Thank you to Atria Books and Net Galley for the digital ARC of Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner, in exchange for an honest review. #partner
I love when I go into a book with minimal expectations and a vague recollection of the synopsis, only to be pleasantly surprised. That is how I felt while reading Jennifer Weiner's newest novel, Big Summer. This book was just that, a pleasant and unexpected surprise. The plot twist made me do a double take and you had to pry my Kindle out of my hand, because I could not put this one down. Big Summer, true to it's title, is a perfect summer read. It pairs nicely with a glass of rose, a comfy hammock or patio chair, and a warm summer day.
Daphne is an Instagram influencer who established a presence in the plus-size community. One afternoon, she is shocked to find her former best friend, Drue, asking her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Daphne and Drue have not spoken since a fateful night six years ago, that catapulted Daphne's influencer career, but left her feeling backstabbed by Drue.
Drue seems to have it all, money, affluent family, looks, and an upcoming wedding that will rival the royal wedding. Daphne has a hard time not being entranced with Drue, but she is not the girl she was six years ago. An event rocks the wedding that sends Daphne down a rabbit hole to discover who her former best friend really was, underneath all the smoke and mirrors.
This book started off cute. "Cute" is how I describe many of Jennifer Weiner's books, but this one kept my attention. Mid way through, the plot took a turn that I was not expecting. If you know me, you know that this plot twist got me hook, line, and sinker. I had to keep reading to figure out what happened. Weiner is fabulous at writing novels with topics and issues that all women can relate to. The themes of body image were woven throughout the text and a major part of Daphne's storyline. Daphne grabbled with her body image from a young age, but found a community that accepted her for who she was and looked up to her for advice and guidance. While I loved this sense of community, I also appreciated the reflection on social media. So many of us share the "best of" reel of our lives on social media. It feels so surface level and shallow, that it is easy to miss the real, authentic connection we are all craving. I appreciated Weiner's take on social media and the pressure it adds on us and society, but I also think communities like #bookstagram are a haven for many of us and provide (mostly) positive and authentic content.
If you are looking for an enjoyable page turner, look no more than Jennifer Weiner's Big Summer, out tomorrow: 5/5!