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Best Friends Forever: A Novel [Paperback]

Jennifer Weiner
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 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.

Review

'The brilliant author of Good in Bed and In Her Shoes has come up trumps again. Beautifully written with humour and warmth.' Daily Mail 2/7 'Jennifer Weiner is a class act. She writes with confidence and style, and Fly Away Home is a warm-hearted, bittersweet treat' Lisa Jewell 'Jennifer Weiner is a genius. Her books are totally gripping, beautifully written, heartbreaking and hilarious.' Harriet Evans 'Witty, moving, stupendously well written and deeply perceptive.' Jill Mansell 'Like Helen Fielding, Weiner balances romantic formula with fresh humour, deft characterizations and literary sensibility.' Guardian 'One of our favourite heroines of the summer...Another superlative novel by Weiner, about a big girl with a bigger heart, that will have women and men of all sizes cheering.' USA Today 'Touching and true-to-life.' The Washington Post --This text refers to the Digital edition.

Review

"Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, Best Friends Forever, is not leaving the special shelf where it's already wedged in with other books I reread every so often because they just make me happy - novels such as Jeanette Haien's Matters of Chance, Susan Isaacs' Shining Through, Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim, most of Barbara Pym's novels, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. [What] earns it a place on my treasured "reread as needed" shelf is its tough emotional wisdomÉAddie's story rates a second (and, perhaps, even a third) read, too, because its unrelenting depiction of loneliness, as well as the myriad ways people can surprise themselves and each other, deserves to be savored, again and again." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"In Addie, Weiner has created a steely, sympathetic narrator who is vulnerable but not pathetic, unwilling to settle for disappointment despite the bad hand that most of her 33 years have dealt. The novel is a welcome addition to the author's collection of tales about strong, clever women who carve their own niche in this world -- much like Weiner." -- The Miami Herald

"Addie Downs - the Everygirl at the center of Jennifer Weiner's latest novel - just could turn out to be one of our favorite heroines of the summer...Another superlative novel by Weiner, about a big girl with a bigger heart, that will have women and men of all sizes cheering." -- USA Today

"Weiner's latest showcases her talent for creating richly drawn, realistic characters. She deftly weaves in multiple back stories and subplots and punctuates the story with plenty of humor. Highly recommended for all fans of women's fiction." -- Library Journal, starred review

"Former mousy types, rejoice! In Weiner's delicious latest, a popular girl hits trouble long after high school and only the geeky pal she once shunned can help." -- People magazine

"This beach read will win readers over with its wit and wisdom. A clever, sad and sweet turn on Thelma and Louise [with] what may be the funniest not-quite-heist ever pulled off ..." -- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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.

From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by Claudia Deane Best-selling novelist Jennifer Weiner says her seventh book, "Best Friends Forever," is in part an answer to this question: "What if Thelma and Louise didn't have to die?" The two doomed dames do come to mind when reading this high school revenge fantasy, which opens with onetime jock Dan Swansea waking up in a dark parking lot naked with blood on his head. But Weiner fans shouldn't panic; the story soon turns to her more familiar themes: loneliness, friendship, the search for love, the struggles of mothers and daughters, and the sheer misery of being a fat girl in a thin girl's world. Her heroine here is Addie Downs, a 33-year-old greeting card illustrator in the Chicago suburbs who has spent her adult life taking care of troubled family members and who now lives alone in her childhood home with fresh memories of dismal blind dates. The story starts in earnest when Addie's childhood best friend, Valerie, a beautiful blond weatherperson on "Chicago's third-rated TV station" whom she hasn't spoken to since high school, appears on her doorstep one cold evening, upset and bloodstained. You can probably take it from here, no? As a fan of vulnerable smartass Cannie Shapiro, the likable heroine of Weiner's most recent bestseller, "Certain Girls," and her breakout novel, "Good in Bed," I had trouble warming up to this most recent offering. In "Best Friends Forever," Valerie is over-the-top, weather-girl ridiculous -- she wants to rob a bank, for heaven's sake -- and at times the story borders on the farcical. But there are compensations. Addie displays flashes of the trademark Weiner snark: "Didn't you once read the weather while you were riding a mechanical bull? I'm going to suggest that the dignity ship has sailed without you aboard." And the flashbacks to the girls' childhood friendship and their two vastly different mothers are moody, touching and true to life. In fact, the thing I enjoy most about Weiner's books is their familiarity -- how her characters' concerns, jokes, insecurities and even homes feel like real life, or at least the embarrassingly tame version lived by average middle-class moms like me. With its girl-on-the-lam main characters, "BFF" has less comfortable warmth than some of Weiner's previous works, but enough to keep me pleasantly looking forward to book 8.
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile

Rick Holmes and Kate Baldwin deliver excellent performances in this touching audio. Police chief James Novick is called in to investigate the disappearance of bad-boy Dan Swansea from his high school reunion. At the same time, Val Adaler arrives on her old friend Addie's doorstep. There's a longstanding rift between the two of them, but now Val needs help. SHE knows what happened to Swansea, a former boyfriend who done her wrong--she ran him over. As voiced by Holmes, Novick comes across as sweet, funny, and a little sad. Baldwin is endearing as the mousy, overweight Addie and dramatic as her friend Val, who once betrayed her. The mending of their relationship, as well as the romance between Addie and Novick, is tenderly recounted by the two narrators. D.G. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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