by Jennifer Weiner
Source: Library Audiobook
I loved listening to this book in the car! The only problem I encountered was when I left the car I wanted to continue reading and I had a bit of a book hangover (I learned that phrase from The Literary Man) until I got back in there. But there were also a few spots where if it were a book, I might have set it down to eventually get back to it. I got irritated with one of the characters, she was being ridiculous, but with audio it moved along quickly and I didn’t get huffy with it. Yay!
This book is about Addy and Valerie, two BFFs since they were 9 years old. Val just shows up to Addy’s house in the middle of the night, they haven’t seen each other since high school, and it is the night of their 15 years reunion. Val hit one of their old classmates with her car and runs straight to Addy for an accomplice, I mean help. Addy reflects on their lives together growing up as the events of the next couple of days unfold.
This book is about two very different women, one who was bullied in school because of her weight and her handicapped brother and the other who ended up a popular cheerleader with a really tough home life. But they are both basically alone in the world and have handicapped themselves in different ways. They find they still need each other as much as they ever did while growing up. It is about reconciliation, revenge, love and acceptance as well as family dysfunction and physical appearance all told with Weiner’s wit and humor. There is a bit of a romance, but I think the characters fell for each other a bit too quickly and easily. I don’t know if that is because the audio was abridged or not, but it was too pat. Also, the Addy and Vel pull a mad-cap Thelma and Louise type escapade which is fairly consequence free. Hmmm. It was funny, but I found it painful in parts as well. So, while there are deep themes, the novel itself stays fairly safe.
There were two different readers, Kate Baldwin who reads Addy’s first person narrative and Rick Holmes who reads the third person POV of Jordan, a police detective along with Dan Swansea’s, the guy who Val hit with her car. I really loved Kate’s reading of Addy, it was perfect. She pulled off wry humor, sadness and childlike wonder. Rick’s voice was good, though a couple of times I had to laugh when he read a woman’s lines and he tried to make his voice higher-pitched which removed me from the story.
I did really enjoy this book and I ding it a star for the easy-peasy romance which I found fine while they were apart, it was the getting together I fought with. There is also a little twist at the end which was nice. I give Best Friends Forever 3 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes chick lit with a little mystery. Weiner is a wonderful at this genre.