The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner {Review and Giveaway}

by NancyT

Ruth Saunders’s dream is about to come true: her script is about to be turned into a sitcom to be aired on a national network. But working with the network, studio and actors is not what she expected, her relationship with the grandmother who raised her is on the rocks, and she’s in love with a man that she thinks will never love her back. Jennifer Weiner is at the top of her game with her tenth novel, The Next Best Thing.

Severely scarred in the accident that killed her parents at the age of 3, Ruthie spent much of her childhood in the hospital, having surgery after surgery in an attempt to return the left side of her face to some semblance of normal. During that time, she and her grandmother watched hours of television, with The Golden Girls as their favorite show. Years later, as Ruth embarks on a career as a writer, she decides to move to Los Angeles and try to make it as a television writer.

Ruth is hired as an assistant on a television show and makes the mistake of falling for one of the writers, getting her heart broken in the process. After quitting the show and wallowing for a while, she starts writing college application essays and personal ads, landing both her grandmother and herself boyfriends. Thanks to help from the owners of a production company — both named Dave — that hires her, Ruth’s script for a sitcom based on her life gets picked up. The process of making a TV show quickly spirals out of Ruth’s control, she finds herself falling for one of the Daves and she loses her grandmother’s respect.

The Next Best Thing switches between the present, starting with Ruth learning if the studio is going to make a pilot from her script, and Ruth’s childhood — the accident, her surgeries, her relationship with her grandmother. Ruth struggles with her values and how much of the show — her baby — she’s willing to sacrifice to make this dream a reality. But through the process she gains valuable experience and loses some of her selfishness and finds that sometimes, dreams are what you make them.

Get ready to win a copy of The Next Best Thing! Please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below to enter. We’ll announce the winner in our book review and giveaway column on 7/23. US mailing addresses only, please.

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Nancy loves both television and reading, though it’s hard to do both at the same time. She also blogs at Life With My Boys and Books.



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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AnnOnandOn July 9, 2012 at 12:41 am

LOVE her books! Thanks for the review. I’m a huge fan!!!

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2 Jen July 9, 2012 at 5:13 am

My favorite reading time is at the coffee shop across the street from where I live. Love sitting there and reading!

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3 Jenny July 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

I do most of my reading just before I go to sleep.

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4 LaTanya July 9, 2012 at 8:12 am

at night time after my son has gone to sleep

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5 tammy b July 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

big fan of jennifers, thanks for the review

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6 Amber July 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

I love reading right before bed!

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7 Helen July 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

I read right before bed, if I get time!

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8 angie July 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

early morning before kids get up is the best time for me

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9 Katie O July 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I read before bed when everything is quiet!

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10 anne July 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Best reading time is the evening.

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11 ellie July 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Just before bed. Relax and read.

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12 Colleen Turner July 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I am a HUGe fan of Jennifer Weiner. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of her new book!

For me, the most productive time to read is during my lunch hour. I can shut my office door, ignore all emails and phone calls and just concentrate on my book!

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13 Jessica To July 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

My favorite reading time is on Sunday afternoon when we can relax.

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14 paige July 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

At night when I am giving the dog his pack time.

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15 Don July 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I get more of my reading done during the winter months.

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16 Beth C July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

It relaxes me to read right before I go to bed. The only trouble if the book is exciting, I can’t put it down!

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17 Jenny D July 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

My most productive time to read is during my lunch break. But I love to read anytime I get a free few minutes!

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18 Rosita July 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

At night before going to sleep. I can really concentrate then.

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19 Hailey L. July 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

My msot productive time to read is when everyone is sleeping and I am tucked in bed with my husband.

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20 Angel S, July 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

My most productive reading time is at night after everyone ha gone to bed!

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21 Cindi July 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I enjoy reading very late in the evening, when our home
is quiet!
Thanks, Cindi

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22 Stacie Fontinell July 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

At night before bed…only free time!

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23 Patricia July 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Just before bed.

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24 Denise M July 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

right before bed, at least for 5 minutes per day

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25 Kim July 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

My favorite reading time is before I fall asleep. It’s quiet because the kids are asleep and the hubs is watching “his” programs or playing a game.

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26 Beth - TheAngelForever July 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm

My favorite time to read is before going to bed. Of course, thanks to my Kindle app I find I have a lot of time while waiting for the kids to get out of school. Thanks for the fun :)

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27 Kat Riley July 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

my most productive reading time come right before bedtime.

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28 Linda Kish July 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Midafternoon

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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29 Garrett July 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

Whenever I just want to relax and get ready to take a nap.

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30 randi July 10, 2012 at 8:16 am

I do most of my reading at bedtime or in the car (while riding).

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31 Susan S. July 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

On the weekends. I tend to get up before my hubby so I love that time in the morning all by myself to read. My coffee, a good book and no one to disturb me.

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32 Charlotte Padgett July 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I go to bed extra early just so I can read for awhile before I get sleepy.

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33 Beth July 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Love her books! The best time for to read is either when the kiddos are napping, or sometimes I can get a few minutes of my boys playing nicely together in the backyard and I can grab a book and a lawn chair! Ahhhhhh – love those moments!

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34 Sandra K321 July 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

In the morning before the kids get up.

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35 HilLesha July 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm

When the children are asleep :-)

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36 Mary Calabrese July 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I love to read before bed.

