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


Book: The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

Author:  Amy Spalding

Publisher: April 3rd, 2018.

Published: Sky Pony Press

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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 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 favourite 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 on 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)?

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I read this book in one sitting, I was speeding through the book I was reading beforehand just so I could read and digest this wonderful an empowering story.

There are so many positive things about this book. Its inclusiveness is off the charts and Abby our MC is one to root for! For one she isn’t the typical perfect sized and shaped MC as many of us read about. She has a lot of issues, with her weight being the front centre and underlying problem of most of her issues, which is mostly all in her head because of the pressure society has put on us females when it comes to our body shape and size.

I haven’t read a lot of books like 97% of books I read have girls who have flat tummies, tiny waist and what not, you know the so-called “ideal societal body type for women” which isn’t right because it causes a lot of self-esteem issues for us women, God knows I constantly have to remind myself that I am sexy, beautiful and worthy of anything I set out to accomplish.

The message this book preaches is that being on the big side doesn’t make you ugly and constantly belittling, being so hard and against yourself is nothing but damaging. Again not being skinny, average or medium sized doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful! A lot of people say what’s inside is what matters but, if we are being honest we all like being told we look lovely, beautiful or nice, especially when we know it’s genuine, but like Abby, many of us with self-esteem issues brush it aside and don’t believe it. I think we should do better and start accepting them for what they are the truth.

Abby is a young woman with a flair of her own, a fashion style and taste that’s to die for and she knows how to work any outfit to make her look good. Abby is very talented when it comes to fashion and what looks good for women of all sizes. That’s why her working at her favourite fashion boutique store as an intern for the summer is a dream come true because it caters to and makes all body sizes look beautiful in the clothes being sold.

I love the positive vibe this book has towards friendship! I mean there’s no mean-spirited cattiness that tears female friends apart. There are small arguments that break out but which real friends don’t have down moments as well as up? Abby’s work relationship with her boss Maggie is a beautiful one and I just love Maggie so much, because she’s the cool and supportive Aunty type. The workspace is a friendly environment which focus is really on helping the interns hon their skills. It explores different relationships and gives me or us a wonderful platonic and beautiful Male and Female friendship between Abby and Jax.

Why is it that MCs are all almost so clueless about their crush having feelings for them back or like their obvious-perfect-for-them-person that’s so aware of their entire existence? Like the clues and signs are so vivid, come on!

Then there’s Jordi Perez. I love Jordi Perez, she’s a weird onion, with many layers of weirdness – this explanation is taking from the book and I am so going to be using it a lot as well as other cool sayings. She’s an artsy cool bad-ass and loving young woman. I need someone like her in my life. She’s so positive and supportive of Abby, when the angsty cliched fight between both MCs occurred I was more supportive of her than Abby, but I also understood where Abby was coming from with her feelings but still, Jordi Perez is lovely and so is her family.

I love Abby and Jordi’s relationship it’s one of the cutest and almost realistic sapphic love I had the pleasure of reading about.

Then this book also highlights the fact that a lot of parents seem to forget how highly their children hold them and their opinions. Especially how an offhand comment can deeply affect said children psychologically. Or how their disappointments in their children can also cause a downward spiral of emotions instead of being about positive changes as hoped for in such scenarios. So basically the opinions of parents matter a lot to their kids, even if they beg to differ, most times that attitude, especially teenage attitude is really just a defensive mechanism.

This book also preaches against judging people based on what you see or hear second hand, especially without getting the full picture. Hold your judgment until you get to know them. I fully support this notion.

This book packs a lot and it’s an amazing book, that represents a lot. I think you should give it a try once it comes out because I obviously couldn’t stop talking about it. I mean look at how long this review is!


Lara Kareem


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