Saturday 1 August 2015

Book ~ "Best Friends Forever" (2009) Jennifer Weiner

From Goodreads ~ Following the ups and downs of a long-time friendship between two young girls who grow up to be two very different women. Addie Downs and Valerie Adler were eight when they first met and decided to be best friends forever. But, in the wake of tragedy and betrayal during their teenage years, everything changed. 

Val went on to fame and fortune. Addie stayed behind in their small Midwestern town. Destiny, however, had more in store for these two. And when, twenty-five years later, Val shows up at Addie’s front door with blood on her coat and terror on her face, it is the beginning of a wild adventure for two women joined by love and history who find strength together that they could not find alone.

Addie and Valerie were eight-years-old when Valerie and her newly divorced mom moved across the street from Addie and her family.  Addie was shy and had no friends and they instantly bonded.  Val's family was so different from her own.  Val's mother was a free spirit.  Addie's father had been in Vietnam and suffered from PTSD and her mother was obese.  Addie's popular teenage brother, Jon, was ashamed of them and distance himself.  As Addie and Val grew older, Val became more popular and Addie was left on the sidelines, allowing herself to be used by Val.  When tragedy strikes, everyone including Val turn against Addie, making her life hell.  She eventually balloons to over 350 pounds but starts turning her life around and losing weight.

On the night of their 15th high school graduation, Val shows up at Addie's doorstep, scared and covered in blood.  She had hit someone but didn't know if the person was dead and needed Addie's help.  Not able to find the body, they go on the run to Florida.

I didn't enjoy this book.  I thought the story lines were awful and absurd.  Val had turned her back on Addie back in high school and treated her like crap yet when she knocks on Addie's door  out of the blue 15 years later, she's able to convince Addie to help her.  I don't think so.

I didn't find any of the characters likable.  Addie was pathetic as a child and worse as an adult.  I thought her naïveté at the end was laughable ... there's no way she was that dumb.  I liked Val as a child but she was clueless and conceited as an adult.  It was unbelievable that Jordan was a cop and in charge of finding out what happened when a belt was found in a puddle of blood in the parking lot of the high school reunion.

It's like the author tried to jam every horrible thing she could think of into one book ... PTSD, obesity, rape, emotional eating, cancer, brain damage due to an accident, infidelity, infertility, etc.

I didn't mind the writing style.  It jumps back and forth in time but it was pretty obvious what time period it was.  It is written in first person perspective when it is Addie's voice and third person perspective when the focus is one everyone else.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is probably the one and only book I'll read by this author.

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