The author repeated exact lines and characters from other novels she has written. It was like a re-read. In this novel, I felt that the author "pushed the envelope to the edge" with soft core pornography, which was not in previous reads. Not worth the money or the wait!!! Jennifer seems to be recycling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all Jennifer Weiner's books and this is my least favorite. In her other books, the main character has been jewish and overweight. In this book, substitute disfigured face for overweight. It did go into quite a bit of detail about how the TV industry works, how the writers vision is totally turned around by network execs, and the frustration it brings to the writers. I was looking forward to this book but it was disappointing to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Ruthie has her own body image issues, owing to a horrific childhood car crash that left her orphaned and scarred in more ways than one. Fortunately, Ruthie was raised by a loving grandmother that saw her through years of painful reconstructive surgeries, during which the two of them found comfort in television shows like The Golden Girls.  Like most Wiener novels, there's a delectable romantic subplot. Jennifer Weiner writes protagonists you want to be friends with, and perfectly imperfect men you could absolutely fall in love with. Along the way, she pokes plenty of fun at Hollywood, and several well-known and loosely-veiled celebrities. Personally, as a childless reader, I always enjoy the novels that DON'T deal with motherhood the most, and The Next Best Thing was a big hit with me. The Hollywood fantasy of it all harkened back to her blockbuster debut, Good in Bed. And the ending was just perfect! I think this latest novel is one of Jennifer Weiner's very best.        
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am Jennifer Weiners biggest fan- sadly NOT a fan of this book. The best thing about her books is her characters and sadly this book did not have any characters you wanted to invest in. They were all so flat. I do not recommend this book- skip it and hope her next book is better.
Vivi45 More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book by Ms Weiner that I've read. I've enjoyed all her books but "the next best thing" was almost unreadable. I did finish it though because once I start a book I give it a full try. A real dissapointment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading "Swim," I had to know the whole story. I really enjoyed this book. Great characters and plot. I can't wait to read what comes next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's clear that this book is at least partially autobiographical - Jennifer Weiner created, wrote & executive produced the ABC Family show State of Georgia. It featured Georgia, a young aspiring actress & her oversexed great aunt Honey who raised her after Georgia's mother died. Georgia was played by Raven Simone, who underwent a huge weight loss just prior to the show's airing. I enjoyed TNBT a lot more after this realization, but other than that not Weiner's best work.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and entertaining. Very good book. finished it very quickly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Cecita More than 1 year ago
What has happened to this author? This book had none of the wit of her first. It was hard to care for the heroine; she mostly seemed selfish and too naive. While I admit the glimpse into the world of TV and shows was interesting, the story and characters felt flat. I could not get past the fact that her sitcom would get greenlit. It seemed so corny and unoriginal. Not even good as a light summer read.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A sitcom showrunner finds the road to her first series launch much rockier than expected. When Ruth Saunders gets "the call" from the network telling her that her original series, The Next Best Thing, is a go, at first she is incredulous. Although she's served her time in a writers' room, she never expected to sell her autobiographical concept about a young woman, Daphne, and her grandmother, Nanna Trudy, who move to Miami to seek their fortunes. Ruth moved to Hollywood with her grandmother, Rae, and they've both enjoyed success, Ruth as a comedy writer and Rae as an extra. Rae raised Ruth from toddlerhood after a car crash killed her parents and disfigured Ruth. (Even after multiple surgeries, one side of Ruth's face is badly scarred.) After Ruth is hired as an assistant to two writer-producers, Big Dave and Little Dave, they help her develop and pitch her own show. I enjoyed the first part with the grandmother as humorous; however, as the book moves on, not a lot of substance and a let down from Weiner's previous books. "
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not worth the time and pain it caused me. The quality of writing is something I may have expected from a seventh grader with decent grades. The plot was horrendous like the author didn't even know where she wanted it to go. This is one of the worst books I have read in a while. I don't know how it got published in the first place. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book. I listened to the audio recording because I commute to work and the voice actor is amazing. She makes everything funnier and more real. It's a huge triumph that Jennifer Weiner includes a character who uses a wheelchair and makes it a minor detail of the story. He's handsome, funny, successful, rich, has a beautiful home and, of yeah, he uses a wheelchair. He's not inspirational or overcoming anything. He's a "normal" guy (whatever that means). I was in a car accident in 1982 and have used a wheelchair ever since--this is probably why this resonated with me so much. If you're going to read it--choose the audio book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my fave jennifer weiner but fun quick read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Never wanted to put it down. So fun, hopeful and uplifting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it and then deleted it my library. I have never done that before. I thought it was terribly written. It took me forever to get through it because I was bored
Anonymous More than 1 year ago