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The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burgers in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding - Review

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Where did I get it? I ordered it from, I preordered it back in January and it arrived in March. 

What's it about? Abby Ives has always felt like the sidekick in her life. She is seventeen, and has watched her sister Rachel and her best friend Maliah both fall in love, but she's never had that herself. But, she is about to start a summer internship at a local clothes boutique, alongside Jordi Perez. 

Abby is gay. She is plus sized and always wears cute dresses. She has a fashion blog, but she doesn't post pictures of herself. She has bright pink hair and a sure sense of her own style, which I loved. Her mum is a health food blogger and is building her brand, but she is very critical of Abby (and especially Abby's body), so the two of them don't often get along. Abby is unapologetic about her body, but she does comment on it negatively sometimes. 

Maliah's boyfriend is called Trevor, and while Abby doesn't dislike him, she wishes she could get a bit more one on one time with her friend. Enter Jax. He's Trevor's best friend, so he's decided they're 'friends in law'. He needs help on an app his dad is building, so he and Abby need to rate all the burgers in their neighbourhood. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, since Jax is a lacrosse bro, but this was honestly one of my favourite parts of the book. 

So then there's Jordi. Their boss Maggie couldn't decide between them so hired them both. The internship often leads to a job in the autumn, so they're basically fighting for that. Jordi is a really talented photographer, so Maggie sets her to work on that straight away. Abby is a whizz on social media, having built her own blog brand, but she feels a bit ignored. It turns out she and Jordi live in the same neighbourhood so they end up walking to work together. Abby realises she has a crush on Jordi, but doesn't know if Jordi likes girls. 

The two get together, but surely it's unprofessional, right? And Maliah dislikes Jordi because there's a rumour she set fire to some property, so Abby has to try to deal with that too.

This is a really frothy novel, it is pure confectionery. Part of me rolled my eyes at that, and if it was a m/f romance I would definitely be, but queer girls deserve this kind of froth too. Jordi is almost too perfect in parts, but I liked her a lot. I am so glad I saved this for my summer holiday, because it was the perfect sunny summer reading. 

I also, a a fat queer girl myself, love books where I see myself represented. If I was fifteen I would have been all over this book like a rash. I thought it was very gentle and lovely. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Obviously! I actually liked how we didn't get a label for Jordi - she liked girls, her parents knew that, it wasn't a big deal, and it wasn't labelled. 

Abby is gay, her friends are cool with it. Her parents are a little bit more reticent about it, but not too much. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Maliah is mixed race. Jordi's family are Hispanic 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? I don't think so? 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? No 

Are there swear words? A few but not really. 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none! As I say, it is very sweet and almost too sweet in some parts - but then I am a jaded 34 year old so what do I know? Queer girls utterly DO deserve this kind of story, so I can't be too critical. 

I would have LOVED for Abby to start posting pictures of herself on her blog. You might not know, but I also have a plus size fashion blog over here. It is hard to post pictures of yourself, especially when your body is different from what we are told is the beauty ideal. But it can be done! I would have liked to see Abby embrace herself in this way by the end. 

Would I recommend the book? One hundred percent 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? My partner and I were heading to sunny Cornwall and I thought it would make perfect holiday reading, and it did! I read a lot of it sitting on the beach or by the pool. 

What other books is it like? I don't think it's unfair to compare it to Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli - I personally think it is much better. 

How many stars? Four out of five - but really more a four and a half. 

Where is the book going now? Back on to the LGBT shelf from where it came! 

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