Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
For people open to surprises! For female friendships that are more complex than talking about boys.
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.
It is so hard for me to talk about this book because I expected something very different than what I got, and I loved it! But this book was so much more than I expected, and that’s the kind of surprise we don’t get very often anymore. Like Edge’s big return to WWE that was kept entirely secret, it made it so much sweeter when it happened!
Another rarity that we find in this book is female friendships that are based on more than just men. Too often we see female characters talk or focus only on defining themselves and each other by their relationships with men. None of that here, or at least to a reasonable daddy-issues level. The possible-love-interest for Daphne was well done, too. It was on her mind, but not exclusively. He was not the focus of the story, despite roles he played in it.
From Daphne’s work to love herself as she is to her debates over the pros and cons of being an influencer, there are so many issues addressed in this book. Daddy issues. Social media issues. Body image issues. Friendship issues. Lover issues. Financial issues. Bullying issues. For how many issues there are in this book, it’s actually pretty seamless. It never felt forced and was seamlessly integrated with the overall story. My one issue was perhaps in the final discovery at the end, but I can live with that with a bit of a shrug.
6 thoughts on “Review: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner”
I’m looking forward to this one 😀
And you should be! 😀 Can’t wait to hear what you think of it, I’m desperate to talk to people about it!