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As a long time Weiner fan, I was not disappointed at all in this lovely book. I love a good commentary on friendships, particularly those who stand the test of time. This is a perfect example. The friendship of the young girls was sweet and called to memory those of my own life. But, it is the adult friendship that makes this book so perfect. If you are a friend or have ever had a friend, you will love this book. If you have lost touch with a friend of long standing you MUST read this book. Weiner has my total respect and admiration.,
Best friends forever is the story of Addie Downs and her friend Valerie Adler. The story revolves around Addie who is an ostracized kid and grows to be an insecure loner who has no friends and no one to take care of her, no one to love her and grow old with. As a little girl Addie has no real friends until Val moves across the street from the Downs and they become fast friends swearing they will be best friends forever. Addie is shy and with her dysfunctional family this doesn't improve at all for her. Addie's mom is obese and her father doesn't really work like other kid's fathers but he just does handiwork which is odd in her neighborhood so Addie and her brother Jon who are not that tight have to deal with parents who don't socialize much and who keep to themselves.
When Val comes into the picture with her hippie Mom and her relaxed ways, Addie's world takes a turn and finally she is not alone anymore, she has her own best friend and that is just surreal and empowering but nothing lasts forever right? Val grows up to be the skinny blond with great possibilities since the moment she becomes a cheerleader while Addie begins to gain weight and stick to herself and her books much more after Jon's accident. When her brother has this horrible car accident being only 15, Addie and her entire family take a downturn. She has to help Jon now, she has to help him in school and the mean kids just turn to be meaner with her as the months go by. At one point they begin to make fun of her and write things about her and it breaks her heart that Val is not really hanging out with her anymore. After an incident with Val at a party both girls part ways an Addie begins to eat and eat more at night all alone in her darkened room.
Now, after 15 years since that high school incident Valerie, who is now a weather girl, knocks on Addie's door 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.
Jen's characters are deep and flawed and real and the range of emotions is outstanding. This is a great read I hope they make it a movie like they did with "In her shoes".
I love, love, love Jennifer Weiner's books. I've read everything I could get my hands on that she has written-including short stories. I bought this book upon immediate release and curled up to read it with anticipation. Unfortunately, I found myself waiting for the stortyine to pick up and to fall in love with the characters. I also found myself struggling to keep reading the book and that has NEVER happened while reading Weiner's work. By the time I did finish the novel I sat there stunned. I was completely disappointed by the unoriginal plot and the fact that I never could get into any of the characters. I placed the book upon the shelf with every other published piece by Weiner and sighed. I am hoping her next release brings brack the freshness and the colorful characters that Weiner is known for. Hey--no one is perfect, I'm giving Weiner a pass on this book and will wait anxiously for the next.
Although "Best Friends Forever" was my first taste ov Jennifer Weiner, I wholeheartedly agree with another reviewer's opinion that the novel was just...okay. The book had its moments ov wit and humor, but for the most part I was disappointed. I found myself feeling rather lucky in comparison to the characters...Long story short, I too felt sorry for them. And that's unfortunately, as much emotion as the novel inspired.
Just to make it clear, my problem with this novel isn't that what happens (to the majority ov the characters) is tragic or sad. My problem is that I hard time connecting. It just wasn't there for me.
There were also several important "surprise" chunks ov the novel that ended up being not so surprising. You know, those shocking plot twists? They weren't so shocking. In fact, I dare say they were quite predictable.
I liked Weiner's writing style and enjoyed her sense ov humor. I think she has the ability to connect with readers...But honestly, this particular novel just didn't cut it for me.
I have read all of Weiner's books. I didn't care for Certain Girls at all, but liked all the rest, including this one. Granted, not the best book I have ever read, but still enjoyable. Addie was a very likeable, sympathetic character. Many people, including me, can relate to the difficult time she had in high school, in her case because of her weight. And most of us have suffered a painful betrayal as well. Valerie is selfish, rude, it's all about me, me, me, altho' I must admit, she was so over the top at times I had to laugh. And there are reasons for her outrageous behavior. In spite of all of this, Addie and Valerie find their way back to each other, proving that love and friendship can endure even the toughest of times. Very satisfying ending.
First of all, I love Jennifer Weiner, so its hard NOT to like anything she writes. But i have to admit that this is the first one where i am like "eh...i could take it or leave it" I agree with other reviewers that at times you just want to reach thru the book and shake some of the characters or smack them "up side the head" and yell "what are you thinking?" But then there are poignant times, when, a plus sized person, due to lacking self-esteem, would 'put up' with 'that' kind of behavior/comments from another person (character.)
All in all, its not something i hated, nor something i loved. I still enjoy the style and themes that Jennifer uses in her books. I liken it to a jelly donut...you never know if you'll like whats inside, until you take a bite...if you love the filling 'bonus for you'...if you don't, spit it out and try a different flavor...but don't give up on jelly donuts! (ha ha ha)
This book is very readable as are all Weiner's stories and there are occasional laugh lines, but the blend of genres in this novel does not work for me. It's a mix of chick lit with a mystery story and a sprinkling of Joyce Carol Oates themes. Serious issues of obesity, abuse and addiction are combined with a hokey detective plot and a fair amount of implausible action on top of a somewhat implausible best friends reunion. The amount of non-reality in the plot and action made it impossible for me to ever feel emotionally engaged with the story or any of the characters. Addie, the protagonist, is the most fully drawn and sympathetic character. I would have liked to read a different story centered on her; a more heartfelt and realistic one.
I actually saw this book at the grocery store believe it or not, and I wanted a good book to read too-- so why not! I read the first chapter and I was immediately drawn it takes you into a crime scene. A steamy crime scene at that. The more I read the more into it I got, but when it started getting closer to the end I kept thinking... Yeah right. This would never happen... ever! Obviously this book is talking about the year 2007 or even more current [they mention Twitter and Youtube] soooo how can someone rob a bank, and not be caught on camera? Glitch. There were a lot of holes in the story like Val "Addie I'm sorry I told lies about you, and ruined your senior year" how? "See how it feels when they're laughing at you" well who are you planning on sending Dan Swansea's naked pictures to anyway? The ending was a HUGE disappointment with a bogus love scene and a predictable ending. The beginning and the developing chapters were luring but it was a let down during Part III.
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner books. I think that she is able to clearly capture the dynamics of friendships and relationships. Her writing is usually clever and engaging. I was anxiously waiting for this book to come out and I was completely disappointed. Unlike her other books, this storyline seemed to diverge away from friendships. I didn't understand how this book could be titled Best Friends Forever. The friendship part of the story was absent for most of the book. And though in the end the two girls renewed their friendship, it seemed fake - almost like Weiner had to end the story so she just made sure that the girls ended up being "best friends" in the end. This story isn't about best friends forever. Bummer for me. I'm still a fan, albeit a disappointed one for now.
Jennifer Weiner used to be one of my all time favorites! Good in Bed was fabulous, along with all of her others...until now. Best Friends Forever was an unlikely, unrealistic friendship with an anti-climatic plot. It goes on and on, with nothing really of interest happening. I never felt a connection to the characters. The plot was dull. It was supposed to be an exciting type of mystery, "Thelma and Louise" bestfriends forever dishy drama, yet it fell flat. Wait for the softcover or get it at the library, or better yet-- just skip it altogether. Hopefully the next is better...