ARC Review Book Review

ARC Book Review | Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Title: Big Summer
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Genre: Women’s Lit, Contemporary Romance
Published On: May 5, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: digital copy
Pages: 368

Synopsis:
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “nothing short of brilliant” (PeopleMrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.

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.

My thoughts

Big Summer is a hard book to review because of spoilers. The latest novel by Jennifer Weiner is one of those books you should probably read without knowing much at all, so I will tread lightly and give you my general thoughts. 

“Even if things don’t get better, you can always make them look good on the internet.”

~Jennifer Weiner, Big Summer

I read this one quickly, and I would definitely place it in the “beach read” category. It’s much more like Weiner’s earlier novels than the successful Mrs. Everything from last year. I was okay with that. While I enjoyed Mrs. Everything, it didn’t wow me. I was ready for something more reminiscent of Good in Bed, my first Weiner read, and one I gave five stars to. 

I loved the main character Daphne. She’s relevant, sassy, inspiring, and not without her flaws, which is what makes a character real for me. What kept me from loving Big Summer was a somewhat weak plot that felt like it needed more editing. There were small things that felt inconsistent with the story and the characters, as well as a prologue that didn’t make much sense until much later in the book. But I found myself wishing the prologue would have continued. I almost wanted to hear that story more than the one I got. 

But Big Summer does put a much needed spotlight on important issues like fat-shaming and social media, and for that reason, I do hope people will pick it up!

A Song For A Book

On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too. This time I’ve chosen a song off of Weiner’s own playlist for Big Summer. You can find the full playlist along with her reasons for choosing the songs here. The song I’m sharing is “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks.

Do not turn away, my friend
Like a willow I can bend
No man calls my name
No man came

Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with an advance copy.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Have you read Big Summer? Or is it on your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

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