Jennifer Weiner excels at creating characters that are relatable for your average woman. She does not disappoint with her latest book, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. Although as different as night and day, Addie and Valerie are inseparable friends until high school when Valerie becomes a cheerleader and Addie retreats further into books. A fateful night changes everything for the two of them and they drift apart as Valerie drops Addie and Addie spends the rest of her high school days subjected the very worst type of bullying. Years later, Addie has changed her life after enduring a great deal of tragedy. Just as she begins to get her life together, Valerie shows up on her doorstep on the night of their high school reunion claiming to need help for something horrible she has done.
This would make a terrific vacation/beach read. The story moves along quickly and Addie proves to be a very interesting and multi-layered character. Valerie is completely unlikeable and remained so for me all the way through the book. The story is billed as a tale about friendship but, for me, it was much more a story about Addie finding herself and coming into her own. The ending was a little too pat for my taste but it was a decent read overall.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended with reservations. Fans of Weiner will not be disappointed. Addie is a terrific and interesting character. However, the big mystery was overblown and obvious and Valerie is the worst type of friend. I think many readers will feel a little frustrated with the ending. Save this one for a vacation read.