Thursday, October 29, 2009

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

3 Star

Fifteen years after Addie's betrayal by her best friend, Val, in high school, Addie finds herself floundering, desperately lonely and trying to find true love through internet dating. After returning home from a dismal date, she finds Val standing on her doorstep, her coat sleeve blood stained and a terrified look on her face. When Val pleads for help, Addie knows she won't turn her back on her old friend. As they investigate the mysterious events leading up to Val's sudden appearance on Addie's doorstep, they work through their history and discover the true meaning of friendship. 

Lydia - 4 Star

I enjoyed Best Friends Forever even though I was expecting chick lit which this novel wasn’t in my chick lit opinion. It reminded me more of a Judy Blume novel such as Summer Sisters, which I don’t really remember, but I found it felt similar.

Although it was not even remotely light and fluffy, I thought the writing was impeccable as usual with Weiner’s novels and all the details of growing up from the 70’s through 90’s brought me right back to my childhood and adolescence. I found the story interesting with enough intrigue to keep me reading and I read quickly enough to find the end satisfying.

I was interested in her use of the first person narrative for a male character whose voice alternated with the main character’s. I felt Weiner portrayed him well and I was not disappointed as I sometimes am when chick lit authors attempt to get into the heads of men (and they usually stick to the third person, not even attempting the first person).

Overall, I enjoyed Best Friends Forever and if you’re looking for something a little different from chick lit and don’t expect to laugh out loud as frequently as some of her other novels, check out Weiner’s latest.

Kathryn - 2 Star

I think this would be an example of loving the author but not loving this mystery lit novel. I was pretty disappointed as her last few have been so engaging and so enticing.

I didn’t really believe the friendship from the beginning and we were given only a small snapshot of their childhoods and then moved on too quickly to their adulthood.
Perhaps I would have had more interest if we’d spent more time with them as children? Instead we spent a lot of time with the main character, Addie, who has a hard time in high school and then experiences a really difficult family life. Addie, as a persona, is sympathetic and likeable but I still didn’t understand why she was interested in renewing her friendship with Val after all they had been through. We aren’t really told much about Val during the years between high school and the present but I wish we had been as she felt like a fill in character for me and she should really have been much more alive.

There are some parts of Best Friends Forever that I enjoyed though! The ending for example made me glad I finished it. I enjoyed the character of the detective and that the subject of infertility was explored through male emotions. I was interested in Addie’s relationship with her brother Jon as it felt like the most real connection. But given that the novel is supposed to be about best friends you would think that their connection would have been better- is there a greater & higher point here that I’m missing? Am I being too literal about the title?

Not my favourite I’m afraid.

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