Big Summer

Big Summer

A Novel

Book - 2020
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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 relationships, 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.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2020.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501133510
Characteristics: 357 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 04, 2021

Good Beach Read!

Oct 27, 2020

Zoinks! Turned into a Scooby-doo mystery. Never to worry. The meddling millennials unmask the villain. If you know how to apply the Scooby-doo plot formula, you'll know who-dun-it pretty quick. I would have preferred if Drue had had an affair with her half-brother unbeknownst to either of them. It would have been just slightly more cringeworthy than much of this story.

Sep 21, 2020

This book was not what I was expecting at all. The soft blue tones on the cover paired with the description of female drama and family secrets led me to believe I was going to read a semi frothy story with smart writing and a sharp spine cutting through the cotton candy skies of Cape Cod. Initially, it was sort of that until nearly half way through the book the story took a sharp turn. At first it was thrilling— I love it when I’m too dumb to pick up on a plot twist! But those feelings quickly curdled as the story became dull and obvious.

Two big topics in the story are the illusions we strive to create with our online selves and Daphne’s weight. While these are important issues and worth exploring, they often felt forced, giving the story a jagged, fragmented feel.

And the ending? Get real.

Sep 19, 2020

Easy read, I like her style of writing and it educated me regarding influencers. I didn't really like any of the characters, even the main, Daphne had a side to her that was just not so nice but she would justify it. Ok beach read, quick and kind of easy to start to figure out where everything was going.

Sep 14, 2020

Everyone has a "friend" who disappoints them or humiliates them or uses them.

'Big Summer' is about that kind of "friend", mixed in with today's social media obsession where people bare themselves (in all ways) to convince themselves they are relevant.

The fallout of the character hurt by that "friend" is the slow repetition of it in the first part of the book . . . then, for some reason, it becomes a mystery, revealing twists and turns that would make a daytime drama take notice, and, ultimately resolved with a dash of unlikely romance and the requisite, if not trite, beautiful people in beautiful houses on beautiful beaches.

The predictable twin messages of "I want to be different" and 'like who you are' messages are OK, if overdone and repetitive. The social media revelations are on eye-opener, at least to me. I'm not on any. Their ugliness is caught and revealed with this one particular quote and what followed. The irony is revealing.

"I understand." He looked sincere, but sounded the tiniest bit patronizing. "It's just- in my opinion- the Internet is a place where people end up making themselves feel awful, or hurting other people. And everyone pretends." His throat jerked as he swallowed. "Everyone tries to put the best version of themselves across. To fake it. And when they're not doing that, they're sitting behind their screens, passing judgement and feeling superior to whoever they think is being sexist or racist that day.". which was immediately followed by the tiresome veiled conservative bashing, by the person who claims to be so happy with herself she wants to help others to learn to be happy with themselves . . . and chooses her photo filters oh so carefully. Please.

I hate being lectured to by fictional characters and their authors.

'Big Summer' is the first Jennifer Weiner book I've read since 2015. It's probably the last.

2 stars

Aug 27, 2020

Totally loved this! as a millennial who also roots for body positivity and hates disparity among people. What great quick read!

JCLSallyK Aug 19, 2020

I was slightly disappointed by this book. It starts out rather slow and I kept finding myself wanting to skip ahead. It certainly picks up mid-way through but overall I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend.

Aug 01, 2020

This was a fun read with very positive messaging about body image!

Jul 27, 2020

The "Big" in the title, "Big Summer" was a pun and I love puns. That's where I stopped loving the book. For one thing I have to confess I'm don't have a big social media presence and didn't even know what an influencer was. So, I did enjoy the learning experience. However, the plot was totally unrealistic. It does consist lots and lots of twists and turns so if you like a lot of action well this one is for you. But, like I said it was rather improbable. The ending was good and also the book offered some good values for youngsters to live up to.

ArapahoeKati Jul 01, 2020

I wasn't prepared for the plot twist and it dampened my enthusiasm for what I thought was a beachy read.

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