New book: Best Friends Forever, By Jennifer Weiner ’91 (Atria)
The author: Weiner, whose chick lit has made her a best-selling novelist, also has written Good in Bed, In Her Shoes (which was made into a film), and Certain Girls. After majoring in English at Princeton, she worked as a feature writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer before turning to fiction full time. She started her blog, A Moment of Jen, in 2002.
The story: When Valerie Adler moves across the street from Addie Downs, they are both 9 years old, and Addie thinks they will be best friends forever. But they become estranged during their teenage years, as the beautiful Valerie joins the popular crowd and mousy Addie becomes the butt of jokes and pranks. They reunite 15 years later when Valerie, now a weather-girl on TV, shows up at Addie’s house in a Chicago suburb — with a terrified look on her face and blood on her coat. After getting revenge on an old boyfriend, something’s gone wrong and Valerie looks to her old friend for help.
Opening lines: “Dan Swansea came awake in the darkness, not knowing, for a minute, who he was, or where. He lifted one hand to his head and groaned when it came away sticky with blood. Slowly (or at least it felt that way), things returned to him. His name. That he was outside, in a parking lot, on his back in the gravel, and he was freezing. Also, except for his shoes and socks, he was naked.”
Reviews: Publishers Weekly said the chick-lit genre “thrives with this clever, sad, and sweet turn on Thelma and Louise-style rage.” Booklist called it “a hilarious caper, resplendent in charm and poignancy.” By Katherine Federici Greenwood