The Next Best Thing
By Jennifer Weiner
(Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781451617757, 400pp.)
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
Author Jennifer Weiner's new novel draws on her experience creating and running a television show. Weiner writes bitingly about the experiences of women in Hollywood writers' rooms â?? and she's also very vocal about the disrespect female authors face from literary critics. More at NPR.org
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"Weiner is coming off a year in Hollywood, and she puts the experience to excellent use in this utterly engaging story of a showrunner who, after six years of slogging, finally gets a series on the air, only to discover that her troubles are only beginning—meddling studio execs, egomaniacal actors and one crushable but unobtainable boss."
"Spares no bon mot in exposing Hollywood’s sexism, ageism and incurable penchant for extravagant silliness."
"Full of warm and interesting characters as well as a wealth of insider industry detail (Weiner was a cocreator of an ABC Family sitcom), this is a must-read for Weiner’s many fans and anyone who enjoys smart, funny fiction."
"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen."
“A knockout. Perfect comic timing meets effortless dialogue and an engaging plot…. Enjoy your place on top of the lit world, Jennifer Weiner. You've more than made it.”
"Jennifer Weiner is funny and dead-on when it comes to building a satisfying summer read.”
“Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul. Readers will root for her to get everything she ever wanted—not to settle for the next best thing. This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.”
“Weiner’s snappy new novel showcases her humor and style."
“A fascinating glimpse into the television industry…Weiner’s strong sense of comedy comes through in her characters’ witty banter and Ruth’s writing. You will cheer her on in her quest to find success and love.”
“Weiner is a chick-lit writer with chops—and she puts them to expert use in this funny, feel-good tale.”