Originally Posted by Stephen Palmer
My advice is "never use family or friends!"
I would have offered this same advice, but now I think it should be considered with a grain of salt. The friend who called me at 3:15 in the morning (as soon as she finished it) saying, "I'm going to kick your ass if you don't get this published!" seems more authentic that the one who just says, "Yeah, it's great," when prompted.
My wife is currently going through that same novel, and her mind works differently than either mine or the aforementioned friend. She is proving invaluable at finding missing word errors (which are invisible to me) and unclear passages. I suspect family and friends who are more interested in your success than they are coddling your feelings can be invaluable.