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May 5, 2020
Daphne Berg is shocked when her glamorous once-upon-a-time-best-friend, Drue Cavanaugh, begs her to be the maid-of-honor at her upcoming wedding. It’s been six years since the traumatic fight between them that left Daphne mortified…and then weirdly empowered by the very public fallout. Since then, she’s become an Instagram influencer and style icon, and she has no intention of going back to being Drue’s lesser-than sidekick. Daphne doesn’t want Drue back in her life, but when Drue seems so remorseful, sincere, and changed, Daphne reconsiders. It helps that the wedding will be the most extravagant and gorgeous event Daphne’s ever attended—and that she’ll be able to get weeks of Instagram material from the million-dollar affair. Finally, she relents and allows herself to be swept away in the magic of Drue’s luxurious (but secretly chaotic…) event.
I don’t want to give too much away about this book, but I do think it’s important to go in understanding that this is a murder mystery. The first half is so beautifully developed and layered—truly, the book could have gone in a completely different direction. I almost wish it had. But I was so surprised that the second half turned into a classic whodunnit. True, it wasn’t what I was expecting (and maybe even not what I wanted?), but I didn’t hate it either. I actually loved seeing Daphne transform through such a traumatic experience. I also loved seeing the truths about Drue’s life surface. It’s such a cliche, but it’s so true that we never know what other people are going through. The masks we wear are thick, thick, thick.
In the end, I really enjoyed Big Summer. It’s entertaining, engaging, fun, and clever—the perfect summer read.