Review and Free Giveaway: Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Discussion Questions Available!

Release date: 2009 / 359 pages

Synopsis (from back cover): Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever.  That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old.  but in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.  Flash-forward fifteen years.  Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station.  Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the internet.  She’s just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-lost best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat… 

First line: “Dan Swansea came awake in the darkness, not knowing for a minute who he was or where.”

Review:  I know many of you fellow readers had the same excited sense of anticipation when you first heard that Weiner’s latest was coming out this summer!  I was even more excited when it arrived on my doorstep barely a week ago…  I have read all of Weiner’s work and devoured her latest in a matter of days, as usual.

 If you read the plot synopsis, you only know the premise, but not the gift that Weiner’s writing endows — intricate, complex, ambivalent characters who will stay with you for years.  And, by the way, Addie may be mousy, but she is never “sullen” (whoever wrote that must have skimmed?!).  Addie is poignant and sensitive and strong — even when at her weakest.  Her best friend, Val, is harder to love but serves as an excellent foil for Addie and propels the narrative with her energy and spunk. 

Now, if you have read the publicity reviews, I will warn you that I do not agree that this is a “hilarious caper” or a funny take on “Thelma and Louise.”  For one thing, it’s really not that funny (and shouldn’t be!).  Much of the book is about how our appearance affects our identity (familiar theme with Weiner), how loneliness can lead us to act in ways we later regret, and how redemption comes in many forms.  Sound funny?  Not to me…  But that doesn’t mean this novel is depressing — it’s not.

In many ways, this is Weiner at her finest with regard to creating characters you can’t help but love.  On the other hand, is Best Friends Forever my very favorite of hers?  No…   but I still do recommend it to all other fans of Weiner’s work.

Interested in winning a copy?  Simply leave me a comment and I’ll draw a winner by the end of the week…

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36 Responses to Review and Free Giveaway: Best Friends Forever

  1. Teresa says:

    I would like to read this. Please, count me in.

  2. Sheri says:

    I am a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner’s… I’ve read all of her books. I’d love to read and review this one. Please sign me up! I also subscribe via Google Reader!

    A Novel Menagerie

  3. Deb says:

    I am also a big fan of Jennifer Weiner. I would love to own this book!

  4. Nan says:

    I have enjoyed getting to know Jennifer’s other characters and am anxious to meet these new ones. So please count me in too!

  5. Carol M says:

    I’ve never read any of her books. I would love to read this one. It sounds good.
    Thank you!
    mittens0831 AT

  6. Marjorie says:

    The review on this novel sounds good, I am a subscriber, please count me on for this great giveaway.

  7. Lora Glass says:

    Sounds like a great discussion book. I’d love to have the opportunity to read it.

  8. Lori says:

    This book is on my reading list and I would love to win a copy! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  9. Betsy says:

    I would love to have a chance for the book as well. I have really enjoyed her other books!

  10. Betsy says:

    I’d love to be considered for this book give away. I have really enjoyed her earlier books!

  11. Renee says:

    Can I be in the running again?! Thanks! Have a great rest of the week:)

  12. Kim says:

    I too was excited to hear that she has a new book out! I love her work- and your review makes me so curious!! I love reading all of your reviews and have found our tastes to be very similar. I am thoroughly enjoying a recent recommendation from your site. Thank you! Please count me in for the book drawing! 🙂

  13. Cathleen says:

    I would LOVE a copy of this book!

  14. Debbie says:

    I would love to be included in your giveaway. I love Jennifer Weiner.

  15. Heather says:

    I LOVE Jennifer Weiner’s books so definitely count me in for the giveaway. thanks so much!

  16. Cindy V says:

    I haven’t read one of Jennifer Weiner’s books in awhile. Please count me in. Thank you.

  17. Lisa says:

    oh my gosh, I have all her books and would LOVE to have this one!! Include me pretty please!

  18. Sue says:

    The book sounds great!! I would love to win a copy.

  19. Julie says:

    Please, please, please! I would love to be in the running 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Sharon Walling says:

    I have not had the opportunity to read any of this author’s books. I would love to read what it’s like to be Best Friends Forever.

  21. I’d love to be included! Thanks! 🙂

  22. I’d love to be entered. I also shared the information on my blog. 🙂

  23. Kristen says:

    I’m so glad there has been so much interest in Weiner’s latest! I wish I could give away more than just one!!

  24. denise says:

    I would love to read this book.


  25. Linda says:

    Don’t know this author. So, being addicted to reading ‘good stuff’, I’m the perfect candidate for the give-a-way!

  26. scottsgal says:

    This is on my summer TBR list – please count me in

  27. Kristen says:

    I’d love to win. Thanks!

    whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

  28. Linna says:

    I enjoy books that celebrate friendship. This one is exactly what I want to read. Thanks for hosting this nice giveaway contest. Happy summer and happy reading.

  29. Rebecca says:

    I have heard so many great things about this book! Would love to read it.

  30. Sue says:

    I love everything I’ve read by this author! Thanks for the giveaway~
    smickelson1993 at yahoo dot com

  31. Shanyn says:

    I, too love Jennifer Weiner. Thanks for giving away copies!

  32. Kristen says:

    I’m sorry I only had one copy to give away!! Lots more great giveaways coming to a Wednesday near you soon! 🙂

  33. Gina says:

    I would love to read this book!!

  34. Shirlene says:

    Would love to read her book. I’ve heard they are very good.

  35. Sherrie Gil says:

    Please count me in. I would love to read this book. Sagil

  36. Pingback: [TSS] Big List of Book Giveaways – July 19 Edition

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