Book Review: The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

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Firstly, don’t read this book when you are hungry. You’ll just crave food or snacks or coffee or numerous other things while reading almost every second page. Now, you can’t say I didn’t warn you πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Abby is a pink-haired, fat lesbian high school senior who runs a plus size fashion blog and lands a summer internship at her favorite local clothing store. Jordi is another intern who is passionate about photography and art. They both bond over their passion for their respective interests, living up to parents’ expectations and also COFFEE…!!!

“When you’re making your way through the world in a look you are confident about, everything feels easier.”

I loved Abby’s character. She is very funny, has a great sense of style, loves fashion, promotes body positivity and wants everyone to be confident in their body and clothing choices. I love when she mentions that being fat is not an insult even though other people tend to make it that way. I thought the fat rep was great, atleast something that I could closely relate to, especially the part about parent’s opinions about our bodies and their belief that becoming thin will make us pretty and happy. As someone who is very subtly shamed about my weight frequently in the guise of “being healthy”, I was happy to see that neither Abby nor her friends consider her weight to be a problem.

The development of Abby and Jordi’s relationship is also very sweet. It starts off with friendship, hesitant smiles, little flirtations and the setup was so much fun to read about. I loved how Jordi never missed taking pictures of Abby because she found her so beautiful and considered it her best work. Their interactions, their well thought out dates and intense makeout sessions were too cute.

“But the thing I love about photography is that for just a moment, you can make everyone else look at the world the way you see it.”

Along with the love story, my favorite part of the book were the friendships. Abby’s girl gang is awesome and I really loved their dynamic. It’s also realistically portrayed – Β Abby being closest to Maliah even though they are best friends with Zoe and Brooke, Abby not being very happy that Maliah is spending more time with her boyfriend leaving less for their girls only bonding. Abby’s almost accidental friendship with Jax is hilarious and I loved hanging out at all the burger joints with them. He may be a dudebro, but he grows on Abby over time and is also extremely supportive of her. There is one particular scene where he explains why he wanted to be her friend and it was very very sweet.

I love this book for a lots of things – bringing East LA to life for me (I’ve never been to the west coast), amazing friendships including f/f and f/m, a cute summer sapphic romance, well fleshed out POC characters and lots of beautiful clothes and food. But my favorite aspect of the book is definitely body positivity and also Abby’s belief that being confident in her body doesn’t mean that she needs to put herself (atleast her pictures) out there on social media.

“It’s like you think there’s something wrong with you.”

“No. Sorry. I don’t think that. I just feel like… everyone else will. People who don’t know me. In person people get, you know, all of me. When it’s just a photo, it worries me that they can’t see past how I look.”

If you want to read a book while chilling poolside or on the beach this summer, please choose this one. It will definitely bring a smile to your face.

I am, however, taking out a star from my rating because I didn’t really like the conflict that happened towards the end. I thought what Jordi did was very violating in regards to Abby and the resolution was too quick which left me a little dissatisfied.

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