Review: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

This book is one of the buzziest books of the summer. It’s been everywhere and I have tried to stay away from reviews so as not to taint my own but it’s been so hard because it’s literally everywhere on social media right now.

I had such great luck with Beach Read (another buzzy book) and I was eager to start this one thinking it would be really similar—-but it wasn’t. The cover makes me think this book would be more of a beach read but then the summary suggested women’s fiction and yet there was a mystery element to the story.

Basically this book had a lot going on and I wasn’t exactly sure how it was all going to fit together but I was looking forward to reading one of the hottest books of the summer.

Summary

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most. (summary from Goodreads)

Review

First of all, this book features a topic that I think many of us can relate to—social media and body image. Right away I thought this was an important topic. This book talks about some of the pitfalls to living your life online and the pressures that come with that. I was hooked for this reason alone as I thought it was such a relevant topic. I appreciated Daphne and how she struggled with insecurities. I think she was a solid main character worthy of readers love and adoration. I liked her and I think many other readers will too.

While I loved the social commentary of the story and the main character, I felt like there was a lot going on in this one. There was romance, the complexity of friendships, a murder mystery, and then of course all the social media stuff. So there was a lot going on and I felt like this book needed more firm direction. I liked it—but I didn’t love it.

The murder mystery happened way too late for me and it felt rushed. There wasn’t much build up or time to explore this plot to its full potential so that was a little disappointing. For me the romance and the friendship plots worked much better and kept me reading rather than the romance.

I know that I am in the minority with this one. Plenty of people loved it and raved about it and honestly I was expecting to be one of those people but in the end I felt like it was just ok for me. There was just too much going on for me. I think it’s definitely worth a read though because it does have a modern, sexy feel to it plus I loved Daphne so I think readers who are looking for something a little more fresh and hip would enjoy this one quite a bit but for me it was just ok.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Atria Books
ASIN B07Z43JXYH
Free review copy provided by publisher, Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: womens fiction, contempo lit

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