The Next Best Thing: A Novel [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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The Next Best Thing: A Novel

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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

From Barnes & Noble

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.

Library Journal
It's westward ho for Ruth Saunders, who settles in Los Angeles with her grandma and finally has a sitcom accepted for production. (It's called, not surprisingly, The Next Best Thing.) Alas, the actors are prima donnas, the executives all bottom-liners, and the boss oblivious to Ruth's big crush on him. Then there's grandma's upcoming wedding. Weiner is, of course, huge; there's a ten-city tour, a book-club push, and lots of promotion plans.
Time
"Weiner is coming off a year in Hollywood, and she puts the experience to excellent use in this utterly engaging story of a showrunner who, after six years of slogging, finally gets a series on the air, only to discover that her troubles are only beginning—meddling studio execs, egomaniacal actors and one crushable but unobtainable boss."
People
"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen."
The Miami Herald
“A knockout. Perfect comic timing meets effortless dialogue and an engaging plot…. Enjoy your place on top of the lit world, Jennifer Weiner. You've more than made it.”
New York Daily News
"Jennifer Weiner is funny and dead-on when it comes to building a satisfying summer read.”
Washington Post
“Weiner’s snappy new novel showcases her humor and style."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A fascinating glimpse into the television industry…Weiner’s strong sense of comedy comes through in her characters’ witty banter and Ruth’s writing. You will cheer her on in her quest to find success and love.”
Better Homes & Gardens
“Weiner is a chick-lit writer with chops—and she puts them to expert use in this funny, feel-good tale.”
Booklist
“Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul. Readers will root for her to get everything she ever wanted—not to settle for the next best thing. This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul. Readers will root for her to get everything she ever wanted—not to settle for the next best thing. This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.”
Time Magazine
"Weiner is coming off a year in Hollywood, and she puts the experience to excellent use in this utterly engaging story of a showrunner who, after six years of slogging, finally gets a series on the air, only to discover that her troubles are only beginning—meddling studio execs, egomaniacal actors and one crushable but unobtainable boss."
People Magazine
"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen."
From the Publisher
"Weiner is coming off a year in Hollywood, and she puts the experience to excellent use in this utterly engaging story of a showrunner who, after six years of slogging, finally gets a series on the air, only to discover that her troubles are only beginning—meddling studio execs, egomaniacal actors and one crushable but unobtainable boss."

"Spares no bon mot in exposing Hollywood’s sexism, ageism and incurable penchant for extravagant silliness."

"Full of warm and interesting characters as well as a wealth of insider industry detail (Weiner was a cocreator of an ABC Family sitcom), this is a must-read for Weiner’s many fans and anyone who enjoys smart, funny fiction."

"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen."

“A knockout. Perfect comic timing meets effortless dialogue and an engaging plot…. Enjoy your place on top of the lit world, Jennifer Weiner. You've more than made it.”

"Jennifer Weiner is funny and dead-on when it comes to building a satisfying summer read.”

“Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul. Readers will root for her to get everything she ever wanted—not to settle for the next best thing. This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.”

“Weiner’s snappy new novel showcases her humor and style."

“A fascinating glimpse into the television industry…Weiner’s strong sense of comedy comes through in her characters’ witty banter and Ruth’s writing. You will cheer her on in her quest to find success and love.”

“Weiner is a chick-lit writer with chops—and she puts them to expert use in this funny, feel-good tale.”

New York Post
“A juicy fictional account of life behind the scenes for a female TV showrunner.”
Bookreporter.com
“Jennifer Weiner proves once again that her bestseller status is no accident by delivering another intriguing page-turner. She gives us sassy, sardonic Ruth to root for as well as plenty of zingers aimed at Hollywood's tweaked values. Readers are likely to enjoy a fascinating peek into the politics of television culture, coupled with a lively plot and a satisfying love story.”
People
"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451617771
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 13,348
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jennifer Weiner
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 eleven books, which have spent a combined five years on the bestseller list, with over 15 million copies in print in thirty-six countries. Her iconic debut Good in Bed is now in its fifty-ninth printing. In Her Shoes was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine. Her newest novel, All Fall Down, has become one of the best-reviewed novels of the year, hailed as “compulsively readable” by The New York Times Book Review. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
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    1. Hometown:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 28, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      De Ridder, Louisiana
    1. Education:
      B.A., Princeton University, 1991
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 124 )
Rating Distribution

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(27)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(22)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 124 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    What a disappointment

    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.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    I've read all Jennifer Weiner's books and this is my least favor

    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.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Summer reading must!

    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.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Very interesting and entertaining. Very good book. finished it v

    Very interesting and entertaining. Very good book. finished it very quickly

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    So disappointed :(

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    This is the worst book by Ms Weiner that I've read. I've enjoye

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Huge disappointment

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    It's clear that this book is at least partially autobiographical

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Great book!! Hated to see it end!! Love the characters, they wer

    Great book!! Hated to see it end!! Love the characters, they were all very well developed. Loved the ending!!


    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Good

    Good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    I love Jen Weiner books, and this was no exception. I especially

    I love Jen Weiner books, and this was no exception. I especially loved the fact that she used her own experience from her TV show. Revenge is sweet! I was disappointed that she decided to include such graphic sexual scenes. They certainly weren't necessary. Forced on her because of 50 Shades of Gray?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not as good as Weiner's Past Books

    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. "

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Another winner from Weiner!!

    The characters made you feel as if they were people you know. A great story, couldn't put it down!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Quick read, entertaining. Interesting to read how a sitcom can

    Quick read, entertaining. Interesting to read how a sitcom can get made and ruined. Felt like the book could have been about 100 pages longer. Maybe a sequel to let us know how everything turned out?!?!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Not her best

    Too much endless detail. Oh for a good editor...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    The next best thing

    Perhaps the most inane book ive ever read, dont even think of reading it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another Fabulous Book from Jennifer Weiner!

    What a **wonderful** read! One of the things I love the most about Jennifer Weiner's books is that they all tell compelling stories without artificially inducing the readers into emotional sand traps. The characters are all well developed and recognizable without the too-frequent cartoon caricatures that other lazy writers will often use to fill their cast. And the skill with which the settings are described is just enough to make the reader feel like they can find the ladies room on their own but gives us enough to look at so we really can be there with the characters. This book is no different! Ruth Saunders is just the right combination of sassy and sweet, insecure about her particular issue yet confident in her abilities, inexperienced with men yet in touch enough with herself that she can figure out what it is she likes, wants and needs, making her someone you would absolutely want to take into your circle of friends. Her grandmother is another dichotomy of a character; fiercely protective of her granddaughter and feeling her age, yet still tapping her inner wild child to seek out those things that put the zing in her step. Jennifer Weiner's books are all written such that you KNOW these people; they exist in your life and you recognize them and root for them and always want more time with them. The manner in which this particular story unfolds carries us along with Ruth as she unfurls, exposing her inner self bit by bit almost in answer to her trying to downplay her outer self in a land where beauty reigns and she doesn't feel she can compete. Finding another plane is Ruth's triumph and we FEEL her ups and downs in our guts and our hearts. The ONLY downside to reading any new book from Jennifer Weiner is that the minute you finish it you are impatient for the next almost immediately. <sigh> At least I know what I am giving all my galpals for our vacation gifts!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    I absolutely LOVED this book. I listened to the audio recording

    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 &quot;normal&quot; 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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Fun and light

    Not my fave jennifer weiner but fun quick read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Terrible!

    Worst book I ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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