To Go: 99
1. Best Friends Forever — Jennifer Weiner
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-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. “Something horrible has happened,” Val tells Addie, “and you’re the only one who can help.”
I’ve got to say, after completing this challenge it feels so defeating to start it all over again. However, I started this year on a pretty good note, with the last of Sahar’s loaner books.
I think I’m falling in love with Jennifer Weiner. I’ve only read two of her books (this one, and Then Came You) but I’ve adored both of them. She does a really good job of mixing heartbreaking and realistic scenarios with comedy, and just a little bit of romance.
I read Best Friends Forever in pieces (I’ve been lazy lately) so my recollections of it are somewhat disjointed, but I really enjoyed it. Addie Downs was so sweet that I just wanted to hug her, and Val was self-centered and painfully unaware of how the world works (which could have been taxing, but Weiner did a good job at making her delusions funny instead of irritating). I adored seeing Jordan Novick come to terms with his recent divorce, all while trying to find the girls and connect them to the mystery of the lost belt.
If it wasn’t already obvious, Best Friends Forever is a mixed bag of intertwining plots, and several flashbacks. Normally juggling that much can be overwhelming or badly handled, but I really liked how it all came together. Definitely worth a read!
Next book: one of my many new books. After Christmas I had more books than I knew what to do with!