Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Don’t Miss: Big Summer

“You are fine, just the way you are… Bodies come in all shapes and sized. Don’t let anyone make you feel any differently.”

Daphne has been living her life as a plus sized influencer who is being courted by a new plus-size designer to rep her line. It has taken Daphne some time to get to a place in her life where she can put her “mean girl” friend, Drue, behind her. But Drue shows up with an apology and a proposition for Daphne to be in her wedding, and Daphne can’t resist the pull of her former friend. Is Daphne headed for more heartbreak?

When I got this book, it looked like a fluffy summer read, but it turned out to be so much more. The main character, Daphne, is plus-sized, and Jennifer Weiner handled this issue so well. Body shaming that leads to body positivity. Daphne is a true heroine. Parts of this book were hard to read because Daphne was so relatable and her struggles were easy to internalize.

Unbeknownst to me, this also has a great little murder mystery involved too. It reads kind of like a cozy mystery as Daphne and her crew are actually the people who get to the bottom of the mystery. I enjoyed this part of the story immensely.

Jennifer Weiner never disappoints with her real women characters and engaging plot lines!

Posted in Contemporary Fiction

Don’t Miss: Flying Solo

What secrets would you leave behind?

Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook for review.

Laurie is tasked with handling the estate of her late Aunt Dot. Among all the photos and books, Laurie finds a wooden duck that sets up a mystery. Laurie wants to figure out why this duck is so important to her aunt, so she enlists the help of a “bereavement declutter”. With the help of her best friend, June, and her (maybe not so much) ex-boyfriend, Nick, she navigates this loss in her life and tries to decide how best to move forward.

Once again, Holmes writes rich characters who are believable and likable. There’s a tug at the heartstrings learning about Laurie’s relationship with her Aunt and how she modeled her life after her Aunt’s. It is what makes finding this wooden duck so special. She just knew there was a story behind it and she wanted to learn about that part of her Aunt’s life.

While the romance between Laurie and Nick is expected, it was a very slow burn. For me, the mystery of the duck is what gives this novel all its charm. I needed to find out what it represented.

I love the way Holmes spins a story and gives us substance in her characters and message. Julia Whelan’s narration is flawless, as always. Definitely a must read!