... delivers. Weiner takes a breezy romp through online influencer culture, leveling an 'I see you' gaze at the Instagram fake-it-till-you-make-it crowd. It’s deliciously fun: frothy entertainment with surprising depth ... he plot careens into slightly over-the-top whodunit territory, with a splash of steamy romance ... Weiner’s appraisal of Instagram culture, and our fixation with likes and followers, will resonate ... Of course, Weiner isn’t the first to be inspired by our collective fixation with social media. But she stands out as implicitly getting it ... big fun, and then some. It’s empowering and surprising — a reminder to put down the phone and enjoy each moment for what it is, rather than what it could look like on Instagram.
... a hugely entertaining mashup of a beach read / murder mystery / rich-people’s-lives-porn / romance. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s sprawling and fun, so read and enjoy and just don’t try to think about it too much ... There are plenty of surprises, including the identity of the murderer. (You will never figure it out. There are no clues.) Big Summer is the very essence of the big summer novel. Forget about the world for a while, and have some fun.
... while it isn’t a flawless reading experience, there’s quite a bit to love in these pages ... a delightful story about friendship, social media, and the ways in which our past actions are never really forgotten, and in Daphne, Jennifer Weiner has created a heroine most women will be able to relate to. She’s intelligent and resourceful, but she also has some intense vulnerabilities that get in the way of both her personal and professional success ... This book would have been absolutely perfect if not for the appearance of a murder mystery. As someone who reads a ton of thrillers, I’m usually the first one to applaud the introduction of a bit of mystery, but here, it struck a bit of an awkward note ... If you’re a fan of Weiner’s writing, you’ll definitely want to pick up Big Summer. It’s full of the romance, wit, and summer magic we’ve come to expect from this author. The mystery portion didn’t completely work for me, but your mileage may vary.
The plot is bonkers, but Weiner’s fans will still find her signatures here: the believably complicated relationship between Daphne and Drue, Daphne’s caring and slightly daffy parents, and Daphne’s body image struggles. There’s an exploration of the insidiousness of influencer culture, but, mostly, Big Summer is a big, fun summer read.
Weiner’s 14th novel, and her second with a murder plot, is also a short course in social media lingo and best practices ... If you love Jennifer Weiner, you’ll love this one. And if you’re a newbie, start here.
Weiner is deft at plumbing the depths of female friendship and developing characters readers will care about. This highly recommended book will appeal not only to the author’s fans but also to a new audience looking for a fresh take on women’s fiction.
Weiner’s story of female friendships mixes a splash of romance, a dash of humor, and a pinch of mystery to create a deliciously bloody poolside cocktail ... Weiner’s surprising tale is hard to put down.
Using first-person point of view, our protagonist tells her own story directly, and a good part of the book’s success lies in Daphne’s voice: observant, self-aware and very funny ... Weiner is whip-smart about the ways women internalize a constant barrage of body-shaming judgments – call it the thin gaze – and Daphne’s realistic fight to love herself as she is layers the frothy plot with welcome emotional complexity ... Readers may be surprised by what happens halfway through Big Summer: a hard turn from one genre into another. Some will roll with this new direction and others may wish Weiner had stayed in the lighter world of influencers and frenemies. Still, the risk mostly pays off as the pace picks up and the vividly rendered secondary characters – one of the novel’s strongest aspects – take on new significance ... Sexy and satisfying, Big Summer will delight Jennifer Weiner’s many fans and could be just the absorbing take-me-away read so many of us need right now.