Thursday, June 18, 2020

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

I'll confess that I had no plans to read this book until I listened to a podcast where Jennifer Weiner was interviewed about this novel and why she wrote it. Then it was "sign me up!" I am surprised at how quickly I read it. A day off, a late night, and waiting for an A/C repairman had me reading it--and quite frankly it hit all the right spots for my reading appetite. 

Daphne is an influencer-someone who uses Instagram to promote products and a lifestyle. Her niche as an influencer comes from her large size--and instead of hiding it, celebrating it in everything she does. This hasn't come easy, as Daphne has suffered from low self-esteem for years because of her size. 

Six years after ditching her "best friend" Drue Cavanaugh, Drue finds Daphne and asks her to be in her upcoming wedding on Cape Cod. Daphne hasn't seen Drue since the night Drue set her up as a pity date and Daphne found out. Their relationship is super complicated for Daphne-she's well aware Drue is not a nice person. Not at all. She uses people, drops them, makes fun of them, and manipulates everyone around her. She's done that to Daphne since 6th grade. Yet Daphne just can't get over how good she feels when Drue is behaving and treating her like she's the most important person in the world. It's a really messed up relationship! 

Daphne decides to accept Drue's plea--mostly because Drue says she's changed for the better, and has no friends she can ask to be in her super deluxe, big deal wedding. Arriving at Cape Cod the day before the wedding, it's clear this is going to be a big deal--and Daphne could benefit from the exposure and grow her Instagram followers (and make more money). 

Cape Cod, high end wedding...what could go wrong? Oh boy, do things go wrong. Horribly wrong. I can't tell you, because it's a major spoiler! You've got to read the book and find out. 

I so enjoyed this book. It really digs deep into how we treat people, how social media can make or destroy a person, and how things we did years ago can come back to haunt us. It's also about loving yourself enough to walk away from people who don't value you. 

This is the second summer book I've read that takes place on Cape Cod. I guess this is the new summer book setting. I'm fine with it--Cape Cod is on my list of places to see. These books just confirm that yes, I really do want to visit. 

Rating:  5/6 for a thoroughly enjoyable novel with some darker elements thrown in--you'll find Daphne and Drue's friendship baffling and compelling. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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