Big Summer was not what I was expecting, but it was thoroughly enjoyable all the same. While the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads run the gamut from one to five stars, I wouldn’t swing too far in either direction. I feel this nicely fits in the three-to-four star range. It contains all of the elements of a fun beach read, even if some aspects feel squeezed in.
Big Summer tells the story of Daphne Berg, a plus-size influencer, and Drue Cavanaugh, a nauseatingly beautiful socialite. Six years after a friendship-ending fight, Drue pops up out of nowhere to shockingly ask Daphne to be her maid-of-honor. Both parties are surprised when Daphne agrees, despite not having spoken with Drue in the entire time. It’s not happily ever after, though. Daphne still holds baggage from the past, and Drue seems to be written right out of a high school horror film. When the wedding weekend rolls around, and things aren’t quite what they seem, chaos ensues, including a couple moments that made me say, “WAIT, WHAT?!”
There were moments throughout the story in which I felt uncomfortable with the plus-size story-line. The discomfort was good, though, because it brought to light just how much fashion culture and the mainstream media have affected my perspective on body shape and size. While we are seeing more and more representation in advertisements, magazines, movies, and other pop culture media, it has not yet done enough to wipe clean the barrage of “the ideal body” promoted throughout my impressionable years.