Thursday, August 6, 2009

Old Favorites with New Novels--Jennifer Weiner's "Best Friends Forever"

I've been a longtime fan of Jennifer Weiner's, so I was super excited when I heard she had a new book coming out this summer. I think Weiner is as good as chick lit gets, and who doesn't enjoy some frothy reading along with all those other joys of summer.

I wasn't dissapointed by this book at all--in fact, I was glad that Weiner decided to branch out some and try something a little bit new. Her Jewish girl in Philly thing was getting a bit old, so it was good to see a different setting, different pace, different approach to the central story.

Jennifer Weiner's 7th novel "Best Friends Forever" is set in a suburban town outside of Chicago. Addie Downs has been an outsider her whole life, and now in her early 30s she is single and friendless. That is until Addie's old best friend Val shows up one night on Addie's steps. Val quickly pulls Addie into her world, which forces Addie to reflect on why their friendship had dissolved 15 years earlier. As the two women come back together Addie is forced to examine her own life and wonders if her best friend might just help her find what she's been searching for.

I'm a big Jennifer Weiner fan, and I was worried that Ms. Weiner might have lost some of her trademark wit and human touch after her last novel, Certain Girls. Well, I'm happy to report that Ms. Weiner is back in full force with Best Friends Forever! The novel's central heroine is a classic Weiner girl, but she's far enough away from her previous characters that you don't feel like you're reading the same story you've already read. There are parts of the novel that are among the most touching things I've read in Chick Lit--Addie caring for her dying mom, and her handicapped brother, to name a few.

This is a super quick read with it's pseudo crime and chase plot, but it's a fun summer read. If you're looking for a carbon copy of Ms. Weiner's previous books, this isn't it. But if you're looking for something a little bit different that still has Ms. Weiner's signature flair, I would recommend this book.

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