30 May 2018
The Summer of Jordi Perez
Spalding, Amy. The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles). Sky Pony Press, 2018.
Abby runs her own plus-sized fashion blog, so she is beyond excited when she is given an internship at a local boutique. Much to her surprise, though, there are going to be TWO interns this summer. Abby doesn't know Jordi very well, but as her fellow intern they spend a lot of time together over the summer. Abby realizes she likes Jordi as more than simply a coworker, and the two begin navigating the tangled world of dating in high school. Can Abby handle being the star of her show instead of simply someone's sidekick?
What I Liked: Lots of diversity, including intersectional diversity. Abby is a well-rounded main character with plenty of flaws, but her friends eventually call her out on those. Abby's friendship with Jax is wonderful and I love it in spite of my initial misgivings over Jax being a dudebro.
What I Didn't Like: This book could have used another major edit to remove some unnecessary side plots (I'm looking at you, Abby's older sister). Abby's relationship with her mother took a backseat to her mother's healthy eating blog, which isn't necessarily a problem except that Abby and her friends mock the healthy eating movement altogether to the point where Abby doesn't want to admit to having ordered a salad at a restaurant. Other readers have complained of bi-erasure, which is certainly apparent once a reader starts paying attention to it. There wasn't much discussion of fashion or the boutique owner's method of designing outfits or seasonal lines, etc., which didn't bother me much because I'm not into fashion, but since Abby likes it so much I was surprised it wasn't featured more. Abby complains that her friends are rich, but she gets to do an unpaid for fun internship in the summer and her mother's "job" is running a food blog while her father is her mother's assistant, so her family isn't exactly destitute. I absolutely agree with Abby that the $375 skirt she was pining for was too expensive, but I doubt I would have bought it even when she found it on "deep, deep discount" because there's no way it came down enough to be in my price range.
If you read this book as a fun, surface level beach read, it's perfect, but once you look beneath the surface, there are flaws that a solid edit would have remedied. The concept is fantastic, but the execution is definitely lacking.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: fat-shaming
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Dumplin', Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy