The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Ruth Saunders is 23 and the writer and creator of The Next Best Thing tv show.  When the phone call comes in that the studio is interested in picking up her show (insert SSSQQQUUUEEEEE’s here), she hauls herself and her 70-year-old grandmother cross-country to start production.

Dreams of making it big are not always as they seem as Ruth soon finds the demands of finding actors who fit her vision for the show is not as glamorous as one would think…  the actors are opinionated and hard to keep track of, executives are trying to change what made the show what Ruth envisioned, her Grandma has up and decided she is getting married (MARRIED???) and well… of course there is that one hot and unreachable guy…

Seriously… why didn’t Ruth just take up a safer career path, like ski diving?


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Why did I want to read this book?  I have followed Jennifer Weiner’s books in a sort of offhand way.  It seems that while I do not necessarily seek them out, they do find their way into my hands or into my book club.  She is the author of In Her Shoes (enjoyed that one!) and Good In Bed (have not read it) I also seen Jennifer in New York this year, she was one of the speakers. 


The Next Best Thing is an ok read.  It seems I have read several books this year that deal with mid twenties women and their grandmothers.  I think that is interesting… and wonder why that seems to be a theme.  Is writing about a young woman tamed down by pairing her close to her grandmother?  I am not saying the idea is a bad one… just curious that several books like that have found their way to me. 😀

While The Next Best Thing is funny, quirky and enjoyable, that is about where I would leave it.  There was no big “OH!  NO WAY!” moment, just a few… speed bumps along the way.  I enjoyed the narration  and the storyline to the end, there are some great laughs and as I can imagine, a little insight as what it must really be like to work with actors on a set… things I did not think about like how they need to maintain a certain weight, stay sober, not make drastic changes to their bodies…   The grandma of course is funny and wise and Ruth’s rock.

A good easy summer read. 

15 thoughts on “The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

  1. I have a copy of The Next Best Thing. I have not read it yet, but have heard similar reviews on the book. I will still read it, it just won’t go to the top of my list – which is looong!

  2. I enjoyed this book, even though I didn’t like it as much as some of her others…but, like Laura pointed out, it’s a good one to read in-between other books, like the heart-pounding suspense tales.

  3. I’ve never read anything by Jennifer Weiner so I think this will be my first book by her. The plot sounds interesting so I’m going to give it a shot. What do you think is her best book? Should I start with something better?

    1. There are definitely (IMO) better books by her. I dont know if I would start with this one. Looking at a list right now I think I would have to go with In Her Shoes, I have read probably 5 of her books now and that is the one I liked the best.

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