Tag Archives: Jennifer Weiner

Review: Then Came You

Recap: Life has an interesting and surprising way of bringing people together. Such is the case for Jules, Annie, India, and Bettina. Then Came You starts with India, a 38-year-old (actually 43) woman who wants to have a baby with her new — and very wealthy — husband. But her stepdaughter Bettina is convinced — and rightfully so — that India’s reasoning for the baby has more to do with money than love. Enter Jules and Annie — the women who make the baby happen. Jules donates her eggs, in the hopes that she will earn enough money to help her sick father. Annie becomes a surrogate to support her own family of four.

All four women work together without even knowing one another to bring another person into the world. Some are doing it for the right reasons. Some are doing it for the wrong reasons. Some are doing it for simply selfish reasons. But when the baby is born, the bond between the women changes. Suddenly this new life impacts them like they never expected, and not only do they get a baby, but they also get three new friends to go along with her.

Analysis: With revolving first-person narration between the four characters, Then Came You gives the reader a good look at each person involved — what their story is, where they come from, what motivates them to do what they do. Initially it’s difficult to understand how the women are connected, but the picture starts to come into focus about halfway through the book. Possibly more interesting than the hard work that goes into creating this baby is each of their motivations for it doing it. It’s fair to say that each woman gets out of the experience much more than just a baby and some extra financial cushioning.

So much of this novel is about women, maternity, life and death. With the new life these women are bringing into the world also come several deaths — all by male characters. With her charm, author Jennifer Weiner uses Then Came You to make a statement about the importance of women in continuing the natural life cycle. With technology and science advancing the way things are these days (donor eggs, surrogates), women are now even more powerful and independent.

Each character learns something — Jules learns who she is and realizes that some people never change. Annie realizes the importance of making sacrifices. Bettina learns to accept others, despite her initial judgements. India learns it’s better to be honest than to keep secrets. But most importantly, they learn the importance of love and strength.

MVP: Annie. Though timid, not well-educated, and the one with the least personality, she is the strongest. She is the person most willing to help make this baby happen — willing to selflessly make sacrifices for her family, help others, and strive to be a better person.

Get Then Came You in paperback for $12.09.

Or on your Kindle for $10.38.

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Why It Pays To Be a Tweeting Author: Jennifer Weiner’s ‘Bachelorette’ Gig

For most of us, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are domains to express how we feel about, well, pretty much anything. Sometimes we’re funny. Most of the time we’re not. But we tweet anyway in the hopes that someone will read our 140 attempts at getting attention. If you’re a bestselling author and write for a living, you know people will see those tweets. But when In Her Shoes author Jennifer Weiner wrote a Facebook post about Jason Mesnick from The Bachelor a few seasons back, she was surprised at the response she got.

So began her weekly Bachelor/Bachelorette live-tweets, which have now led to a new gig at Entertainment Weekly, according to a post on her Facebook page last month. Though I’ve been unable to find out any more details about it, Weiner states “I am THRILLED to announce that, starting 5/14, I’m going to be live-blogging ‘The Bachelorette’ for the kind folks at Entertainment Weekly! Stay tuned for details…”

Coincidentally, EW wrote up this article on Weiner and other celebrity tweeters in January. In the reality world of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Jennifer Weiner has become a favorite tweeter. In fact it earned her a spot on Time‘s list of 140 Best Twitter feeds last year. So it’s no surprise it would lead to an EW gig like this. Weiner is outspoken, hilarious, and seems like the best friend you’ve never met — all perfect attributes for a good live-tweeter.

So for all your Bachelorette fans, here’s Weiner’s Twitter handle, @jenniferweiner, if you’re looking for someone to gossip with about the drama that’s set to begin tomorrow night at 8pm on ABC. Will you tune in?

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More Chick Lit Greatness from Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is one of the many chick lit princesses out there nowadays, often throwing women into laughing fits followed by sobbing in only the way chick lit and chick flicks can.

Best known for her novel — which was then turned into the movie starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine — In Her Shoes, Weiner is set to publish another book this coming July, according to this article by Chicklit Club.

This one, called The Next Best Thing, takes her typically funny, awkward female heroine to a new level. It tells the story of a girl who gets the green light for a TV series she’s been writing. She then heads out to LA to make it happen, as the synopsis explains.

At 23, Ruth Saunders headed west with her 70-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 Best 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 behaviour 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.

With Weiner’s experience making In Her Shoes into a movie and debuting her series State of Georgia last fall, it’s fitting and understandable that Weiner would want to write a book about the Hollywood production process. I’ve been in the mood to read another Weiner novel lately, so with the new one coming out, maybe it’s time I dig into some of her other goodies. Have any of you read her books? Which is your favorite?
Pre-order The Next Best Thing in hardcover for just $17.

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Something Seemingly Different from Jennifer Weiner

I’ve always been a fan of chick lit author Jennifer Weiner. Best known for writing In Her Shoes, which was later turned into a movie starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine, Weiner has a certain Jewish wit to her writing that’s funny and charming. And as of today, she has another novel to add to her repertoire: Then Came You.

Of the few books I’ve read of hers, I’ve learned that Weiner generally writes her novels from the perspective of a self-conscious, Jewish, overweight woman with plain Jane looks. Because most of her novels are also romance-oriented, the average looks and sour attitude add to the hilarity — and relatable quality — of the books.  As a woman, I completely understand most, if not all, of the thoughts racing through the mind of the usually anal protagonist. And it makes it even easier to like the woman and root for her.

Then Came You debuts today, July 12th, but it seems as if Weiner takes a different approach with her 9th book. After reading the first chapter online, I learned that yes, there is a focus on appearance and the protagonist’s discomfort with the way she looks. But in this novel, the protagonist is a blonde, thin, athletic, beautiful girl — much different from the other Weiner novels with which I’m familiar. Not to mention, the plot revolves around the girl’s decision whether or not to donate her eggs. Again, a striking dissimilarity from her other novels. Generally, her stories are lighter.

All in all, it seems like Then Came You is something a different from your average Jennifer Weiner novel. But different is good.

Recommended reads: Look for In Her Shoes and Good in Bed, two hilarious and heartwarming novels by Weiner.

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