big wild summer

Big Wild Summer (Love on Summer Break, #3) by Stephanie J. Scott

Pub Date: Jul 13, 2021

[Amazon | Goodreads | StoryGraph]


Sometimes summer is one wild ride.

I’d set my heart and summer plans on working my dream job at Midwest Wild Adventure theme park with my friend Chelsea and my long-time crush KJ Keene. Only a day-one prank results in total humiliation, punchline: Me.

Worse, Chelsea and KJ are in on the prank.

Not only that, but after my big, loud mouth gets me in trouble with my new boss, I’m sent to work at the “loser” side of the park.

My new coworkers, the Midwest Midfits, offer a chilly welcome to their desolate go kart zone. Especially Jonah, the big scary dude who won’t talk to anyone. He’s the “beast” park employees fear because of his part in some mysterious ride malfunction that injured a kid last summer.

I can’t quit my job since I need to prove to Mom and my stepdad that I can follow through on something. Plus, I’m not ready to give up on my summer with KJ. Only KJ might be keeping secrets about what happened last summer.

When the big boss issues a challenge to draw crowds to underused areas of the park, I round up our band of outcasts aiming to win the prize money. We can all use each other to get what we want.

It turns out, the Midfits aren’t so bad. Even Jonah, who seems more misunderstood than anything. Somehow, Jonah becomes a person I confide in, and the person I grow to trust most.

Get ready for a drama-filled summer featuring a cast of loveable misfits in this sweet young adult workplace romance.

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I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from Book Sirens Reviewer Program. Stephanie J. Scott and I are mutuals on Twitter. All opinions are my own.

Initial Thoughts 🧠

I truly enjoyed All Last Summer and Sunset Summer so I was looking forward to reading this one!

I didn’t actually expect the next installment of the series to feature Elena, but I found it quite interesting as she had a presence in Sunset Summer. The author’s writing style from the previous books was enough to pull me in, and the synopsis sounded really fun.

Heartwarming Friendships 💕

Elena is Holli’s friend and teammate from the school track team. But Big Wild Summer didn’t focus on Holli and the girls from Book 2. Instead, Elena was thrown into a summer with a group of misfits. Midfits is what they call themselves.

What I liked about the book was the friendship Elena built with the Midfits. They somehow reminded me of Lila and the Teed Off! crew. I really enjoyed how the whole crew had each other’s backs and how they stood up against the other crew.

Speaking of friendships, I also liked the chemistry and banter between Jonah and Elena, especially when Elena manages to get a smile out of big grumpy cat Jonah. I need more Jonah! It was fun to see their relationship blossom from a casual friendship to a romantic one!

A Little More Character Development

While I liked their chemistry, I found it hard to connect with the main characters. I liked them and I rooted for them but it wasn’t enough to love them. The characters just fell flat for me, compared to the ones from the previous book.

I wished the author provided more layers to the characters, like exploring more of Jonah’s interest in game development. I just think the book wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with the character developments so it was a bit all over the place.

Overall Thoughts 💡

The pacing of the story was okay, although it felt like Elena and Chelsea making up was rushed, and KJ was forgiven too quickly. I like the healthy family dynamics depicted in Elena’s family though. Communication was given importance and it was also refreshing to see another healthy relationship between stepfather and kids.

Despite the issues I had, I still enjoyed reading Big Wild Summer. Not the best, but still a good lighthearted summer read. I’m looking forward to reading the next one!


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Stephanie J. Scott writes young adult and romance about characters who put their passions first. Her debut ALTERATIONS about a fashion-obsessed loner who reinvents herself was a Romance Writers of America RITA® award finalist. She enjoys dance fitness, everything cats, and has a slight obsession with Instagram. A Midwest girl at heart, she resides outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband and fuzzy furbabies.

Stephanie is a member of Romance Writers of America and has mentored writers in the Pitch Wars contest.

Let’s Chat! 💬

Do you have any big wild summer moments you remember? What is your favorite summer read?

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