When 9-year-old Valerie Adler moved in across the street from 9-year-old Addie Downs, the two become inseparable friends. Addie, who has always been on the heavier side, does not make friends easy, unlike Valerie who’s fun personality, natural good looks, win her over many friends through the years. Val moves easily into the popular crowd where Addie, always insecure in her looks, waits by the wayside.
As the girls near graduation, a major incident shatters the girls friendship and they go their separate ways.
Some bonds can never be broken…
15 years later, a much thinner and self-assured Valerie still lives in the town she grew up in. She paints pictures for cards, works from her home and is very satisfied how her life has turned out. She knows Valerie has done well for herself as she sees her on TV as the weather girl. On the weekend of her class reunion, Addie of course skips out on the event and instead goes on yet another unfortunate date. Her 6th in recent months. Upon arriving back home, she soon after receives a knock on her door and opens it to find Valerie looks worse for the wear and blood on her coat…
“Something terrible has happened, and I need you help!”
Just a couple of weeks ago I reviewed another Jennifer Weiner audio book, Fly Away Home and I gushed about it. I was excited to jump into another read by her and I had this one in-house as well from a recent Barnes and Noble shopping spree. I listened to this with my son on the way to our cabin this past weekend and home. A 7 hour trip.
At first the book was sounding very good. The two best friends meeting again after all these years, Addie having turned her life around so she was no longer this shy overweight girl she once was, and of course there is the little fact that Valerie is covered in blood…
sounds like a good start to me!
But soon… things in the book start to fall apart for me. I cringe when I see how easily Valerie walks back into Addie’s life and takes over, making Addie an accomplice to her personal troubles, and it angered me how easily Addie herself fell into step in what was probably a comfortable spot for her…. following Valerie.
From there… the story gets a bit ridiculous. For those who may wish to read this I will skip the details but seriously I shook my head often throughout this listen going “WHAT? WHAT? Noooooo….” I never felt like I fully could imagine what these two main protagonists looked like – their characteristics are revealed slowly and late throughout the book. When they say Addie is heavy you picture overweight… when the book is almost at the end, it is revealed that after high school Addie had been around 350 pounds. “WHAT?” There were just a few parts that were so unrealistic.
Is the story all bad? No…. there were some good moments. Justin (my son) and I had a good time with the part where they make fun of a Minnesota man who drags out his words in a Minnesotan way.
Justin and I said “awwwwwwesome” that was all last weekend and I am still doing it. 😀
I do have to say overall though, this audio was an unfortunate pastime. The ending was odd… Justin and I just looked at each other and were like “really?”
Now I know Jennifer Weiner can write and I know my thoughts on this book is just my opinion. I will definitely read her again as I know she has good ones out there. Best Friends Forever for me was a hit and a miss.