Book Club: Big Summer

It’s that time of the month when I share my thoughts on my book club pick. I have to admit AGAIN that I am super disappointed in myself this month.  I had been on a roll of reading 2-3 books a month and was really proud of myself for making the time for something that brings me so much joy.  Sadly, I only read the one book that I had to read for this month and that was it.  I keep letting life get in the way.  I want to say that I am vowing to do better in November, but let’s be real…November and December mark the busiest season with the holidays, so the chances of me reading extra books is probably small.  Anyway, for my October book I chose Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner.  It was meant to be a light read and a change of pace for me.  I don’t typically choose books in the “chick lit” category, but I like to mix it up every now and then to keep me from getting stagnant.  This is also the first book I have ever read by Jennifer Weiner.  I actually have mixed emotions about this book, which I will explain more in a bit. 

The book revolved around a young, plus-size, social media influencer, Daphne, and her relationship with her own body and that of her “friends.”  She had a very low self-esteem and was always very self-conscious about her body and her appearance.  She was skeptical of anyone who wanted to be friends with her or even date her.  Much of that stemmed from her friendship as a teen with Drue, a wealthy and very popular girl.  Drue was also one of those high society, mean girls who often treated Daphne poorly.  Despite that, Daphne was in awe of Drue and did whatever it took to remain on the peripheral of Drue’s inner circle.  That all came to a crashing halt when Daphne discovered that Drue had practically paid a guy to act interested and date her.  That was the last straw for Daphne, and she immediately ended their friendship.  That incident and Daphne’s response to it is what ultimately launched her influencer career. Years later, Drue made a reappearance in Daphne’s life and asked a huge favor.  She wanted Daphne to play an important role in a big life event.  That favor led to a murder investigation that left everyone involved searching for their identity and the true meaning of friendship.  

This book involved a bit of mystery, romance, and drama.  As I mentioned earlier, I have mixed emotions about it.  I didn’t hate it, but it definitely wasn’t a favorite.  I think my biggest issue with the whole storyline was that it was very predictable.  I figured out the plot and the “who done it” pretty quickly.  I prefer storylines that keep me guessing throughout.  It is not a bad story, and I actually think that there are a lot of people who love the “chick lit” genre that would really enjoy it.  Unfortunately, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.  It was a pretty quick and easy read, and there were some parts of it that held my attention.  I do think the idea behind the story was really good.  A story about a girl who doesn’t quite fit in and has body issues that learns to love herself and to value who she is as a person is a lesson that many young adults need.  I just wish it wasn’t quite so predictable for me.  I think I would give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.  It is definitely a good beach read type of book.

I am switching genres again for November.  This month I am going for a psychological thriller by B.A. Paris entitled Behind Closed Doors.  This book was published in 2016 and was an instant New York Times Best Seller, as well as, a USA Today Bestseller. It is said to be one of those books that you can’t put down.  The San Francisco Book Review said, “This was one of the best and most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever read.” I don’t know about you, but I love a good page turner! This novel is about a young newlywed couple, Jack and Grace, who seem to outsiders to be the perfect little family.  It turns out that appearances can be deceiving, and Grace is actually a prisoner in her own home.  This is a story of her journey to freedom. Will she find it? We will have to read and find out!

Here is Apple Books review of this story.

“Like starting a fire, writing a page-turning thriller takes patience and skill.  British author B.A. Paris has both in spades. Our heart skittered and raced as we tried to untangle the dark secrets at the heart of married couple Grace and Jack’s twisted relationship. As the story moved between past and present—revealing an ever-larger and more sinister gap between appearances and reality—we could barely imagine how Grace and her sister, Millie, would make it through.”

Will you come along and read with me?

Anchored in a Good Book,

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