Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Big Wild Summer

Rate this book
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.


Published July 13, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Stephanie J. Scott

16 books395 followers
Stephanie J. Scott is the author of young adult and contemporary romance stories about characters who put their passions first. She loves dance fitness and has a slight obsession with Instagram. She lives outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband.

I spend a lot of time on Instagram! @stephaniejaynebooks

More about books & my author newsletter at:

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
23 (45%)
4 stars
15 (29%)
3 stars
13 (25%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Meghan.
656 reviews75 followers
July 16, 2021
This was such a fun, quick read that is sure to delight readers of all ages! It's been a while since I have been in high school, and I tend to shy away from books with high school age characters. However, the author is someone I have been following on social media, and I really wanted to give it a try. And I ended up loving it! The story takes place during the summer, so while there is a young adult vibe, you don't get the school setting, which worked for me. Instead, the story takes place at a theme park, where the main characters work. There is some teenage drama, unique and funny side characters, and some darker elements that gives things a serious tone in the latter half of the book. Something for every age can be found within the pages.

Elena De Wilde had a plan - get a job at Midwest Wild Adventure theme park, work alongside her long-time crush, KJ Keene, and finally get him to notice her as girlfriend material. Unfortunately, everything falls apart when her supposed friend sets her up for humiliation...and gets her reassigned to the old of the park, far away from KJ, and her problems are only just beginning. Now working at the go-kart track, she's surrounded by boys with crazy nicknames but who welcome her with open arms. Except for Jonah, a young man with no smile to be seen but a soft side that comes out when the kids come to ride. He is an enigma, and as Elena works with him and the others, she begins to see that her plans for the summer might be changing. What she wanted before isn't exactly what she wants, now that she sees what she could have, if she's only willing to take a chance on love and friendship.

This story was classic case of Grump and Sunshine, and I enjoyed it immensely! Elena was a boisterous young woman who wanted to be friends with everyone but had no idea when to put on a filter. That lack of filter got her in trouble with her friend, and it was interesting to see how it actually benefited her when she joined the go-kart crew. The boys welcomed her, taught her the ropes, and she became so attached to them. When a competition broke out amongst the different park groups, to see who could get the most visitors, she jumped at the opportunity to stick up for her new friends and show the other park workers that her team had value. I loved seeing her mature and grow, and she found her niche with the crew. Jonah was a quiet boy who just wanted to be left alone - too bad Elena had no intention of doing that. It was funny seeing Jonah try to resist her pull, but her positivity was so infectious. I loved it. And the ending...my heart melted. Just a puddle on the floor.

This is the third book in the series, so clearly I am behind. I'm excited to read the other books, and this is definitely an author I'll be reading again.

**I received a free copy from the author and this is my honest review.**
Profile Image for Ann Miller.
Author 3 books277 followers
July 14, 2021
Many thanks to the author for providing an ARC of Big Wild Summer. Big Wild Summer is the third installment in Scott’s Love on Summer Break series but can be read as a standalone.

This book really took me back to all the summer jobs I had as a teen—both good and bad! The story centers on Elena, who has landed a summer job at Midwest Wild Adventure theme park. The best part about the job is she’ll be working alongside her long-time crush, KJ. But after an ill-timed prank, she’s moved to the “old” side of the park, where she’ll be working with the unpopular kids on the go kart ride. Her plans to get closer to KJ take a sharp turn, but she finds unexpected friendships among this ragtag crew and learns that big guy Jonah isn’t the scary dude everyone makes him out to be. She also learns more about herself and what it means to work as part of a team.

It’s not often that a book can make me laugh out loud, but I found myself chuckling at Elena’s wit throughout. She’s funny and charming and full of life, and I love how she brought Jonah out of his shell. But the best part about her is she recognizes her flaws. The rest of the characters are wonderfully developed, too, from Elena’s parents, to the Go Zone crew, and last but not least Jonah. He’s definitely not your cookie-cutter love interest, which is one of the things that makes this book stand out for me. His romance with Elena unfolds beautifully and naturally, and I enjoyed watching them get to know one another.

The story itself unfolds beautifully, too. This is a perfectly paced, well-written YA summer romance, with all the headiness of first love and excitement of a summer job. But it’s also a book with surprising depth, including a subplot that involves Elena’s guilt over an incident surrounding her parents’ divorce. The subplot doesn’t overshadow the main story but serves to highlight Elena’s fear that she’s too outspoken. The nuanced way in which it supplements the overall plot and Elena’s character arc shows the mark of an incredibly talented author.

I will absolutely be reading Stephanie J. Scott again, and I highly recommend you grab a copy of Big Wild Summer!
Profile Image for Inah (Fueled By Chapters).
478 reviews115 followers
July 12, 2021
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.

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 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!

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.

