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The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best…

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) (edition 2018)

by Amy Spalding

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714251,291 (3.95)None
Title:The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
Authors:Amy Spalding
Info:Sky Pony Press, Hardcover, 284 pages
Collections:Your library

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



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Great read! It covers a lot of issues that teenagers have to deal with in a really good way. First love, friendship, family, self image and getting out into the professional world. Abby is a wonderful main character who learns a great deal about life during the summer before senior year. I was a little put off during the first chapter because a lot of if was in Abby's head and her ramblings/daydreams, it was a little annoying but it definitely got better after that! ( )
  KeriLynneD | Mar 23, 2019 |
This is like a really adorable, cute and rainbow colored soap bubble on a sunny summer's day. There is some angst, this is YA after all, both Abby and Jordi grow up all the while falling in love for the first time. I liked the techno, geek, art, fashion angles, kudos to the power of a 1000 to the competence and smart of all characters: Abby, Jordi, the friends, siblings and parents. This hit my competence button so hard. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Dec 26, 2018 |
I have some conflicted feelings about this book, but ultimately I'm less happy about it than I hoped to be based on the reviews and hype.

A quick scenario rehash: 17-year-old Abby has managed to get a summer internship at a local fashion boutique - in fact, her favorite store. She is a plus-size fashion blogger and loves retro and bright colors and would like to eventually work in the fashion industry. However, when she arrives for her first day, she discovers she's not the only intern this year: meet Jordi Perez, an arty photographer and pretty much the exact opposite of Abby in style (and size - apparently, Abby is the only plus-sized person she knows). Abby is convinced that she is limited to the Quirky Best Friend role, especially since her own best friend has recently begun an epic love story of her own and in the fall out, Abby and the boyfriend's best friend Jax have become a secondary friendship team. So when Abby develops a major crush on Jordi, she has no hopes of anything happening - of course Jordi isn't into girls or isn't into Abby. But because this is a romance plot, Jordi also likes Abby and they start going out.

What I liked: the story has good friendships that don't disappear because a romance is imminent; the characters are fun; the Los Angeles setting feels real and familiar, though I've never been; the romance itself starts out really sweet and fun; there is no overt homophobia (Abby's mom seems to wish Abby were straight, but it's not clear if it's from homophobia or just that she wants Abby to have an easier path in life or if she's just not as clear about Abby's sexuality as Abby thinks).

What didn't work for me is a much longer list.
1. While the book has been promoted as featuring a fat girl protagonist and Abby herself blogs about HEAS and fatness not being linked to happiness, it was really weird that Abby is literally the only fat person we see in the story. Maybe she's just being overly conscious of herself and thinking everyone is smaller than she is, but it was really weird and unnatural to me.

2. This book is OBSESSED with food in an uncomfortable way. Abby insists that her weight has nothing to do with her eating, and even if it did, who cares because she's healthy, but her mom is a carb-free cooking personality and the book is infused with food everywhere - Abby even likes to wear clothes with food designs. The secondary plot of the title has Abby rating burgers around LA, but even then, food is in almost every scene and Abby continually rejects the stuff her mom prepares. If Abby weren't fat, I don't know if I'd still be weirded out by the food obsession, but frankly she is fat, and she makes a point many times over that her size has nothing to do with what she eats, which only ties the two things together more. Especially since I can't think of any scene where Abby enjoys something that isn't considered "bad", though she often complains that eating all the burgers for ratings is going to lead to a heart attack. (Which, honestly, just adds to the whole food obsession that made me uncomfortable.)

3. The central romance plot was unsatisfying compared to the friendship plot with Jax. I liked Jordi but ultimately thought Jax felt more like the long-term love interest, and Jordi felt like a short crush on the way to the True Love. I would have enjoyed reading more about Abby and Jax's developing friendship instead of her romance with Jordi, if that were on the table. It seemed a lot of times like Jax was about to admit to wanting to date Abby, though he never did, and their interactions were basically dating (in a m/f romance, at least).

4. When the miscommunication pops up, it is because Abby isn't comfortable with photos of herself being shown publicly and Jordi doesn't respect her. She is rightly aware that no matter how cool or likable she is in person, most people will only see a fat girl in pictures. Everyone around her insists that Abby is wrong and she should "walk the walk" - if her blog is all about being comfortable and happy as a fat person, she should show photos of herself, because that's what it means to be comfortable. I am on Abby's side here, but Jordi is not. She thinks that if Abby just sees the photos in a gallery (photos Abby likes when they're private and shared between the two of them alone), Abby will realize how great she looks and be excited for everyone to see. This is a major problem and Abby rightly breaks up with Jordi for it. Abby ultimately decides that Jordi can use the photos for the gallery and maybe the two of them need to be better about communicating honestly, but the last third of the book after they get back together never regained the feel-good, happy girlfriends mood for me. Why is it only Abby who compromises?

The writing is good and fun but the characters and themes are off, and I felt betrayed by some of the major selling points of the story, so I want to like it but ultimately am disappointed.

I did really want a good cheeseburger and milkshake while I was reading, though. ( )
  keristars | Nov 8, 2018 |
“Fashion can be art. And art doesn’t have to be big. It can be just for you.”
I have mixed feeling about this. While I LOVED the friendships in the story (Jax and Abby were amazing), the diverse rep with a plus sizes lesbian MC in Abby, a Latina love interest in Jordi, and a black woman in Maliah (Abby’s best friend) and the showcase of fashion and creativity, I kinda lost the spark I had for the relationship after the big conflict point. The Summer of Jordi Perez follows Abby, a plus sized fashion blogger, and Jordi, a photographer, who are both interning at a local boutique and immediately have some fantastic chemistry that pulled me in. They spend time with each other, encourage each other, and are all around adorable. But the conflict in the story that temporarily drives them apart really made me not like Jordi anymore, and I thought Abby deserved better. The ending felt a little rushed and underwhelming and the book ended on a lower note. I did really appreciate seeing Abby as a proud fat girl who loves who she is and wants other fat girls and guys to love themselves too. And while she is a little flakey and absent minded, she is so charming and relatable. While I liked the end of the book less than I expected, I still had a really fun time with this overall.

I received a copy of the book from Sky Pint Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. ( )
1 vote LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Apr 27, 2018 |
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"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?"--Front flap… (more)

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