Mamers's Reviews > The Next Best Thing

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1478844
's review
Jul 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012, 2-hour-steam-delay, adult-fiction, chick-lit
Read from July 10 to 13, 2012

Ms. Weiner, it is time for you and I to part ways. This is the fourth book in a row that I have been disappointed with. Once again, the editing is abysmal and the story is just so-so.

The first 100 pages of this novel are mostly back story and even when you finally get to the actual plot, you continue to flip flop with the back story. After reading such excellent books as Gone Girl where the back story is excellently woven into the plot, I find this novel boring and choppy. Don't get me wrong, it had momentary reminders of your previous greatness! For instance, the tension between Ruth and her love interest is great, but the characters are never developed, so I really don't care. There are 3 or 4 pages of kinda good story development and then, suddenly, it's 2 weeks later.

Unfortunately, these fleeting moments were interspersed with Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon writing. I can't recall a single novel where you felt the need to write about sex in such detail. It was really quite smutty. I don't care where he puts his finger!!! I don't want to know what they are doing with the shower head!!! I can barely understand why they are so attracted (view spoiler)!!! I'm sad that you didn't feel your writing was good enough to stand on it's own and had to stoop to writing soft core porn. But maybe this would be a new genre for you... the smut parts were actually pretty good.

As for the editing, just an example... Ruth goes to a party wearing slacks, leaves the party wearing a skirt, and eventually takes off a dress. Really??? And I must mention, I really don't need a description of every single thing every person is wearing. Whenever Ruth meets someone, whether or not they've already been introduced, she describes in full detail their entire wardrobe. It gets old real quick.

I know I really shouldn't be comparing a beach read to a more literary novel like Gone Girl, but seriously, this book sucked. It sucked so bad that I am considering going back and re-reading Good in Bed and Little Earthquakes to figure out why I like this author so much to begin with.
23 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Next Best Thing.
sign in »

Reading Progress

07/10/2012 page 105
26.0% "Weiner desperately needs a new editor. This is the 2nd book in a row with glaringly huge errors. I am reading this on a beach, literally, and find some errors shine brighter than the sun. (Yeah, that was kinda cheesy. :P )"

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Cecilia Hi. Your review was so right on. I second all your opinions. Where did the "sex bathroom" come from? I read this at the beach as well and kept skipping pages. Something else I found annoying was that the show she wrote was corny and stupid and the pilot would never get selected. I did not sympathize with the main character at all!


Mamers Cecilia wrote: "Hi. Your review was so right on. I second all your opinions. Where did the "sex bathroom" come from? I read this at the beach as well and kept skipping pages. Something else I found annoying was th..."

Thanks! I agree, the tv show sounded just as bad as the one Weiner wrote in real life! The shower head scene was foreplay in the pool house right after the party where Ruth magically changes clothes.


Dana Completely agree with you. Her books in the beginning were amazing and now....well...to put it nicely not so much:p


Marcy Could not agree more! I actually read Gone Girl right before this book, and even though I STILL can't decide how I feel about it you can't deny that Gone Girl was an amazingly written, smart book. I was just thinking the same about re-reading Good in Bed and Little Earthquakes because I remember them being such good books.


Mamers LOL! Gone Girl and Next Best Thing really shouldn't be read back to back... they are on totally different levels, quality wise. Maybe we would have liked this more had we read it after, say, an Emily Giffin book?

Musings.


Marcy HA! So very true, there was no comparison in the quality of writing! The funny thing is I had the new Emily Giffin book checked out at the same time, but because it took me so long to finish The Next Best Thing I had to return it! (couldn't renew b/c of a hold) Now I'm not sure that I even want to bother. ;-)


Jennifer I totally agree with what you wrote about this book. You were right about the outfits, I think it's not that relevant as to describe what every character is wearing.


Caroline Great review! Exactly what I wanted to say!


Mamers Marcy wrote: The funny thing is I had the new Emily Giffin book checked out at the same time, but because it took me so long to finish The Next Best Thing I had to return it!..."

Did you ever read that one? I decided not to, because Giffin's previous book made me shake with anger. The characters were miserable!

And thanks guys! I'm still a little sad that I felt this way about one of Weiner's books, but it had to be said!


Roberta I agree with your review 100%. If I had read it first, I might not have bothered with the book at all. The writing was so juvenile, from the obsessive descriptions of wardrobe to the inane pilot to the graphic sex scenes. I will never read another of her books.


Roberta Mamers wrote: "LOL! Gone Girl and Next Best Thing really shouldn't be read back to back... they are on totally different levels, quality wise. Maybe we would have liked this more had we read it after, say, an Emi..."
Interesting. I've never read Emily Griffin. Is she worse than Jennifer Wiener?


Kelly I feel your pain. "Then Came You" was totally underwhelming and this is even worse. I will continue to try more books in the future, but with trepidation.


back to top