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Jennifer Weiner has a tendency towards taking the easy, formulaeic route with plot development, moralising, and boring us with pages of "flashback". She does all this in bucket loads in Best Friends Forever.
It's a pity because Weiner creates great characters and writes with real perception but then she slides into a lazy device like making the detective, Jordan, fall for the heroine in a very Mills & Boon type way, without any real development of the relationship.
Weiner is also a little too keen to moralise. Her "bad" characters always come unstuck and the good characters, who may have been fat bullied / dominated, end up triumphing.
I've read several of Jennifer's books, but this was not a favourite. For me, the characters were not particularly likeable or engaging, so I struggled to care about what happened to them. Readable, but not up to her usual standard.
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 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.
Don't we look at life so very differently when we are children than when we grow up? But some people really never do grow up; we know that. Can people change? Perhaps, if it is important to them to do so. What about loyalty? Does it not need to be taken seriously if you are a youngster? Jennifer Weiner explores these themes, and others in a nice story, written with some aplomb, but just not a great novel. Good summertime reading.
I read this book with my book club and we all found it to be an ok but not great read. The story was unpredictable but very silly. The characters were not very relatable and the lead male character didn't come across as very manly. He seemed like a woman's interpretation of a man and was not believable. Overall it wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. Mostly it was just fluff. It would be a good book to take on vacation. Good to fill in the time when you need to but easy to walk away from.