This is the third book that I have read by Jennifer Weiner. I love reading about her protagonists who are always so different from the way a lot of other protagonists are described. Weiner’s main character in this book, Ruth, is the true definition of an underdog. It’s the story about a young woman who has faced hardships and is trying to make her dreams come true, her dream of writing a television show and getting it on air.
Secondary characters provide funny antics to the book that will result in you shaking your head,. Your heart will also crack as you watch Ruth’s dream come apart and come together in a way that is unexpected. After you finish reading, you might want to read Swim by Jennifer Weiner. Swim is a short story that goes more in depth of Ruth from her time that occurs in the first few chapters in The Next Best Thing. You can find this for free on iTunes.
“If I couldn’t be pretty, in the manner of girls, I’d decided I could be brave, like a boy or a superhero, impressing stranger not with my beauty but by how much I could endure.”
“It didn’t feel like a real job. A real job was being a teacher or a nurse, or selling furniture, like my grandma had. Scrubbing floors, growing food, helping the sick, all of that was real work, and I’d endure pangs of guilt, or a sense that I was getting away with something, every time I got paid.”
“Maybe there’s suffering because it makes is appreciate the good things more.”
“There was suffering, and there was joy, and maybe, just maybe, amid the wreckage of what I’d thought I wanted most, there was still a chance for me to grab some happiness, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.”
“You don’t get perfect ― but I was going to grab this happiness and hold it as tightly as I could. I was going to enjoy it for as long as it lasted.”