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37 Tia July 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jennifer Weiner! I usually read at my children’s sports practices.

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38 Jessica T July 11, 2012 at 1:30 am

LOl! unfortunatley, at this point in my life, it is in the bathroom!

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39 Lori D. July 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

On my weekends off from work.

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40 Terra Heck July 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

My fave time to read is at night, right before going to bed. Thanks.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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41 Jennifer McKay July 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I usually read just before bed or for a little while in the am before i go to work

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42 Nicole C. July 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

My most productive reading time is any time that I can fit it in!

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43 Idaho Jill July 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I like to read in the bath tub = no interruptions!

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44 Van July 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

I read a few pages in bed at night.

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45 Anita Yancey July 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

My favorite time to read is in the afternoon.

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46 Michelle W July 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

My favorite reading time is early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping

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47 Liz July 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I love reading while the kids are playing. I’m a good daytime reader.

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48 melissa n July 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

imable to get mine done after the baby is in bed at nght, so anytme after 10pm

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49 nannypanpan July 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm
50 Tiffany Kinney July 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

After the kids are in bed is my reading time.

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51 Jeff July 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Right before bed time.

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52 Martha July 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Last thing in the evening before falling asleep.

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53 Kelly July 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I read at night.

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54 Mama Zen July 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Before my daughter wakes up!

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55 Susan Chester July 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I like to read early morning before everybody else is up.

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56 Jamie July 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm

At night before I go to bed and my kids are finally asleep! ;)

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57 Tara July 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

after the kids go to sleep

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58 Staci A July 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

At night, when everyone else is asleep. I love Jennifer Weiner’s books and would love to read this one!

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59 laurie brown July 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

love to read late at night when everyone is asleep and the house is quiet

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60 Erika July 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

At night when everyone is sound asleep! Love the quiet time!

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61 DAMIAN JARREAU July 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

late at night when everyone is asleep

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62 Chuck July 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

On those nights when you just cannot sleep no matter what.

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63 Angela E. July 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

Reading helps me to relax and take me away into the book.

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64 Tammy July 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

My best reading time is before I go to bed hopefully i dont stay up to late

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65 Daniel M July 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

in bed at the end of the day

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66 Bonnie July 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

In the evening when it is quiet and I can relax from the day’s activities.

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67 June July 18, 2012 at 11:18 am

I make sure I take along at least three books whenever we have to go on alomg car trip.

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68 mona July 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I love to read when there is nothing on TV I what to watch ,,,, and I have to compete for the TV with the two men in my house, (my son, and Hubby) so thats a lot of time to read.

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69 Keisa Rogers July 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I have 4 kids so the only time i get to read is when they are in school or they are sleeping :)

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70 Christina July 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

At night after everyone else is asleep! No distractions!

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71 Helen July 19, 2012 at 1:43 am

right before bed

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72 Caryn S July 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

Right after the kids are asleep, around 9 pm

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73 shawna July 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I like to read before bed once the kids are asleep.

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74 Amy Woods-Smith July 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I like to read on the bus during my commute.

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75 Natalie July 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Before I go to bed

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76 Theresa H July 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I love reading in bed, in the car on long trips and on my breaks at work…I just love reading!!

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77 Cathy July 19, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I like to read before I fall asleep.

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78 Ron July 20, 2012 at 12:22 am

I love to read right before I head to bed. However, I do not like to read in bed as I always tend to fall asleep.

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79 Valerie Taylor Mabrey July 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

love reading at night in my bed
vmkids3 at msn dot com

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80 wendy wallach July 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

i love to read when traveling on a plane

madamerkf at aol dot com

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81 Ed Nemmers July 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

For me, just before bedtime!

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82 Susan Smith July 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm

At night when everyone else is in bed

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83 Tricha July 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

love to read before I go to bed

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84 Kayla July 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I like to read a chapter when I wake up in the morning.

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85 Kirsten July 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

I read before bed on my iPad.

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86 Sarah Y July 21, 2012 at 12:59 am

right before I go to sleep is my only opportunity

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87 brenda Elsner July 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

My favorite time to read is right before bed.

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88 Shaunda E. July 21, 2012 at 3:50 am

My reading time is when everyone is in bed.

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89 Emmy July 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

Right before bed because my anxiety has subsided from the day

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90 amanda roach July 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

in the evening after my kids go to bed.

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91 Erin Cook July 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

night time after the children go to sleep

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92 christal c willdebbie July 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

On a road trip is best for me

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93 James Coyne July 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

I read before i go to bed

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94 Betty C July 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

My favorite reading time is just before I go to sleep. In fact, no matter how tired I am I can’t go to sleep without reading at least a couple of pages.

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95 Kat Emerick July 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

In bed, after it is all quiet.

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96 susan smoaks July 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm

at night right before bed

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97 Teresa Thompson July 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm

My favorite reading time is earling evening, on the porch swing with a cup of coffee.

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98 Kim Holsapple July 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

If the afternoon while my daughter is practicing for swim team

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99 Lisa July 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm

the best time is Before bedtime

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100 shanta spradlin July 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm

my favorite reading time is at night when everyone is in bed.

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101 shirley zolenski July 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Right before bed

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102 Sand July 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I like to read before falling asleep.

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