The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
by Amy Spalding
Young Adult GLBT Romance
Published April 2018
This was a great little read. It only took me a couple of hours to read, and I identified with the main character SO HARD. Abby is also a plus size blogger, and while she blogs about fashion instead of books, and her hair is pink instead of purple, a lot of her insecurities about the way people see her (both online and off) are things I share. I even share her trepidation about learning to drive!
It’s a clean romance; no one ever does more than make out. The book focuses far more on friendships than it does on sexual matters. The friendship between Abby and her female friends, between Abby and Jax, and between Abby and her girlfriend. I like that Abby had supportive female friends who didn’t pull the “So are you attracted to me? You’re not?! But why not?!” that so many people try to pull on their queer friends. I also loved how the author flipped the trope of “gay best friend” on its head, and gave us Jax, the straight boy/close friend.
The book is apparently pretty indicative of Amy Spalding’s work, so I might have to look into more of her books. This was an absolute delight to read!
And I have to say how much I love this cover! From the stripey rainbow title font to the rainbow back cover, it’s just gorgeous and summery and positive.
From the cover of The Summer of Jordi Perez:
A summer of first love, fashion, friendship, and cheeseburgers
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.
But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she’s struggling to prove to her mother – the city’s celebrity health nut – that she’s perfectly content with who she is.
Just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she’s landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her?