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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DARING TO DREAM

When twenty-three-year-old Ruth Saunders heads to California with her seventy-year-old grandmother, she has a big dream to fulfill. She wants to be a Hollywood screenwriter.

Ruth's life has been a big struggle, with numerous surgeries to repair some of the damage caused by an accident that took her parents' lives. But with her grandmother Rachel as a staunch supporter and a vision of the Golden Girls TV show as her model for what she wants to create, she believes that almost anything is possible.

After working on other writers' shows, and even creating essays for the college-bound, she finally sells her script to a network; and then, after heart-stopping moments of waiting, the show is green lighted.

But will her dreams come true? Or will she find that, despite all her best efforts, the obstacles that await her will dilute her dream until it resembles nothing like she envisioned?

Ruth is one of those characters you love and root for. And her funny, quirky grandmother made me smile, with her sayings, her support, and her wisdom. And then, despite bad relationships along the way, it looks like Ruth might actually find her true love.

I loved this excerpt near the conclusion of The Next Best Thing: A Novel when Ruth remembers some warnings she received in the beginning:

"Enjoy this, I heard Dave saying in my head, back at the kickoff dinner, before things had started their downhill slide...and at that moment, I wished I could hit REWIND, send time spinning backward until I arrived at the moment when the story of Daphne and Nana existed only in my head...."

When the worst happens, however, what brave and risky move will Ruth take to turn everything right? I was stunned by her chutzpah and wanted to shout and applaud. A wonderfully thrilling conclusion to what could have been just another story about Hollywood and its disappointments. Definitely five stars for me!

8 comments:

  1. I have this to read...I always have mixed feelings about this book!

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  2. I've read a few of Jennifer Weiner books - she writes about such a variety of characters and situations, and she always writes them so well.

    I think I saw this one after reading Fly Away Home, would love to read it, especially after reading a good review. :)

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  3. Oh...I hope you give it a chance, Patty. But I know that there were mixed reviews on this one, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Mardel, that's what I love about this author. And I think her characters always have something interesting about them. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I enjoy Jennifer Weiner's books. I have read a few of them. Even though I don't always fall in love with her characters, I find them very interesting to read about. I have this on my tbr pile and hope to get to it soon.

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  6. The book sounds wonderful, which is no surprise because I already know Laurel has excellent taste. Anyway, bravo Jennifer, and thanks, Laurel. So many books, so little time.

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  7. Beth, I do like some of the characters more than others....but, as you say, they are always interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Thank YOU, Joylene, for stopping by and for the wonderful comments.

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