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

Written by: Amy Spalding

Cover Photo by: Robyn Van Swank

Cover Design: Kate Gartner

For ages: YA (underage alcohol use)

Language: English

Topics Covered: LGBTQ, Growing Up, Art, Jobs, Relationships, Family Dynamics, Weight, Body Positivity, Fashion, Underage Alcohol Use. 

Summary: This is a fantastic book with both a queer and fat main character interested in fashion.  Abby scores an amazing summer internship, and on her first day learns that there is a second intern named Jordi and with whom she will be low key competing for a fall job against.  When Abby falls for Jordi, things get complicated.  At the same time, Abby befriends a lacrosse bro named Jax, who wants her help getting an app that his father developed off the ground (a restaurant app akin to Yelp).

I liked this book because of the complexity of Abby, who is at the same time a very believable narrator.  I really love books that have queer characters that focus on their lives post-coming out.  Coming out can be a very trying and emotional time, but that’s not all there is to the queer story.  Having queerness portrayed as a facet and not the entire experience is a very realistic tactic, and also normalizes the experience for the queer youth reading books today.  Abby is fat, and runs a fashion blog which is fairly well-known and established when the book begins.  She is fine with how she looks, but is still working on being the main character in her own life instead of the quirky best friend.  The book does a wonderful job of placing the reader within Abby’s life, it has been established and we are just along for the ride.  Fantastic read all around, I would definitely read a second book that takes place after she’s graduated and (hopefully) at her fashion school of choice in NYC!

About the Author:

0-2Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

By day, she manages the digital media team for an indie film advertising agency. By later day and night, Amy writes, performs, and pets as many cats as she can.

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