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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Addie has always been a good girl-especially compared with her freewheeling and far-more-popular friend, Valerie. When jock Dan Swansea sexually assaults Valerie, Addie comes to her rescue, only to be betrayed and humiliated when Valerie denies everything. Fifteen years later, on the night of their high school reunion, Valerie tries to make things right, only to end up turning their worlds upside down. In her revenge attempt on Dan, she runs him over with her car and leaves him for dead. Once again she turns to Addie for help, and the two set off on a run from the law. Verdict Weiner's latest showcases her talent for creating richly drawn, realistic characters. She deftly weaves in multiple back stories and subplots and punctuates the story with plenty of humor. Highly recommended for all fans of women's fiction.-Rebecca Vnuk, Glen Ellyn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Best-selling Weiner's latest fun-to-read comedy of friendship and love begins with a high-school reunion. Not that artist Addie Downs, 33, has even considered attending, even though she still lives in the house she grew up in. Her long-lost best friend, Valerie Adler, now a TV meteorologist, puts in an appearance with revengeful intent, then ends up pounding on Addie's door, terrified that she has done something much worse than she intended when she left Dan Swansea naked and shivering by the country-club dumpster. The unceremoniously reunited friends become the unlikeliest of fugitives and embark on a crazy adventure that radically alters Addie's carefully ordered life. Flashbacks, resplendent in their charm and poignancy, reveal that while Val was neglected and Addie was loved, it was Addie who became a pariah at school, suffered a family tragedy, and found catastrophic comfort in binge-eating. Back in the present, Weiner orchestrates a hilarious little caper that throws together reclusive Addie and Jordan Novick, the unhappily divorced and quirkily romantic police chief. Weiner handles sorrow with a deft touch, blossoms in beautifully descriptive passages, and keeps readers glued to the page with curiosity and delight. Sharp and caring, Weiner is a bright light on the popular-reading front.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2009 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Weiner proves yet again that women can be their own worst enemiesand shows that women's worst enemies can also be their best friends. Addie Downs can't catch a break. Fat and friendless as a child, she enjoys a few years' respite from isolation when awkward, neglected Valerie Adler moves in across the street in the Chicago suburb of Pleasant Ridge. Val doesn't care that Addie's mom is obese, or that her father doesn't have a real job; she's entranced by the idea of hot meals (Naomi Adler's idea of dinner is Tab and Wheat Thins, topped off with a Salem Light), clean clothes and a regular bedtime. When Val returns with braces and breasts from a summer visiting her father in California, Addie knows the end is near, although she'd never guess how deep Val's betrayal will be. Alone again, Addie leaves for college only to have her father die before she's unpacked. Then Mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, and Addie watches her monstrous body wither to a horrifying death. Orphaned at 20, Addie lives alone in her parents' home, painting watercolors for a greeting-card company. And eating. When she tops 300 pounds, she finally says, "Enough!" and starts a diet and exercise regimen that brings her down to normal proportions. She buys nice clothes, redecorates her house and even has an abortive fling with a married man she meets at the gym. Just as she's starting to feel normal, Hurricane Val bears down on her. Now a TV weathergirl at a local Chicago station, Val, unlike Addie, can't resist going to their high-school reunion, where she does something very bad, attracting the attention of Pleasant Ridge's lonely, needy police chief Jordan Novick. Now Val needs Addie's help, and though Addie knows she's being played, she can't resist her BFF, whose harebrained, selfish, irresponsible behavior leads Addie to unexpected joy. So much material recycled from earlier novels (Certain Girls, 2008, etc.) that even fans will feel dj vu. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner's dazzling new novel Best Friends Forever explores the impact of love, desire, and familial loss on a friendship between two young women, and how the choices they make will change their lives forever.<br> <br> One of the nation's most beloved and successful writers of women's fiction, Jennifer Weiner has become a literary phenomenon with millions of copies of her books in print. Her latest work, Best Friends Forever will delight fans and critics alike, 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.
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