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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Bad Summer People

Narrator: January LaVoy

ISBN: 9781250900845

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Flatiron Books

Publication Date: 05/23/2023

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

Emma Rosenblum's Bad Summer People is a whip-smart, propulsive debut about infidelity, backstabbing, and murderous intrigue, set against an exclusive summer haven on Fire Island.

"This roiling beach community satire serves up wicked, clever fun that is White Lotus sharp." —Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and Sex and Vanity

None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder?

Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court, and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets. Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he’s the tennis pro—or someone else’s husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other.

Until a body is discovered, face down, off the side of the boardwalk.

Stylish, subversive, and darkly comedic, this is a story of what's lurking under the surface of picture-perfect lives in a place where everyone has something to hide.

Buy the Book

My Review

Emma Rosenblum's debut, BAD SUMMER PEOPLE, shines with flawed adults behaving badly—full of summer scandal, island gossip, drama, backstabbing friendships, infidelity, intrigue, mystery, and MURDER.

Think Red Oaks (Loved-TV Series 2014-2017 available on Prime Video) Tennis: A coming-of-age comedy set in the 80s in summer at the Red Oaks Country Club —Except in BAD SUMMER PEOPLE, it is a new fresh, and contemporary set of 30s and 40s elite New Yorkers misbehaving on Fire Island. Still full of laughs!

AUDIOBOOK: Fun and frothy, a perfect beach read! I highly recommend the audiobook, narrated by the fabulous January LaVoy! (a favorite). The performance was highly entertaining, with distinctive voices for all characters, and easy to keep them separated—a 5-Star performance.

Grab a favorite cocktail and dive in!

Fire Island, NY, is known for the gay set; however, the town of Salcombe is an enclave of wealthy families spending their summers with the elite, playing tennis, golfing, drinking, competing, and attending the many annual events— plus lots of gossip, scandal, and affairs.

The novel opens with a tantalizing Prologue when eight-year-old Danny discovers a body. His mom is a B-lister. The author does not reveal the identity until the end, keeping you in suspense— deciding who may be capable of murder. Everyone is suspicious— the motives are endless.

We hear from each main character over the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, told from multiple perspectives.

Arrival by ferry, trouble starts the minute they embark. There are camps and nannies—to keep the kids busy. Cars are not allowed, so everyone owns a bike or golf cart to ride around the boardwalks that serve as pathways.

Main Characters:

Lauren Parker, the ice queen.

Jason Parker, her cheating husband. Private equity investor.

Sam Weinstein, lawyer, Jason's best friend, and rival.

Jen Weinstein, his cheating wife.

There is a bitter rivalry over Sam's wife, Jen, whom Jason dated first.

A handsome, down-on-his-luck tennis pro and a lonely, unmarried gossip lady are also part of the cast that offers plenty to keep you entertained!

The single friend, Rachel Woolf, is the gossip queen (42) and is looking to meet her match, whether the tennis pro or someone's husband. The tennis pro is also up to no good. The events are overseen by a 70-something widow, Susan.

Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island, every summer. They are fierce—in tennis, they manipulate to get what they want. The men measure themselves by their net worth and women by their tennis games.

In alternating POV, we get the down and dirty and everyone seems to know everyone's business. Envy and greed. Some derive pleasure from misfortunes.

The boardwalks are raised three feet and can often be dangerous if someone goes over the edge. But who is capable of MURDER? Did someone find out a secret that was to be kept hidden?

Everyone has secrets, and their lives are not as perfect as these characters would like you to believe. Darkness lurks below the surface—everyone is deceiving someone.

BAD SUMMER PEOPLE is a scandalous whodunit, fun, wickedly entertaining, darkly comic, and razor-sharp— summer sizzler! Hilarious, with a White Lotus, Big Little Lies vibe.

A smashing debut and guilty pleasure of big-time secrets —#CoverCrush! Rosenblum's book is under contract for screen adaptation, and she's been signed for an additional two books. Can't wait for more.

If you enjoyed BAD SUMMER PEOPLE, you may like The Block Party (fab debut) by Jamie Day (July 18, 2023).

Thanks to #MacmillanAudio for a gifted ALC via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

My Rating: Audiobook: 5 🎾 Stars

On a personal note: Gosh, this book reminded me of my days living at Bermuda Run Country Club when I was married (so glad I am not there now and in S. Florida). My youngest son won the golf tournaments, and my eldest son won the tennis tournaments every year. Ha, the youngest still updates me on all the scandals and gossip. The same tennis pro is still there! Now my grandson is playing tennis there.


"This roiling beach community satire serves up wicked, clever fun that is White Lotus sharp. Emma Rosenblum gets to the comic heart of these nasty, nasty people. When I say she is unsparing and they are dreadful I mean it as the highest compliment. It is sinfully good like a summer cocktail you want to keep refilling. I found myself laughing out loud as I read and staying up way too late with this fabulous book.”

―Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and Sex and Vanity

"I am 100% invested in all the petty (and not-so-petty) drama of the delightfully messy residents of Emma Rosenblum's Fire Island. I like my beach reads either twisty, steamy, or funny and―lucky me―this was all three. Bad Summer People will absolutely be the book I push on all my friends this summer."

―Chandler Baker, author of Whisper Network and The Husbands

"Like a tidbit of gossip flowing by on the sea breeze, Bad Summer People is irresistible. Funny, sexy, and scary, it made me eager to eavesdrop but glad not to be entangled in the vacation scandals dreamed up by Emma Rosenblum in her juicy debut."

―Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and Fierce Little Thing

"Bad Summer People is a great summer page-turner packed with sun-soaked secrets, outrageous scandals and salacious gossip. Its cast of gloriously terrible one-percenters and the caustic wit dripping from each page make this a perfect rich-people-behaving-badly beach read. Loved it!" ―Ellery Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of The Club

“Delicious: such gossipy, naughty fun. Cancel all plans while reading―I inhaled this darkly hilarious book over one weekend and resented everything that kept me away from it."

―Lucy Foley, bestselling author of The Paris Apartment

"[A] scintillating debut... Wickedly entertaining." ―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Emma Rosenblum is chief content officer at Bustle Digital Group, overseeing content and strategy for BDG’s lifestyle, parenting, and culture & innovation portfolios, including Bustle, Elite Daily, Romper, NYLON, The Zoe Report, Romper, Scary Mommy, Fatherly, The Dad, Gawker, Inverse, and Mic. Prior to BDG, Emma served as the executive editor of ELLE. Previously Rosenblum was a senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, and before that a senior editor at Glamour. She began her career at New York magazine. She lives in New York City, with her husband and two sons. Bad Summer People is her first novel. WEBSITE







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