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Best Friends Forever: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2010

3.1 out of 5 stars 306 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chick lit doyenne Weiner offers airtight proof that the genre thrives with this clever, sad and sweet turn on Thelma and Louise–style rage. Juggling the politics of broken families, heartbreaking betrayal and shaky self-esteem, two girlhood pals—ugly duckling Addie and wounded beauty Valerie—reconnect after their high school reunion, where Valerie exacts a long-in-coming revenge on smug former beau Dan Swansea. But the payback gets more complicated when police chief Jordan Novick, nursing a broken heart and a crush-at-first-sight with Addie, is called in to investigate Dan's disappearance. Along the way, Val and Addie stage what may be the funniest not-quite-heist ever pulled off as they evade the heat over the missing Dan. The big payoff, of course, is that Addie and Valerie mend the mean-girls misunderstanding that drove them apart as teens and discover the shared pain and loss that bound them as kids and, once again, as adults. This beach read will win readers over with its wit and wisdom. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Weiner is an unabashed fan and writer of chick lit, but critics generally agreed that Best Friends Forever rises above the genre. Sure, it touches on familiar themes of friendship, love, family dysfunction, physical appearance—all touchstones of the genre—but Weiner delves beyond these issues to explore the growing pains of adolescence—as well as those of adulthood. The novel contains her usual wit, comedy, and emotional wisdom; Addie is an especially compelling "nice girl" creation. Only the Washington Post cited a preposterous plot and far-fetched characters, but even that critic admitted that Weiner's novel hits close to home on many levels. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743294300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294300
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Good in Bed, In 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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Jennifer Weiner since her first book. However, in the last few years, I have felt as though she has walked away from her "chick lit" writing and has created more contemporary fiction for women and although I have seen Best Friends Forever referred to as chick lit, I would have to disagree.

Best Friends Forever is the newest book by Weiner and features Addie and Valerie who were best friends in primary school and ended up at opposite ends of the popularity chain in high school, which pretty much separated them until they meet up again as adults. Although they haven't kept in touch at all, Valerie will show up on the other's doorstep, in full bloom trouble - asking for help in this whoddunnit type of mini-mystery, intertwined with the two women trying to find themselves and each other throughout the storyline. There is a message here - which basically is that you never know what will happen in your life and looks and appearance can be deceiving and that, in your life, friendship and support are extremely important and worth fighting for.

While there are some cute episodes and some actually touching moments, I did not find this book all that interesting. The premise is kind of usual and I feel as though I have read this story, in different installments, throughout the years. The main characters are okay and the writing is fine, but I just did not find myself getting all involved and committed to this book and I certainly would not qualify this one as chick litty at all.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm about halfway through this book, and it's unlikely that I'll finish it. My problems with it include:
1) The story is not at all believable. I can't imagine, even for a second, that a chief of police, even in a small town, would launch an extensive investigation into a puddle of blood. No body, no injured party filing a complaint, no witness who saw someone get hurt. Just a puddle of blood. And it wasn't even a big puddle. How much time has this guy got on his hands? I also don't believe that Addie would go along with Val's wacky road trip. Nothing we know about her suggests that she would. So, basically, the whole premise is ridiculous.
2) I'm irritated about all of the key plot points that are strategically held back until some later moment in the book. I know it's supposed to create tension, but it was just irritating. It also made it hard to get to know the characters.
3) I don't really care about anyone in the book. Sorry, but they're all so bland, it's difficult.
4) Where's the humor? Jennifer Weiner's strong point is humor. Nobody in this book is funny, or even seems to have much of a personality.
5) It's very predictable. I can't be the only one who knew what the strange abdominal growth was the moment it was first mentioned.
I loved "Good in Bed," but it seems to me that Ms. Weiner's books are getting progressively less entertaining. They mostly have the same themes - there's always a traumatized overweight girl, and a friend (or sister) who is ditzy but has a heart of gold. Honestly, it's getting old. I'm glad I got this book from the library instead of buying it. I doubt I'll even bother to check out the next one.
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Format: Hardcover
I finished the novel last night and really enjoyed it. Jen Weiner has such a lot of range. She can go from poignant to laugh-out-loud in just a few sentences. The novel is about a friendship that goes sour and then is resurrected and often has a madcap, Thelma and Louise-feel, especially when the two friends are "on the lam." Weiner fleshes out minor characters --her self-assured brother who meets with tragedy is particularly memorable--and keeps the pacing brisk, serving up a bit of a twist at the end.
My favorite part of the novel was the flashbacks to the girls' childhoods. Jen brilliantly captures what it feels like to be ten and to have a very best friend with whom you share everything.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read some of Jennifer Weiner's work in the past and enjoyed it. I was initially intrigued by the setup of this novel, and thought that it might perhaps have promise. I enjoy psychological tales and so I thought I would be reading a book about how the threads of friendship had frayed. While what I read was something like this, it was also vastly different from what I had expected. Fair warning: there will be many spoilers in this review.

Addie must be one of the most inane and one of the stupidest characters in the history of literature. Her struggles with her weight and the cruelty of her classmates was certainly reasons for giving the character sympathy. However, she was just plain stupid. I found it absurd that when Val, who treated Addie abysmally, turns up at Addie's door and says she thinks she may have killed someone, Addie quickly gets over her aversion to her former friend and to doing anything unsavory, and become a willing partner in would-be crime. Given that Val was Addie's only friend and that Val threw Addie to the wolves in high school, I found it laughable that Addie would have even given the woman the time of day.

I was also initially interested in hints being dropped about Vijay, but as soon as he came into the picture, I was left scratching my head. I couldn't quite figure out what it was that Addie had found so irresistible about him. He's much older than her and not described in a way that makes him sound all that attractive. Is it simply because he talks to her? Because he notices that she's alive. I found it just a ridiculous setup for a romance.
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