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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  3,949 ratings  ·  441 reviews
The short story that inspired Jennifer Weiner’s forthcoming novel The Next Best Thing.

Ruth has left her job writing for a hit television show for reasons she’d rather not discuss and is supplementing her increasingly dwindling savings with freelance writing projects—namely, helping anxious high school students craft a perfect college essay and...more
ebook, 48 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Good in Bed by Jennifer WeinerIn Her Shoes by Jennifer WeinerBet Me by Jennifer CrusieFaking It by Jennifer CrusieAnyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
Read a Jennifer this summer!
34th out of 46 books — 10 voters
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Hot Fun In The Summertime
28th out of 44 books — 4 voters

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I had never read anything by Jennifer Weiner before, but thought I'd give her a try with this free e-short story, which was the inspiration for a forthcoming book, a preview of which is included with the download.

Based on just this read, Weiner is a great light fiction writer. Even within a short story and two chapters of the book, she has crafted a character for whom you are truly invested based upon the struggles she's had early in life - losing her parents in a car crash, which also badly sc...more
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
I've had Jennifer Weiner's novella Swim on my eReader for a while now, but never got around to reading it. It wasn't until the Bout of Books readathon came up that realized I had the perfect opportunity to finally give it a go.

Swim is a novella that's about a character in Weiner's newest novel, The Next Best Thing, namely, the character Ruth. I haven't read her newest novel, but this story was a perfect introduction to it. I adored Ruth's character -- she was strong, but still so insecure. I lo...more
Suzie Quint
I very much liked Weiner's Good in Bed. I was less excited about Goodnight Nobody, so I hadn't picked up any more of her books. This short was free, so I snagged it and now I remember what I liked about Jennifer Weiner. I'm not usually a fan of short fiction. Usually it doesn't leave me satisfied. This does. Short as it is, the heroine has a character arc and the ending is upbeat and hopeful. I will be reading Jennifer W's book The Next Best Thing, which is an outgrowth of this story.
I've read a couple of Jennifer Weiner's books, "Good in Bed" and "In Her Shoes." I really enjoyed both of those books so when Amazon was offering "Swim" for free on the Kindle I jumped at the chance to read a short story about a character in her upcoming book, "The Next Best Thing." After finishing this short story I can't wait to get my hands on it!

"Swim" introduces the reader to Ruth, the main character who's lost both her parents at a young age in a car accident that left her face scarred af...more
4.5 stars

I had already read this story before, but I had to read it again after finishing The Next Best Thing  A Novelyesterday. I just wanted a little more Ruthie, and of grandma as well.

The characters are so completely real it makes reading so easy. It's like hanging out with friends you haven't seen in a while, and that you're really happy spending time with again!
A Reader's Heaven
Ruth has left her good job as a television screenwriter after an incident with a man she would rather forget. While between jobs, she discovers that she can help students putting their college applications together (for a fee, of course!) Then she meets Gary who wants her to help create his online dating profile. Hard as she may try, she can't help but face the feelings she has for the new man in her life.

I have never read Jennifer Weiner before and have to say I was pleasantly surprised with th...more
Carrie Kellenberger
I've never been a big fan of short stories. Had I known this was a novella when I downloaded it, I probably would've reconsidered. Nevertheless, Swim is a good read about a young woman named Ruth who was involved in a car crash when she was quite young, leaving her orphaned and permanently disfigured. Ruth's grandmother raises her and they end up moving to Los Angeles were Ruth can pursue her dream of becoming a screen writer.

Ruth lands a job writing for a television show and ends up developing...more
♥ Marlene♥
Picked it up last night and glad I did.
I must admit I got confused (what else is new)

Got confused because I have a book called The Next big Thing by another writer, Johanna Edwards, and I loved that book.

The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards

This book is about a not so thin girl who ends up on a Reality TV show, so at first I thought, "hey I do not remember the main character to be like that...."

Yes I know. a bit stupid....

Once my brains finally realized that this was going to be Jen Weiner's new...more
Warnie B.
I read this because it was free, and short, and because I read one of Jennifer Weiner's books at one point and liked it pretty well, but this short story...didn't quite do it for me. Part of it might be that it's sort of a prequel, so the ending felt a little too...open-ended? Non-concrete? Well, something. I didn't even realize it was over at first because there's a preview for the book about that same character right after it. But also, I just couldn't relate to Ruth. I liked the beginning, bu...more
As far as short stories go, this one was short short short. Too short to really start and end. What it did do was wet my appetite for the follow-up, full size novel by Weiner: The Next Best Thing. The eBook had three of the first chapters of the sequel included. There was more story in three chapters than the whole of Swim. Can't wait to read the rest of it. My advice? Skip this and just read the Next Best Thing... or be prepared to read them both together.
Probably my favorite Jennifer Weiner read. There was something about this story that it def. had a feeling of deeper character and character development than a number of author characters in her book. I actually found myself wanting to read the full lenght novel that this book was a short story to.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I really liked this short story from Jennifer Weiner. This story, in fact, reminded me why I love reading her books. It was well written, contemplative, and very very enjoyable. It is super short but worth the 10-15 minutes it takes to read it. Don't miss this little gem.
Well-written with good character development, which is an important plus in a short story. Glad she developed a novel out of it, I'd like to know more about Ruth. I really enjoy Weiner's point of view.
This short story offers a peek into the novel The Next Best Thing. It's a peek alright, but it is also a complete storyi by Itself. It does not leave one hanging, but definitely wanting to read more.
Um, okay. Short? Yes. Good enough to draw me into reading, The Next Best Thing? Uh, maybe. Not in a rush though.

