Title: The Summer of Jordi Perez
Author: Amy Spalding
Genres: Young Adult Contemporary
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 has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.
Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story?
But when Jordi’s photography puts Abby in the spotlight, it feels like a betrayal, rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her?
Is this just Abby’s summer of fashion? Or will it truly be The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)?
I was incredibly excited about diving into this book, which I basically already fell in love with once I first saw the cover. But I was a bit afraid too, since my expectations were incredibly high, and that’s usually not a good thing. Luckily, the book didn’t disappoint. Much.
I really enjoyed the discussion around Abby and her body, because it was super relatable. The book made it clear that there’s a big difference in being comfortable in your own body and being comfortable enough to post pictures of it and post them on the internet, because no matter how comfortable you are, there’ll still be people who will make mean comments just because you’re fat. And no matter how confident you are, those comments aren’t fun to read.
This book meant a lot to be when it comes to Abby’s fatness, because I’m fat as well. When it comes to clothes, I always tend to go for things that almost make me invisible. I wear nothing that stands out, or nothing in bright colors, because that’ll mean that people will actually look at my body, and probably judge me for it. This book taught me that it’s okay to wear whatever I want, and that I don’t have to hide. I don’t have to be afraid to take up space.
Speaking of that, I loved reading about Abby’s love for fashion. I loved reading about the clothes she wears, the blogposts she writes, the clothes she wants to make, etc. Above all, I loved reading about her internship. It was incredibly interesting, but so much fun as well.
I also really liked the relationship that developed out of the internship. I loved reading about Abby trying to figure out if Jordi is attracted to girls, I loved reading about their adorable dates (especially the one that involved making food), and I loved reading about how, even though they’re rivals, they still supported each other very much.
The one thing that I didn’t like about the relationship, though, was the conflict between the Abby and Jordi near the end. I honestly don’t understand why every book featuring a romance *needs* a conflict, and this one very much felt like it was added just for the sake of it, and it didn’t feel natural to the story line. It felt way too suddden. Normally when there’s conflict between the MC and LI, there’s some built-up to it; the characters are already feeling a bit unhappy, or are annoyed with each other, etc. Then one thing happens that tips them over the edge. But in the book, the two characters were perfectly happy, and then one thing happened and they break up. It just didn’t feel realistic. But maybe that’s just me.
Overall, the book was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the fat representation, but it just wasn’t the perfect read for me.