I am really glad that I have not read any other Jennifer Weiner books. I am afraid that I would have read this book expecting something amazing.
What I got was nowhere near amazing. Addie, a formerly overweight high school misfit, and her former neighbor Valerie, a bohemian-turned-newscaster reunite after a high school reunion (Addie does not attend). Valerie has committed a potentially criminal act and she calls on Addie to help.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say that these two people did not seem like such great friends to me. They seemed as though they really did not appreciate one another and they helped each other only out of a sense of obligation. There were sort-of flashbacks to traumatic high school events, but even then, I did not see these two characters behaving as best friends would.
Speaking of the flashbacks....I think they only work when the reader is really interested in what happened in the past. The author has to build that suspense. There was NONE in this story.
I did not care about any of the characters in this story and it took me a long time to read. Since Weiner's books are immensely popular, I am sure that there is another book that she has written that is better than this one. Not sure if I want to go to the trouble to find it, though.
Jennifer Weiner's latest effort cannot hold a candle to her earlier efforts. Although the story tried to be somewhat of a mystery, it really wasn't thrilling at all. The characters were difficult to relate to, and did not have much depth. I actually almost set the book down 2/3 of the way through, but decided after a week's break to go ahead and finish it. The ending was predictable.
Cute chick-lit book. Very witty and full of humor. I just thought the author obsessed with the character's past overwieght issued too much. The story was fun and entertaining - but I was disappointed with the ending. I was left feeling "that's it?"
I would consider this an easy summertime, beach read. Not very thought provoking and quite predictable. Not even a new story - high school friendship, betrayal, rediscovery of friendship. But a quick light read.
I really enjoyed reading about a time period that I lived through - anyone else remember french braids and rugby shirts in high school? I like Weiner's writing about the ocean, light, and 70's/80's phenomena (We never had Tab at my house, but I did try it at a friend's). It may not be "great" literature, but she does a wonderful job of sharing her characters' internal worlds. It was a sweet read and I liked Addie an awful lot.
In the readers guide in the back of the book the author says You wont have your parents around forever, or your children but a good friend can be forever. I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading Weiner. I used to read her books many years ago but I have moved away from chic lit and hadnt read anything of her recently. But this book was very entertaining. It made me laugh and made me cry. I will share this with my best friend from childhood.
This was the first Jennifer Weiner book I have read. Loved it!!! Read it in 4 days which is record time for me!!! It made me order Jennifer's other books and now I can't wait to read them too!!! Easy read, great characters, lots of fun!
Loved this. It's quite funny with an overall happy story but there's some sad underlying issues. The young girl describing trying to reconcile the mother she saw and knew (soft and pretty and happy) with the woman the other kids saw (fat and therefore ugly and deserving of ridicule) is heartbreaking.
As I started reading this book I said to myself "I keep forgetting how much I like Jennifer Weiner novels" but then at about a third of the way through it wasn't as exciting to me as the beginning of the story was. It is a good enough read and I would say it is worth the effort, but it isn't her best. The story is about childhood best friends that grew apart after a betryal. Zoom ahead about 20 years and the betrayer reenters the betrayed's life.
This year started with a cruise for me and how fitting to begin this journey with a nice poolside book by Jennifer Weiner. She never ceases to amaze me. I love the depth of the characters she creates and by the time Im through with the first few chapters I feel like Im getting to know a new friend and its exciting. Best Friends Forever was no exception however it was hard to connect with self-absorbed, yet somewhat clueless Val, and frustrating that Addie didnt have more confidence in herself.
There are a few mysteries throughout the story and it keeps the reader engaged as they try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I particularly liked a fun little twist thrown in for good measure :)
Jennifer Weiner remains a favorite author of mine and I always enjoy her books. Recommended for your next beach trip or vacation! Entertaining and funny story!
The character development was great, as always with Jennifer Weiner, but the storyline felt forced and extremely unrealistic. (Why would a cop go to such great lengths to find out if the owner of a missing belt is okay? Doubtful). It almost seemed like Weiner had a deadline to meet on this book and was reaching for a story. I really didn't like Val's character at all. I loved Weiner's other books, but this one was a flop that I never really got into and finished just because I was bored.
I really thought this book was totally disconnected and poorly planned. It seems like she opened up a whole new can of worms right near the end and the magically everything just resolved. I had to wait months for this book and it just wasn't worth it!
I really connected with this story. Having just passed 10 years out of high school I find myself thinking about people I haven't seen in years and what they are doing now. So reading a story about two friends who had lost touch and have been reconnected was something that really resonated with me.
