Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Why I chose it: Every few years, The New Yorker runs a piece about genre fiction that makes it sound much better than it is, so I'll go ahead and get hold of ONE of the books mentioned in the article just to remind myself how much I dislike 99% of it. Then I don't read any until the next article.

Podcasts: None

Brow: Low

What I thought: As interesting as the New Yorker made Jennifer Weiner's fiction sound, this book didn't prove it. There's nothing wrong with the book, and given that while I was reading it, I was trying to grade a massive number of student papers AND write a master's-level paper, it was certainly a relief not to have a challenging novel facing me at the end of the day. But I certainly won't pick up another pop fiction book until the next piece.

Should you read it? If you're already a fan of Jennifer Weiner, you probably already have. It's among the most-reviewed books on Goodreads. If like me you mostly read literary fiction but the New Yorker piece got you interested and you want to know if you should try it out with this book, you shouldn't. Well, unless you like nitpicking things like when a character is wearing trousers in one scene, but then in the very next scene, which is only an hour or so later and in the same place, she's suddenly in a skirt with no mention of changing clothes, then this book will be a goldmine for you.

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