Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria
Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

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 Pleasant Ridge, 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, 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.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.

I read Weiner’s first two books after they were released and loved her main characters. The novels included smart, plus sized women who just couldn’t get all of the pieces of their lives working together.

At first I wasn’t sure what to make Addie and Val. Addie has such a rich interior life and Val seems so shallow. As the book went along I couldn’t help but realize it’s brilliant. Addie’s metamorphosis from a woman who lets her life be decided by easy decisions to one who celebrates life is breathtaking.

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