ARC Review: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Afternoon Everyone,

Hope that you’re all having a good week and feeling the hump day positivity. We’re very nearly at the end of the week. Busy time has peaked for me at work at the moment so I’m very much looking forward to the weekend. I’m still managing to sneak some reading in though so I am a content girl.

Book πŸ“–

When the tagline for a book is “the best escape you’ll have this year” how can you resist? Thank you to @PiatkusBooks and @jenniferweiner for this advanced copy of Big Summer in return for an honest review. Big Summer is due to be published on 13th May 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Daphne and Drue became friends in high school but their relationship wasn’t always healthy and ended with a huge argument after Drue humiliated Daphne in front of the world. Six years after they fell out, Drue makes a return into Daphne’s life, asking her to be maid of honour in her wedding.

Daphne is not sold on the idea to begin with. Her life has moved on and she’s not the same person she was when she was younger. She has an established career as a body confident Instagram influencer and has learnt to love herself. Does she really want to revert back to Drue’s sidekick? After some persuasion and an offer she can’t resist of luxury and single guys, Daphne agrees to be in the wedding and ends up being involved in much more that she didn’t anticipate.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

Firstly, the bright coloured cover and the tagline was what attracted me to this book initially. When I saw that the genre was women’s fiction, I think I was expecting an easy going chick lit read with some romance and some humour. The book definitely wasn’t what I expected and ended up being a kind of soft thriller/investigative book in my opinion.

It wasn’t just that though. I enjoyed the social media and self-love themes of the story. There are plenty of plus sized, body confident Instagramers out there who portray a certain lifestyle and attitude. I found it interesting that Daphne was one of those but was also victim to portraying the best version of herself and faking bravery and confidence at times. I’m sure many of us fake it till we make it at times, but not all of us are being watched and judged by thousands. I always wonder whether influencers just want to have a few days where they don’t share the highlights from their lives and just laze around and I had the same curiosity about Daphne.

Characters πŸ‘­πŸ‘«πŸ‘¬

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t feel like I could relate hugely to any of the characters in the book. I felt like I only got to scrape the surface of what they were really like and about. Daphne was the main character but I personally thought she was written with a lack of depth and a bit one dimensional. A woman who didn’t realise her self worth and although she preached body confidence and self love, hadn’t quite got to a point where she embodied those values completely.

Drue was kind of the stereotypical rich New York girl. On first impressions, she was the girl who had everything and used everyone to get what she wanted. I would have liked to have known more about the real Drue but then again, maybe the point was that nobody knew the real Drue; least of all herself.

Writing Style ✍️

The book is written from Daphne’s point of view but as I said above, I don’t think I knew her that deeply even after reading through her voice. It’s a pretty linear storyline with a few flashbacks to the girl’s high school years so it’s not a complicated storyline to follow.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

Having been drawn to this book because it was badged as an escape, I can say that it did act as a small escape. I found it to be an easy going story to lose myself in but not all encompassing and gripping. Although I felt like it lacked some depth, I didn’t dislike reading it and would recommend it for a laid back beach read.


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