I connected with Addie, the main character. Even though she has made some changes to her life since high school, she is still pretty much the same person she was. She's shy and she lives her life without trying to cause too many ripples. Given the circumstances that surrounded her path to where she is in life at this point, I think that I would have made some of the very same decisions. I didn't like Valerie at the beginning of the story, but as the story progressed she kind of grew on me, as I've known people in similar positions and I almost felt sympathy for her. Even though the story is told from Addie's perspective Valerie is very much the catalyst that keeps the story going.
The writing was pretty good. The story jumps between the past and the present and also jumps between a few different locations. While this jumping can sometimes lead to a very disconnected story it was very well executed in this book. The flashbacks help to explain the time gaps between high school and the present. They also help build the story behind Val and Addie. The characters were very believable. The plot was a bit on the crazy side, but after I got to know Valerie I started to think that she's the kind of person that really could get herself into something like this.
This one really played with my emotions, as I really wanted to dislike Val but ended up feeling kind of sorry for her. Plus as we learn about Addie I really could let myself become her as I was reading. I even pictured her to be almost like me. The other characters were kind of two-dimensional, but because their importance to the story was limited I think they didn't need to be well-rounded.
I've tried reading a book by this author before but lost interest. I thought I'd give it another try with this book. I'm glad I did. The story was not what I expected in a good way. I especially liked Part Three of the book. I look forward to reading the next book by this author.
I have read and enjoyed ALL Jennifer Weiner books up until this one. In most of them her subtle humor, off beat romances, and in depth characters come to life. This book was really a hard read. I didn't like ANY of the characters. If that is how "Best Friends" treat each other, I'd rather have a dog. (At least they are loyal.)
Jennifer is human, and so is entitled to err once in awhile, but my opinion is, she really messed up with big time this one.
I'm still looking forward to her next book, because so far, this is the only loser she has ever written. I wish her the best and hope she has a better set of friends than what she portrayed in this book.
Every girl has a friend that is always getting into trouble. She's wild, spirited, fun and reckless -- and you love her for those qualities, even as you get dragged into her web of drama. (Incidentally, if you can't identify this girl in your group of friends.... it's probably you!)
Best Friends Forever explores this dynamic through Addie Downs and Valerie Adler. Neighbors and friends since they were 9, the girls do everything together until high school, when a tragedy separates them and changes both of their lives forever. Then, on the night of their 15-year class reunion, Valerie shows up on the doorstep of Addie's childhood home with blood on her coat and a plea for help.
The book has a Thelma and Louise quality that is supported well by Jennifer Weiner's characters, who are always colorful and likeable and easily identifiable. Addie -- former fat girl, artist and homebody -- is a perfect foil for selfish, driven and charismatic TV personality Valerie. As adults, they couldn't be more different. But as the book unravels a mystery and we learn about the women through flashbacks and vignettes that span their history together, we're reminded that a part of us will always be nine years old. And the friendships we make in those formative years really are the ones that can overcome the hurdles posed by adulthood.
I enjoyed Best Friends Forever, as I have enjoyed almost every Jennifer Weiner book I have read. She writes women that I'd like to be friends with. They face real problems. They have careers and families and friendships that are all flawed and funny and refreshing. I love the wit and humor that is characteristic of her writing voice, and there's not a "chick lit" writer that I enjoy more.
This is the only book I have read by this author and I found it to be wonderful.It is a story of two friends and their differences in life. I agree that Val does not seem like much of a friend but after reading the book realized best friends come in all kinds of packages.
This was my least favorite Jennifer Weiner book. That being said, it was an easy read and I did finish it, although I considered not doing so. It was farfetched and predictible, and no one other than Mother Theresa is as forgiving as the heroine.
Loved this book. I found the characters very human, and very likable. Addie's introverted, shy character is one many can relate to, and I found myself rooting for her as I was reading the book. Valerie was a character that took a little warming up to, but as the story progressed, you started to see her big heart. If you want a feel-good book with some laughs along the way, this is definitely it!
I just finished this audio book a few days ago. I really liked this story, though it was a bit long-winded. It had about 50+ chapters in this audio book and it seemed to go on and on. But, the story itself was very interesting and kept me wanting to hear more from these characters and the lives they lead.
It's about two girls, who are complete opposites, growing up together in Chicago suburbia, a town called Pleasant Ridge, and how these best friends grow apart as one grows up and meet new friends and experience different situations while the other has difficulties and challenges in her life. It was amazing to see how each girl sees the other and how the grass is always greener on the other side.
This book starts out in the present time after each girl has grown up and due to an uncontrollable incident at their high school reunion brings them back together after 15 years of each living totally different lives. Valerie is now a weather girl for a Chicago network and the other girl, Addie lives alone, as an artist, painting pictures for greeting cards. Valerie "accidentally" hits a guy from their class with her car and she ends up on Addie's front porch. This lead to a hasty trip south to Key West in order to let things "settle down" and hopefully figure out a plan. Along the way, there are many trips down memory lane to their childhoods and how each one saw each others lives and how each friend's lives went a different way. In the meantime, a detective from Pleasant Ridge is following them to FL in order to find them and figure out what happened at the reunion.
