Publisher : Sky Pony Press
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Page Count: 224
Synopsis : 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 favorite 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 in 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)? (From Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*
CW: Fatphobia (challenged), multi-gendered attraction erasure in the narrative
If you’ve seen my most anticipated releases of 2018 post then you saw that this book was one of them, it just sounded so cute and fluffy and like a very fast read, plus it has fat rep AND and f/f romance. So it’s only normal that I went RUNNING to Edelweiss when i heard that it was available for immediate download and I literally threw all my reading plans out the window to pick it up because it was exactly what I needed in that moment. And it lived up to my expectations when it comes to the cute, it was really all I wanted and needed from it.
The writing is the kind that is there to tell a story, it’s not over the top, it’s easy to read but still has some really quotable parts that hit me right in the feels. The story is written from Abby’s POV and she was a really pleasant character to follow the journey and growth of. It *really* felt like we are in her head because she’d be present in the moment a second and then zone out and go on a tangent the next and I mean… if that’s not the most relatable thing ever I don’t know what is.
The only issue I had with the book and the reason it has 3.5 stars (which isn’t a bad rating at all) with how much I actually enjoyed it is that it perpetually erases multi-gendered attraction. For most of the book, the author does a good job at keeping it “girls attracted to girls” rather than putting a label on it. But then when she does bring up labels, she seems to ignore/forget that sexuality is actually a spectrum rather than the oversimplified and quite often hurtful gay vs. straight narrative. There’s one fleeting mention of bi people at some point but other than that, this is a pattern throughout the whole book.
There’s also the fact that Jordi is immediately assumed gay when Abby realizes that she likes her. There’s never “a talk” or an explicit moment where Jordi says “I’m gay” before Abby starts labeling her that way. For all we know, she could be bi, pan, omni, poly, queer or not like labels at all. So that really came off really presemptuous to me and erases a whole bunch of identities that could apply to her.
Now that my complaint is out of the way I want to talk about the characters because I LOVED THEM. Abby is a fat gay girl with a great sense of fashion she wants to make a career out of and a blog she’s really passionate about. She’s cheerful and bubbly but can also be and is more often than not awkward which was super relatable and endearing to me. The way her fatness was discussed is not my lane to discuss but I just wanted to mention that I really liked that balance between how she was confident and comfortable in the way she looked but still being fully aware of how harsh the rest of the world can be, especially with a mom so blatantly fatphobic. She mostly raised above her constant comments but couldn’t help but let them get to her sometimes.
Jordi is Abby’s mexican-american, (presumed) gay, love interest. she’s really passionate about photography which sometimes consumed her whole and I really admired that. I really liked her character, how sweet and thoughtful she was but still fucks up, especially when it comes to being consumed by her passion and making questionnable decision for the sake of her art. And that puts a strain on their relationship. A relationship I really loved, might I add. The development of it felt so organic and IT WAS JUST ADORABLE, OKAY? Their banter, cute dates and everything in between really warmed my heart and I also thought that the way the bumps along the road were handled was quite nice.
The Summer of Jordi Perez might be romance centered but it also puts emphasis on Abby’s friendships as well. I started super iffy about her friendship with Malia, she seemed like she didn’t respect Abby’s privacy at times and was judgmental of her feelings for Jordi while still ditching Abby for her boyfriend a lot of the time. But the way that unfolded made up for it well and I ended up really liking her character. Now her friendship with Jax is my favourite thing EVER. It was just so effortless ad they got along so so well, were there for each other even if their friendship was only just blossoming. They just clicked, they were themselves with each other and could tease each other without either one of them getting offended. And that’s something I value in friendships.
All in all, this was a really quick enjoyable read, that I would highly recommend picking up if you are looking for good fat rep, or are just looking for a cute wholesome romance. But I still want you to be aware of the erasure because it’s there and I would hate for anyone to get hurt.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Summer of Jordi Perez? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.