Before diving into our Book Club book for August, I was browsing Kindle’s Daily Deals and purchased a short story by Jennifer Weiner. I enjoyed other books of hers that I read, and this particular short story, Swim, was the basis of her book The Next Big Thing.
I began reading the short story and was immediately sucked in. It seemed to be exactly what I needed after a string of unimpressive books. I ended the short story and quickly reserved the book at the library.
Summary (from Goodreads):
Actors aren’t the only ones 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 hits 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 be the showrunner. 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 set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new 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
Womp, womp. I’m sad to say the book disappointed me. I wasn’t dying to read it when I got home, but it’s one of those books that eventually will blend into the background. It fell a bit flat at times and others were a bit, um, salacious. That was the biggest turn-off for me. My easy, summer reading does not need graphic ‘encounters’ for it to hold its own. It would serve as a decent beach read, but not a book I would recommend if asked. I would be much more inclined to recommend the short story, and wish Weiner would have written the book with the same passion that was shown in the short story.
Rating: 3 out of 5