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 this one. Not the best, but still a good lighthearted summer read. I'm looking forward to reading the next one!

I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from Book Sirens Reviewer Program. All opinions are my own.

For more book reviews, visit Fueled By Chapters
Profile Image for Arceli.
1,037 reviews
September 5, 2021
I really enjoyed this novel. The romance was extremely sweet. I highly recommend it. The chemistry was amazing.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for C.Y..
772 reviews3 followers
July 18, 2021
How do I describe this wonderful book? It’s the third in the series (Love on Summer Break) and it is by far the best! It felt very nostalgic on days when the only thing you cared about was finding “true love” during summer break. For me, it was going to Great America, an amusement park close to where I still live today. We spent hours eating junk food and riding rides that made us sick. Oh, happy days.

Being pranked and being in the wrong place at the wrong time led to an adventure that Elena never wanted or expected to happen. She was easy to love because she was so outgoing, spoke her mind, but kind. I loved her right away.

Jonah unwilling got pulled into Elena’s drama. He seemed hard and “boring”, but underneath he was a gentle giant. He was so likable and reminded me of a guy I had a crush on when I was in high school. He was diligent about making sure his job was priority and kids at the park were safe. There’s a back-story that is a main issue of the story, but you’ll have to read it to find out what happened.

This is a sweet, chaste love story where teenagers actually act their age. There’s angst, back-stabbing, mean girls, cute boys, young love, stolen kisses, and amazing co-workers. It’s a lesson on looking beyond the surface of a person and seeing what they really have to offer in life. It also shows that no matter the issues you face, true, loyal friends can make life so much better.

I received an early copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Meredith.
452 reviews24 followers
July 13, 2021
I do love a good misunderstood romance. From the first time we meet Jonah, I just knew I would love him, and I did. He was sweet and adorable and just an all around good guy. I loved all the Midfits, Blender and Nando were especially fun. I appreciated how cool a d self-assured Nando was.
I liked the growth we saw in Elena, opening up to all the people. I like how it came full circle in certain aspects. I liked the backdrop of the waterpark/amusement park.
But, I really liked the slowburn romance. It was so sweet! I really liked how Elena was so extroverted and loud and crazy and Jonsh was quiet and calm. Their different strengths made their relationship adorable. The book stressed me out a little.bitnwhich is a surefire tell that i love it. I had to take a few breaks because you know, secondhand embarrassment.
Overall, recommended. It releases July 13 and it's book 3 in a series and I guarantee I'll go back and read books 1 and 2.
Profile Image for Michaela.
2,780 reviews24 followers
July 13, 2021
I enjoyed this YA summer work at a water adventure park romance. I enjoyed the misfits angle and the little bits of mystery about Jonah.

I received an ARC of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
Profile Image for Heather (Bookedwithheather).
124 reviews17 followers
July 14, 2021
Teenage me would have loved this book! I worked at a similar place when I was younger so this story brought me back to those days.

Elena and Jonah are two teenagers with more in common than they think. Will working together at Midwest Wild Adventure Park one summer bring them closer or tear them apart?

I definitely felt this was more suited for YA readers. At times through the story the complaining of the characters was a little much for my nerves. They were High School kids and you could tell. 😂

It was an easy read and a sweet story with a great lesson on standing up for what is right. Nothing flashy that really grabbed my attention unfortunately but overall it was ok. This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

I received an advanced readers copy for free and I’m leaving my review voluntarily.
487 reviews4 followers
July 15, 2021
Book caught my attention right from the beginning! Made me happy to be out of High school! Really loved Jonah and all the new other friends Elena made after being transferred. Really liked how it showed how true friends really are. Great book!
3,573 reviews24 followers
July 5, 2021
The book is a good, and enjoyable funny sweet young adult romance read. The story has a good story line, and will written read. The characters are good, and they have good chemistry.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Made Me Blush Books.
230 reviews13 followers
June 29, 2021
Stephanie is a new to me author and I really enjoyed this smart and well-written YA summer romance! It was a light but not fluffy or overly sweet.

Feeling like she needed a change, Elena quits the cross country running team but has to get a job for the summer instead. She's got it all planned out-the coolest job working alongside her long time crush, KJ. For years she's watched him and minimally interacted with him but she's not waiting on the sidelines anymore. He's leaving for college in the fall and she's going to make sure he really sees her and hopefully gives her a chance before he goes. What she doesn't count on is a humiliating prank in the Love Hut of all places on day one and being "saved" by the silent giant Jonah then being exiled to the Go-Kart track working with the Midfits for speaking up in her own defence.

This coming of age story is easy to read and had me feeling all kinds of nostalgic for those times when you thought you knew everything and everything was never quite as it seemed on the surface. I love stories where love grows where you least expect it and this is one of those. I love that there's substance and depth to this one. Definitely not one to miss as you make your summer reading list. It's so worth the read!

