The Summer of Jordi Perez was so fun. While I was expecting this romance and this fluffy plot – and it delivered there no doubt about it – I was so pleased with all these difficult conversations Abby has with those around her.
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?
First off, can I say that normally I don’t like when real people are on my covers, but this one is just so cute! I don’t feel like this really impacts my review at all, I just wanted to mention it.
Okay now on to the actual review. I knew I would love The Summer of Jordi Perez from the beginning. There is actually nothing I didn’t love. I was hooked from the very beginning! Narration style alone, this book delivers such a sassy, genuine, and human narrative voice. It was like Abby was speaking directly to me, like we were best friends and she was telling me about her life – catching me up on her summer.
This just makes the pages fly by. You get caught up in Abby’s summer and her daily adventures – including her blossoming relationships and friendships. Additionally, there are so many fantastic quotes in this book – mostly because I can imagine myself saying what Abby thinks! (But never as witty or as succinct).
Our Main Character
Diversity-wise, hook line and sinker. Abby is a plus size, lesbian, blogger! I cannot speak to the accuracy of the representation, but it seemed really nuanced. Abby has all these conversations about her weight to her friends and family – the ways she has internalized some of the rhetoric and struggles with this on a level she may not even consciously realize. (I could really empathize with this because I didn’t even realize I was struggling with issues about my adoption until recently, and everything sort of clicked).
Furthermore, while there is a distinct romance to the central part of this story, there’s also a significant portion of the book dedicated to the exploration of friendships and family. Abby struggles with her best friend getting a boyfriend, new friendships of her own, her challenging relationship with her mother, and her sister being away. There was so much more going on in this book that meets the eye and the cover! For Abby it’s a summer of firsts and I couldn’t help but be drawn back to my own ‘firsts’ when I read this.
Make sure you check out The Summer of Jordi Perez on Goodreads.