This story had a lot of detail and depth to it and you really begin to feel you know these girls and their stories. Perception is all relative, that's for sure. This was a great story and would recommend it to anyone!!! Two thumbs up for me!!!!
Addie Downs believes she and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy Addie becomes her school's scapegoat. Fifteen years on, Val is working as the weathergirl at the local TV station while Addie lives alone in her parents' house, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the internet. She's just returned from another bad date when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with blood on her coat sleeve. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help." Can the women re-forge their ties in these times of need?
Adelaide Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever - at least that's what Addie believes after Val moves in across the street when both girls are nine years old. But in the wake of a betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while a mousy, overweight and somber Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weather girl at the local television station. Adelaide Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for her brain damaged brother Jonathan and attempting to meet Prince Charming over the Internet. She returns one night from Bad Date Number Six, opening her door to find her long-ago best friend standing there; a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat.
"Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you are the only one who can help." Sometimes the deepest bonds can never be broken, no matter how much Addie may wish that they could.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy reading page-turner filled with interesting characters and an engaging plot. I give this book an A+!
I started reading Weiner when she started with "Good in Bed" back in early 2000s. While I think her writing style has improved, I am missing the 'laugh-out-loud wit' that she brought to her earlier works. She also started infusing much more serious topics in her later works - and this is no exception - rape, cancer, death, binge eating...
The characters are well-developed. While the book is predictable through most of it - there are some things that will keep you guessing. Overall, while I miss Weiner's wit and sarcasm - she delivers a compelling account of friendship that makes me want to call my old high school friends.
If you're a fan of this author as I am, you'll likely be disappointed. I've read many of her books and most are heart warming and humorous and while this one did have moments, I found the story line pretty unbelievable and scattered it was a little hard to get through. An OK read.
A quick read, but it was my least favorite out of all the Jennifer Weiner books. Same old story line of the insecure overweight girl vs. beuatiful prom queen.I am not sure if she was trying her hand at writing mystery novels, but she needs to stick to what she knows.
This is a fun and fast read about friendship, the trials of growing up, surviving adolescence and navigating the challenges of young adulthood.
I first heard about Jennifer Weiner on one of Maureen Corrigans book reviews on NPR, and listened closely because Maureen Corrigan has introduced me to many really good writers, and she reads widely and eclectically, as a good reader does. Ive since learned that Jennifer Weiner is a prolific writer and I will track down her other novels (at least one of which has been made into a film). Highly recommended, with 3.5 stars.
This was actually better than I thought it would be. Any woman who's had a weight problem can probably relate to the main character, there were moments I cringed for her. It was a fast, easy read and very enjoyable.
Ok so I have the audio and the paperback version and when following along in the book, the book had more to it than the audio. Parts of it was left out. It was to confusing to try to follow along so I just put the book down and listened to the audio. But it was an ok book.
It was a really enjoyable story with a sweet ending. I especially liked the flashbacks to their childhood friendship. It made me remember being 10 and riding bikes and going on vacations with friends. I miss being a kid.
I don't think I've ever read any other books by Jennifer Weiner. After reading this one, I won't go out of my way to read others. The flyleaf was more interesting than the story. It kept jumping back to the past and between characters. Although it was well written, it was somewhat confusing and the characters did some bizarre things. I kept waiting for something to happen, it fell flat for me.
Many of the reviews are accurate and say the same thing. Jennifer Weiner is a very talented writer, but this is not her best work. It is worth reading, and it will go fast, but feel like the author let me down this time. The characters are not too likeable (VAL or her Mother), or believeable. I cant believe a small time police officer would investigate so intensely a crime because they find a belt with blood on it.
i loved this book it was fast moving, fun and the characters were great. Jennifer Weiner is a fantastic author that writes about real women and real issues but has a sense of humor. this book was adorable, and i loved it!
Imagine your best friend selling you out. The person most close to you walking away and you alone. Addie suffers this at the hands of her best friend Val only to find Val on her steps years later ready and needing her friend back. What follows is a tale similar to that of a Thelma and Louise ride.
A good story, slightly slow at times but engaging with the constant flow between the past, present, and various character points of view. The pain Addie felt at the hands of her classmates is palpable and I felt myself remembering how I had also been teased, though for different reasons. This story reminded me that yes, it does get better. The thread of the strong survive is evident in the story. Addie and Val are both survivors and by the end of the book the reader feels that life for these two women will keep on getting better.
Cute chick-lit book. Very witty and full of humor. I just thought the author obsessed with the character's past overwieght issued too much. The story was fun and entertaining - but I was disappointed with the ending. I was left feeling "that's it?"
