Synopses & Reviews
At three years old, Ruth Saunders miraculously survives the car crash that takes her parents’ lives on the icy Massachusetts Turnpike. Her eccentric grandmother, who comes out of Florida retirement to care for young Ruth, nurtures her through years of surgeries, feeding her home-cooked meals, dispensing irreverent wisdom, and telling Ruth she’s beautiful, even though her scars will stay with her forever.
After college, Ruth pursues her dream of writing to Hollywood, heading west with her grandmother in tow, hoping to make it big in the world of TV. After years of failure and a badly broken heart, Ruth gets The Call — her show has been green-lit.
But Ruth’s happy ending is only the beginning, as she struggles with how television gets made: terrified (and terrifying) executives and actresses with their eyes on bigger prizes than Ruthie’s show. Add in an unrequited crush on the man who has been her mentor. Add to that her grandmother’s impending nuptials, and Ruth’s big break might just break her.
A rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, The Next Best Thing is a heartfelt story about a young woman searching for her own happily-ever-after in the land where dreams come true.
"Spares no bon mot in exposing Hollywood’s sexism, ageism and incurable penchant for extravagant silliness." Kirkus
"Full of warm and interesting characters as well as a wealth of insider industry detail (Weiner was a cocreator of an ABC Family sitcom), this is a must-read for Weiner’s many fans and anyone who enjoys smart, funny fiction." Library Journal
"Weiner is coming off a year in Hollywood, and she puts the experience to excellent use in this utterly engaging story of a showrunner who, after six years of slogging, finally gets a series on the air, only to discover that her troubles are only beginning — meddling studio execs, egomaniacal actors and one crushable but unobtainable boss." Time
Blockbuster #1 New York Times
bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns with an irresistible story about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood…
At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she has hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to run the show. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and on-set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love — and lose — in the land where dreams come true.
About the Author
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.