Ready for "The Next Best Thing" now.
This was a largely forgettable kindle short novel I read in an afternoon right before Christmas. I remember getting it for free when I first got my kindle, and thought it was light and fluffy enough to just breeze through the busy holidays. I know this was a prequel to one of Jennifer Weiner's novels which I haven't read and probably won't, and that it is about an ex-television writer who left the biz after her heart was broken and is now helping overprivileged and underachieving rich snots writ...more
Swim is a short story prequel for Jennifer Weiner’s book The Next Best Thing which will be released in July 2012. Ruth Saunders moved to Los Angeles a few years before the start of Swim, hoping to make it as a screenwriter, but after landing a gig on TV’s The Girl’s Room she’s had some career and romantic set backs so is currently employed helping clueless high school students with the college application process. With Ruth in LA is her lively grandmother, a woman who cooks Thanksgiving-like mea...more
I was instantly hooked upon reading the first page, and I wanted to find a coffee shop like the one Ruth returned to day after day, to meet her for a cup of coffee and to discuss what she'd been working on that day! Being an application consultant for young teens from private schools, after having been a writer and even a screenwriter for a show, until she was heartbroken. Not only is she heartbroken, but she's extremely self conscious due to a pink scar the size of the bottom of a soda can, bec...more
After recently being entranced by the water after years of hiding from it, I found the exact opposite in this little eShort story: a girl hiding beneath the waters. Ruth is definitely an interesting character, her past is not one of sunshine, rainbows and ponies but instead of pain and disappointment and loss. It's tragic, but this is only briefly mentioned in the actual story, the real details are in the excerpt that follow it. Ruth's experiences with one of her clients is light-hearted and fun...more
Alice Bola
Swim is a short story by Jennifer Weiner that was included in the book The Guy Not Taken. It is also the inspiration for her newest novel, The Next Best Thing. I purchased the short on Amazon for two reasons. The first being the price: At $1.99, you can’t go wrong. (Although I do believe the Kindle edition is free right now.) The second is I missed her. I really did. I love her writing style and her characters. The way she infuses them with such realism they can be anyone you actually know or wi...more
Swim is a short story that I had previously downloaded for free on my kobo. In my goals of cleaning up all of my devices (so I can fill them up with new and better things!) I came across Swim.

While it is a short story, I felt like it should have grabbed my attention more. I didn't want to read anymore about Ruth. I felt like I wanted to read more about Cailtyn and her attempts to get into college. And that's saying something! Based on this I'm not sure if I want to read the novel this inspired...more
May 04, 2013 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 813
This short story written by Jennifer Weiner in the 90s and published in May 2012 is the inspiration for her new novel “The Next Best Thing” which was published in July 2012. This short story was also published in Weiner’s 2006 “The Guy Not Taken” which is a collection of short stories. This edition includes an introduction in which Weiner describes the origin of the short story and its later revisions. The story is about Ruth Saunders a young woman from Massachusetts now living in California wit...more
Judy Collins
I have previously read The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner; however, for some reason, I missed the e-short story Swim prior to reading. I decided to buy as love e-short stories. The characters in Next Best Thing – Ruth, who was involved in a car crash when younger –leaving her orphaned and disfigured. She is very talented and tenacious and was raised by her grandmother. They moved from Florida to LA in order for Ruth to pursue her dream of becoming a screen writer.

Ruth later lands a job writ...more
Paige Bradish
I downloaded Swim by Jennifer Weiner on my e-reader and this is my honest review.

The reason I grabbed this short story is because I had been hearing great things about Weiner's writing and so when I saw this by her for free I swept it right up and read it in about an hour! I've been trying to get more into adult books and this short story makes me want to go read the ones I have right now.

In just 48 pages we meet the main character Ruth whom is a young writer. This is probably one of my favorit...more
Julie Barrett
Swim by Jennifer Weiner
Ruth Saunders helps seniors get into college. FOr a $5k fee she will get them ready for an interview, coach them on what to do, wear and discuss.
She and her grandmother had moved from MA to LA several years ago. She looses herself in the pool that she pays for. The car accident that killed her parents left her with a scar on her face, a big crater.
Rob meets her at the local coffee shop where she always gets there early to get a seat near the outlet for her computer. He wan...more
Sara A. Cobb
Great read

Great read

I chose to read Swim because I adore the author. Jennifer Weiner has a way of writing that goes straight to the soul. I feel what the character is feeling, experience the emotion and situations as if they were my own. Completely engrossing. One of the best things about Swim was its underlying point of not judging a book by its cover. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Read this because it was a free ereader short story and was honestly impressed at how enjoyable it was... Possibly because the protagonist, like me, also does college essay advising, so was empathetic, but the character development was interesting too. A little more development would have been nice, though it is such a short text that I realize it's difficult. Tempted to read more of this author now.
Anna Hammes
The one thing I don't like is the grammatical errors. Sometimes there are two people talking in quotes within the same paragraph. You have to pay attention to who's speaking.

I love the grandmother's goofy attitude. She has a funny perspective on things. "As long as people can still surprise you, it means you're not dead.

The story is interesting. I can't wait to read The Next Best Thing.
Apr 27, 2013 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: Amazon--goaded me with it's offer for a free book!
Amazon offered this short story for free. I didn’t realize it would be so...well “short.” This is the short story that inspired her novel, The Next Best Thing. I’ll definitely be interested in reading the novel. The short story was just a teaser and ended rather abruptly.
Story: Ruth left her job where she had been writing for a television show. She is picking up some freelance writing--mostly helping high school kids to put together the perfect college essays. She also helps singles with their...more
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Jennifer Weiner was born in 1970 on an army base in Louisiana. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Princeton University. She worked as a newspaper reporter in Central Pennsylvania, Lexington, Kentucky, and Philadelphia, before the publication of her first novel, GOOD IN BED, in 2001. She is the author of the novels IN HER SHOES (2002), which was turned into a major motion picture; LITTLE...more
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