Profile Image for Jeni.
215 reviews14 followers
June 23, 2021
Stephanie Scott writes books that make you want to relive your late teens years, but only in the misfit, rebel, happy ending world she creates.
This summer romance is filled with the geeky misfits I've come to expect and love from Scott. She gets the awkwardness, the loneliness of sticking out and creates a group of characters that make that all OK and make us wish we'd had friends like that. This group is varied with age, skills and quirks that are well written and tangible. Even the jerk character is kinda sweet.
The adventure park location is different from the school or college setting and adds and extra level with the competition between areas.
The drama resides several areas with friends, crushes and work drama all making for a plot that keeps you reading 'just one more chapter'. Fortunately the chapters are quick and punchy, although this does make the book a quick read.... And like summer fun leaves you wanting more.
Grab this book and a pop playlist and head to the sun for an afternoon of reading.

Thank you to the author for the chance to read and review this fun loving story.
Profile Image for kim hackbarth.
24 reviews
September 19, 2021
This book was a very nice read. I love when a young adult novel pulls me in with characters that I feel like could of been my friends when I was young. I liked how Elena had so many real world issues she was dealing with and still tried to help others. The story showed how sometimes when we don't know it we get what we need not what we think we want. I would recommend this book to others. I received this book for free as an advanced reader copy and am leaving this review voluntarily.
2,867 reviews23 followers
July 28, 2021
This is book three in The Love On Summer Break Series and it is Elena and Jonah's story. Elena was the type of person that says what she wants without any thought to the consequences and often gets herself into trouble and that is how she finds herself working on the go cart track instead of the adventure theme park which is where her long time crush was but as usual Elena makes the best of a bad situation. Jonah is a grumpy loner who doesn't talk or interact with others but inside he is soft but that side of him doesn't show very often but the more distance he tries to put between him and Elena the more she pushes him. I loved to watch them interact and see them both grow through out this book and come into there own. I enjoyed reading this book so much and I can't wait to read more books by Stephanie J Scott as I like her writing style and how she develops her character's. I definitely recommend you read this book and you will not be disappointed.

I Voluntarily Reviewed an Arc Copy of this book.
1,147 reviews5 followers
July 13, 2021
Fast moving and enjoyable story as Elena gets a summer job at the local theme park to be near her teen crush but various events make her realise he is not right for her and she falls for a co-worker but all is not plain sailing and there is a lot of angst over work, family and friends.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
766 reviews2 followers
July 26, 2021
I really enjoyed Jonah and Elena's story.
It was a lovely young love story with lots of drama and twists and turns.
I have really enjoyed this series of books from Stephanie.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
332 reviews3 followers
July 26, 2021
This was a sweet story. Young love develops in the workplace over summer break. Great story about the dynamics of the cool kids vs the not so cool kids. Loved it.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
2,146 reviews24 followers
June 26, 2021
One of the best young adult books I have read late. Jonah, stoic, mysterious, loved him. Elena, outgoing, perky. The two of them fit.

Profile Image for Nate.
18.1k reviews19 followers
July 25, 2021
It was a fun, entertaining read. Good book. I got a copy of the book. And am voluntarily leaving my review.
Profile Image for Jaden Chandler.
25 reviews
July 13, 2023
I felt like I was reading a teenage soap opera, and yet the end still had me tearing up. I thought the amusement park idea was cute and I loved the friendships throughout the book.
Profile Image for Stacy.
59 reviews
July 25, 2021
I received this book to review for free through Book Sirens.

I was excited to read this book about a girl who gets a summer job at a theme park. How fun! Fun for the reader, that is. It's no so much fun for Elena, at least not at first. After a prank (she's the victim!) on her first day goes wrong, Elena is shuffled off to the old, rundown part of the park to work the Go Karts with a bunch of guys who don't want to deal with her. I loved reading about the day to day goings-on of the park, the rivalry with other parts of the park, and seeing Elena gain confidence with her job. At first she has no idea what she's doing, but as the summer progresses, she becomes a Go Kart pro.

My biggest problem with Big Wild Summer is that Elena suffers from the unwillingness to actually talk to people (her mom, her stepfather, Chelsea, KJ, and of course Jonah) rather than make assumptions, clear up whatever the issue is, and move on with her life. One example is that she's been carrying around guilt for "causing" her parents' divorce for YEARS. No, Elena, just no. It's entirely possible that Elena's a realistic portrayal of teenage girl, and a child of divorce, but as someone long past her teens, sometimes I just can't. I also didn't connect with Jonah, so their romance didn't really work for me.

Big Wild Summer is set in the same universe as All Last Summer and Sunset Summer. Unfortunately, it was my least favorite of the three, but I do hope there are more books in this universe in the future and I plan to read them if there are.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.