Release Date: May 5, 2020
My Rating: 🍪🍪
Oh man, this was a Big Bummer for me (sorry, I had to). Big Summer is definitely marketed as a light beach read (just take a look at that gorgeous cover) and the first half stays true to form. Daphne is a plus-sized instagram influencer. Following an explosive fight with her best friend, Drue, and a fat-shaming boy, Daphne channels her anger and embarrassment into empowerment, embracing her body and spreading body positivity on her accounts.
I really appreciated this transformation of her character, and seeing how her lowest moment became the catalyst for her career. This was such a unique backstory for a character, and I loved it! I find it really interesting to see stories about influencers, since to me this still seems like such a novel career. The descriptive writing was fantastic and I could visualize Daphne’s life perfectly.
As the story progresses, Drue makes a sudden reappearance in Daphne’s life to ask her if she’ll be her Maid of Honor. They haven’t spoken for years. Drue is the worst. I lost a lot of respect for Daphne’s character when she agreed. It felt like she was negating all the growth she’d experienced from her past. And then. In the midst of a series of over the top glitzy wedding preparations, there’s A Major Twist. At this point the book completely switches genres and tries to become a thriller? That’s when it really lost me.
The mystery part of this book fell completely flat. It was unbelievable in a way that wasn’t thrilling and exciting: I just blatantly didn’t believe it. The conclusion seemed random and I didn’t think it made a whole lot of sense given the arc of the story. If this book had continued as a light read, like the first half of the story, I would have loved it. Unfortunately, the split personality of the narrative just didn’t do it for me.