This book is a good by-the-pool or sitting-on-the-beach read where you can pick it up and put it down, not having to worry about the plot being too deep. It's not super duper deep, and actually kinda lame. I was expecting a lot more, but it was an easy, quick summer read without a lot of substance. I hestitate to read other books by her, although I hear they are quite good.
I have read all of Jennifer Weiner's books and have loved them all. This book is a good read and has all of Jennifer's witty humor that all of her fans have come to love and look forward to.
This is not my favorite of her books, but is again, is definitely a good read and I recommend it to anyone that has read any of Jennifer's books OR a Best Friend.
When Addie and Valerie became neighbors as children, Addie was certain they would remain BFFs forever. However a negative high school incident left Addie (the overweight and loyal friend) hurt--and tore the two into two directions where they remained until, 15 years later, Valerie (high school cheerleader, now weather girl) entered Addie's life again...and with blood on her sleeve and in need of help.
Best Friends Forever is a story of suspense, friendship, adventure and secrets and is told via 1st person and 3rd person from two different characters and also weaves tales of the past into the present via flashbacks. Where these elements could be awkward if not done well, it actually not only flows perfectly, but adds great interest for the reader.
In spite of having read several great books recently I hadn't realized that the range of emotion (humor, suspense, love, tears, revenge...) within "Best Friends Forever" was just what I needed til I read it.
The character development is so deep that I felt certain the author must "know" pieces of these characters somehow in real life or experienced some of what she described within her own--Great depths to their personalities and interactions. You truly read into their souls and she captures details in her words that make for deep insight.
I also felt I was taken from childhood to adulthood in great detail (some will feel as though they are right back in highschool with her descriptions. ) and I both cried and laughed...it's actually a very deep story and nothing felt forced or contrived to me.
You'll want to go through the adventure of Addie and Val so much that you may need to grab your booklight for this one...I found it to be a true "page turner".
I felt empathy for Addie's struggles and adored Jordan and was captured by a roller coaster of emotions for Valerie.
And...I'm typically not a person you can surprise with a twist at the end of a book; I always see it coming it seems. But this one was a surprise.
To wrap up a tale and include such a range of emotion...suspense, heartbreak, humor, romance, and surprise all intertwined made for a truly great summer read.
Afterall, what more is left?!
Conclusion: excellent read...includes great characters, descriptions, adventure and a range of emotions spliced with some humor.
Ok so I have the audio and the paperback version and when following along the book had more to it than the audio. Parts of it was left out. It was to confusing to try to follow along so I just put the book down and listened to the audio. But it was an ok book.
As I was reading this book I kept thinking, is this Thelma and Louise? I finished the book and then I come on here to write a review and I see
"What if Thelma and Louise didn't have to die?"... clever, sad and sweet turn on Thelma and Louise-style rage.
Addie living the normal life, then walks in Valerie making her childhood complete. High school changes everything. Years later can their friendship be mended?
Not one of her greatest books. The writing style is there but not the story. I found the characters not likable. You could not really get into them.
The book builds up to a climatic ending, but flops at the end. It is an easy read, it is easy to put down and read days later.
I loved this book - my first by this author and I went and orderd all her other books. I loved her writing style - I could relate to the characters - they were so realistic. I was laughing, crying and everything in between while reading this. It had romance, humor, drama and mystery all in one book. I gave it 4.5 stars.
I found this book to be a clunker in so many ways. The story of two "misfit" kids who bond is nothing new. Addie, like her mother, is obese and her father is a damaged Viet Nam vet who doesn't have a 9-5 job. Valerie has the addled brained, whacked out mother who is more a love child than a mother. The mystery of the book is what happened in High School to tear these two BFF apart. Then the two are grown up, Val a TV weather girl and Addie an overweight recluse. Val mysteriously shows up on Addie's doorstep with blood on her and then you begin to unravel the mystery. So, there are basically two stories: one of their childhood and the second, what happened to Val on the night in question and the consequences. The childhood focus is far better written and developed than the second part. One can easily feel Addie's discomfort and loneliness. How she, by happenstance, becomes the caretaker of her brother and then her slowly disappearing within herself. The part with Addie and Val and Dan Swansea, the guy in the mystery part , seems disjointed, as if the author couldn't figure out what to do with the storyline. If Val so wanted the anchor job at the TV station, why is she trying to pull off a bank robbery? I didn't like Val as a person. She was vapid and manipulative. The ending was a disaster. The police chief, who pines wildly for his ex wife, then becomes immediately besotten with Addie, while she's pregnant with another man's child. And Dan finds God. It just was not believeable. I actually put the book down not intending to finish it. But I just can't do that. I wish I had left it alone...