Saturday, October 8, 2011

Audiobook Review: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Best Friends Forever
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Narrators: Kate Baldwin and Rick Holmes
Publisher: Simon & Schuester Audio
Published: July 14, 2009
Audiobook: 5 discs
Source: borrowed from library

My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from 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 La Prairie, 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, with 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 Thoughts: A story about two best friends reunited after a betrayal in high school is something that really appealed to me. No, I never had my best friend betray me (in high school or at any point), but I love stories about best friends. Val and Addie grew up across the street from one another, sharing everything with one another, but start to drift apart in high school. After one high school party, they don't talk to one another until Val shows up on Addie's door step late one nite, following their high school reunion. What happens next is comical and dramatic. Very much a modern-day Thelma and Louise story. It's a typical chick-lit book, Jennifer Weiner's strong suit, but still highly enjoyable.

I loved the characters in this book. Each has their own issues that they are dealing with. Addie has had the world on her shoulders since the age of 18, when she lost both of her parents. She has struggled with self-image issues since she was a teenager and still continues with them. Jordan Novick is hurting from his divorce and how he wants so badly to have a family of his own. The only character who is a bit lacking is Val. There isn't much background there, and no growth through the story. She was one-sided, offering comedic relief when the story needed it.

I enjoyed listening to this book; both narrators did a great job, changing their voices quickly. Each character had a distinct voice and diction. Each narrator would narrate a chapter, then it would switch to the other narrator. It made for an enjoyable listening experience.

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