Sunday, July 12, 2020

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

I'm a Jennifer Weiner fan. I may even still have my copy of Good in Bed. Either way, it's always fun to get to read another one of her books. I would recommend checking out her entire library of novels to find the one(s) that look most interesting to you.

This book was not the rom-com I'd expected. I appreciate that. What began as a best friend-turned-bully story, complete with a lot of emotional scars, becomes something so much more complex. It's not the typical, "love is going to help me heal" scenario. There's mystery and money and....SPOILER ALERT....murder.

Daphne Berg is a social media influencer capitalizing on plus-sized hashtags. She's found her niche to speak to people, and most of the time that helps her appreciate her own body. Like any insecurity though, it gives Daphne moments of doubt, where her confidence diminishes. This isn't helped by her "best" friend, Drue. Wealthy and oblivious, Drue makes the cardinal mistake of outwardly pitying Daphne for her weight. It destroys their friendship until one day Drue pops back up to ask Daphne to be in her wedding. As the reader, you want Daphne to yell out a strong, "NO!," but she lets herself get lured back into the friendship. Daphne meets a hot stranger the night before the wedding at a lavish party. That's where you think you know the direction this book will take. You're wrong. Instead of focusing on the hotness, Daphne gets distracted having to solve a murder.

There's a lot to this book, which is always so much better than a simple love and confidence story. Falling in love isn't what's going to uplift Daphne; being happy with who she is will. Each character in this book is dealing with something -- a secret, regrets, parts of their past that hurt -- but being right in your own mind about you now is the lesson to learn. Allowing your past to be a part of you that maybe influences you to change counts. At one point in the book Daphne talks about how everyone needs justice, even nasty people. She's specifically talking about solving a crime, but this sentiment goes further. You don't need to hide. You can be you.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It's surprising and fun and a great summer read that gives you something to think about once you've finished the book.

Other Jennifer Weiner books I've reviewed:
Mrs. Everything

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