Synopsis from GoodReads.com:
Blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns with an irresistible story about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood…
At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she’s hit 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 show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear and eye for writer’s rooms, bad behavior backstage and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood rollercoaster and a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.
I’m a pretty big fan of Jennifer Weiner’s, so when I heard that she was writing a new novel, I was pretty excited for it to hit the bookshelves. (Or, in my case, the eBook-shelf)
I was rather amused to find out that an eBook short story that Weiner had written, Swim, was the inspiration for this book. I actually didn’t realize it until after I started reading The Next Best Thing, but that’s all beside the point. I was looking forward to learning more about Ruth and her past, as well as how her career would take off.
I found The Next Best Thing intriguing to read. The way Weiner made Ruth a “regular” woman trying to make it appealed to me, that and the fact that she wasn’t an actress trying to get a break in Hollywood. It was refreshing to read about one of the lesser-known (or talked about) show-biz jobs. I can’t help but wonder if Ruth’s character was at all inspired by Tina Fey, and I amused myself by trying to draw parallels to the celebrities Weiner mentions and real-life celebs.
As much as I did enjoy it, I’m only giving The Next Best Thing 3 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, I found it to be a little predictable, and sometimes confusing. There’s A LOT going on, character-wise. Maybe too many characters? I really enjoyed her last book, Then Came You, and so I was expecting something a little better this time around. Oh well, I suppose you can’t have everything, can you? This definitely isn’t going to make me jump off the Jennifer Weiner Bandwagon – I still love her work regardless :)
Have you read The Next Best Thing? Thoughts?