Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Book Synopsis:

Some bonds can never be broken. . .

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."

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat-adventure: a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it and the ties that keep best friends together.

My review:

I enjoy reading novels about women’s friendships. When I read the synopsis for Best Friends Forever, prior to its release, I immediately added my name to the wait list at my library. I’ve never read any of Ms. Weiner’s previous novels, and thought this would be a good place to start.

Val and Addie were best friends growing up. One summer day, Val and her mother moved in the house across from Addie and her family. Val immediately introduced herself to Addie and like they say, the rest was history. They remained close throughout high school until an event tore their friendship apart. Years later, and past hurts buried, but not yet forgotten, Val returns to Addie’s door step asking her for help.

The history of their friendship is narrated by Addie. Here’s where the book fell flat for me. I would have preferred to read Val’s back story in Val’s own voice instead of Addie’s perspective. Throughout the novel, Val mentioned her jealousy towards Addie and her sadness about her parents’ divorce which resulted in her mother becoming more of friend and less of a parent. Also, Val was an awkward child growing up. As an adult, she turned into a beautiful, successful woman, while still carrying her childhood insecurities. Because I felt the story was one-sided, I didn’t feel connected to Val and questioned her motive regarding her friendship with Addie. Often times, I questioned their "BFF" status.

I expected more from this book and was somewhat disappointed. The tragic event during high school is predictable as well as the man Addie eventually falls for. Despite feeling letdown, I will read another of Ms. Weiner’s books.

Book details:

ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-9429-4
Pages: 359
Year Published: 2009
Genre: Women's Fiction
Date Finished: August 9
Rating: C+


  1. I enjoyed this book overall, but really didn't like Val. Nice review.

  2. Well-rounded review. I've been curious enough that I will likely read this book despite it's flaws. I too like books about women's friendships.