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Extended Audio Sample The Next Best Thing: A Novel Audiobook, by Jennifer Weiner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 5 3.10 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Weiner Narrator: Olivia Thirlby Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781442348912
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Blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns with an irresistible story about a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood…

At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to be hired as a television writer. Four years later, she’s hit the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Big Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the show-runner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on a boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials. 
     Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear and eye for writer’s rooms, bad behavior backstage and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood rollercoaster and a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jennifer Weiner is a dynamo of a writer: witty and engaging.”

    USA Today

  • “Snappy…Weiner’s tenth novel, showcases her humor and style. It’s also a gentle reminder that, as Mick Jagger sings, ‘You can’t always get what you want,’ but with enough effort you might get what you need, and that makes the next best thing feel all right.”

    Washington Post

  • “Olivia Thirlby’s reading captures the heart and soul of Weiner’s novel. The narrator’s portrayal of the young, naïve Ruth is convincing and nuanced. In turns, Thirlby embodies Ruth’s varied emotions, sounds excited, exasperated, embarrassed, sensuous, petulant, funny, and sad.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Olivia Thirlby captures the youthful cynicism and insecurity of youth Ruth Saunders…Thirlby’s consistently clear characterization keeps the listener engaged with the story.”

    AudioFile

  • “Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul…Contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Spares no bon mot in exposing Hollywood’s sexism, ageism and incurable penchant for extravagant silliness.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 2/5/2014

    " Too much exposition! I liked this better than some of her other books, but it was not as good as Good in Bed or In Her Shoes (which was made better by the very good movie adaptation). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 2/4/2014

    " This is another book I was gifted for my birthday. And since summertime is always a great time to delve into some chic-lit, I thought I would try it. Weiner presents a story about twenty something Ruthie, who was raised by her grandmother after a deadly car accident killed her parents and left her slightly disfigured. When Ruthie and her grandmother move to LA so Ruthie can fulfill her dreams of writing + producing a television show, she realizes how ruthless Hollywood can really be. A story about following your dreams while finding confidence and love along the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/28/2014

    " If you like Jennifer Weiner (which I do), you will like this book. I don't think it's her best book, however. It's the story of a young woman who moves with her grandmother to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career. It's an entertaining story, but not particularly moving or deep. Still, a good summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 1/27/2014

    " Just as a note: read this, don't listen. Olivia Thirlby has an interesting voice, just not a flair for narration(or variety). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne Sherman | 1/21/2014

    " Really like the author, but not this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 1/21/2014

    " I recognize that all of Jennifer Weiner's books are similar, if not the same: woman with problem battles world, wins. But they're still so good! This one centers around Ruth, who lost her parents and was disfigured in a car accident as a child. She is raised by her grandmother and after college, they go to LA together so she can become a TV writer. I hate LA, but liked this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Freir | 1/4/2014

    " Not my favourite Jennifer Weiner novel (I like her earlier novels better than her last few) but I did still find it enjoyable and found myself invested in the character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy S | 12/29/2013

    " The writing is fine, you just can't put this book down and return to it because it jumps around so much! I can't remember where I am in the story: current, way past or just a free months ago. Not going to finish this because it is takin too much time to figure out what is going on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 12/28/2013

    " I feel like I know a lot more about creating a television show. I thought the plot got a little boring and pretty predictable but still an enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle | 12/22/2013

    " Finally, a real "beach read"! If you are fan of Jennifer Weiner, I think this is her best one yet. Loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emmy | 12/20/2013

    " I love Jennifer Weiner's books. This was a really good read.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 12/18/2013

    " I'd really like to give this book two and a half stars - two seems mean! I liked the book at the end better than the beginning and middle. So it gets a three from me that it doesn't completely deserve! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly McSwain | 12/14/2013

    " Great book - could've done without a couple prolific sex scenes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dona Bauer | 12/1/2013

    " Enjoyed learning about the TV industry and found that aspect very informative and entertaining. Characters were a bit far-fetched. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jana | 11/29/2013

    " Art imitates life imitates art. I'd love to sit down with Jennifer Weiner over coffee! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shana | 11/7/2013

    " Cute, but predictable and too sugary for my taste. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 10/1/2013

    " Slow to get moving but the last few chapters make the whole book worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penelope | 9/3/2013

    " What an interesting book! I had no idea this was how things worked with new TV shows. A bit slow in places, but well worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 8/11/2013

    " I've really liked all of Jennifer Weiner's other books, but was so disappointed in this one. I skimmed parts of it just to finish it. Maybe it was the Hollywood industry I wasn't interested in reading about. I didn't care too much for Ruthie's character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 7/11/2013

    " Normally I LOVE Jennifer Weiner's books. It was not Jennifer Weiners best work. It was a very slow story. It all came together in the end but it seemed like that would never come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey | 6/28/2013

    " This was not my favorite Jennifer Weiner book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie Matoren | 6/24/2013

    " I always enjoy Jennifer Weiner's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mhelmsderfer | 6/12/2013

    " Not one of my most favorites of Weiners, but still a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Q | 1/19/2013

    " Standard Weiner - did not disappoint. Fun, easy read with lovable characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janine | 11/4/2012

    " This book was SO not interesting.....couldn't even finish it. Completely dissapointed in it! Loved her other books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/6/2012

    " Maybe it's me, but I thought this book was BORING! I had hope. It had some promise but in the end, I was flipping pages and just scanning. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terrie | 8/29/2012

    " I couldn't even finish this book. I know she is a popular author, but just not for me. Too slow and boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 7/21/2012

    " I really liked this book; I am not disappointed at all. In the beginning (of the book), I wasn't so sure, but once the story got 'going', I couldn't wait to get back to it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 7/3/2012

    " I liked the main character and was rooting for her. Parts of the story were slow, but i am still thinking about the story even after I'm done reading it and that's always a good sign! "

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About the Author
Author Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels. After graduating with a degree in English literature from Princeton, she worked as a newspaper reporter in a number of states but became a full-time writer after the publication of her first novel in 2001. Her novel In Her Shoes was made into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, and she is the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC Family show State of Georgia. As a public speaker, Weiner has appeared on the Today show, the Martha Stewart Show, and her work has appeared in such publications as Seventeen, Salon, Redbook, Glamour, and others.

About the Narrator

Olivia Thirlby is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Leah, alongside Ellen Page, in Juno; as Natalie in The Darkest Hour; and as Judge Cassandra Anderson in Dredd. Other film credits include United 93, The Secret, and No Strings Attached.