Spalding, Amy. The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles). Sky Pony, 2018. 284p. ISBN: 9781510727663. HS OT. ****
Abby is bubbly, friendly and super-cute with pink hair and fruit themed clothes. She is a fashionista blogger, but she doesn’t see herself as attractive because she is plus-size. The combination of being gay and plus-size leads Abby resigned to spinsterhood the summer before her senior year of high school. Her mom is a notable health food blogger who thinks if Abby just ate correctly, she would be small enough (and possibly straight enough) to be happy. Abby knows this isn’t how it works but is still insecure enough to keep most pictures of herself off the Internet, even though she would be the perfect model for her own blog. The one silver lining to the start of her summer is an internship at a local fashion boutique that will hopefully lead to a paid position in the fall and launch her fashion career. Her only competition is Jordi Perez, a cute, artistic girl in black. While Abby specializes in social media, Jordi specializes in photography, and both are vying for the paid position. In a side plot, Abby gets roped into helping Jax, a straight bro-type, who is on a mission to find the best hamburger in L.A. Abby doesn’t understand why Jax, who doesn’t have a chance, would be so interested in her. But she hangs with him just to find out about his hamburger undertaking. Abby ends up falling for Jordi and finds out Jordi digs her just as much. Their summer ends up being a dreamy first-love experience with blending friend groups, overcoming misunderstandings, handling a first job, and eventual heartache.
This is very sweet story about a normalized lesbian relationship. Although the main couple makes out a lot, there are no sex scenes, implied or otherwise. This book undeniably takes place in Los Angeles, like the title suggests, and references local sites, streets, and communities to help readers get into the feel of L.A. during the summer. Even though the main character has issues with her own size and self-acceptance, and her mother isn’t supportive, her peers see her as a wonderful person and have no issue with her size. A good portion of the book is comprised of her friends trying to tell her she is beautiful, no matter what. This book is a good representation of a female/female romantic comedy, and keeps heterosexuals as understanding friends who support the main couple’s relationship in a healthy way. A fun, light-hearted read and good for anyone wanting a queer rom/con.
Jessica Lundin, San Jose Public Library