Author: Amy Spalding
Genre: YA / realistic fiction
What it’s about: Abby Ives is pretty sure she’s the sassy best friend in the romcom of her best friend Maliah’s life—and she’s okay with that, honestly! The only girl she’s ever crushed on has a boyfriend, so she’ll just stay sort of happily single until she moves to New York to start her fashion career, thank you very much. But then she starts her summer internship at Lemonberry, her all-time favorite store, and is stuck sharing it—and the possibility of a job there come fall—with Jordi Perez, a quiet photographer who may or may not have committed arson according to Maliah. Unfortunately she’s also very cute and passionate, and, oh no, Abby’s definitely falling for her. Even better? It seems like Jordi’s falling for her, too. Between that and the fact that she’s helping total dudebro Jax, her “friend-in-law,” look for the best burgers in LA and learning that he’s actually maybe pretty okay… Well, let’s just say it’s shaping up to be a pretty interesting summer.
My thoughts: This was such a cute, fat-positive, queer romcom of a book! Just so much fun from start to finish.
I loved that while Abby did struggle with how society viewed her (as an unrepentant and self-proclaimed fat girl), it was never because she was uncomfortable with being fat, and I loved that—aside from some occasional issues with her mother—she was never stigmatized for it, either. The romance between Abby and Jordi was sweet and wonderful—exactly the kind of story I want to see with two girls falling in love with all the usual relationship drama but no overly extraneous angst because of their sexualities. And though the romance was at the center of the story, I really appreciated that Abby’s other relationships (with her family and friends) weren’t sidelined and were still given time to explore and grow as the novel progressed. Her blossoming friendship with pseudo dudebro Jax was especially fun to watch in that regard, and I really loved the B-plot of their search for the best burgers in Los Angeles.
It’s probably not going to really surprise anyone– it’s a pretty typical YA romance–but that’s a good thing in this case. Romcoms are usually meant to be feelgood and kind of predictable, and since there are nearly enough light, happy stories about girls falling in love with girls, this is exactly the kind of book we need.
Overall, it was just an incredibly sweet, positive book that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good romcom, especially if they’re looking for queer or fat-positive rep! And if you liked The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, this is definitely a book you should check out.
The Summer of Jordi Perez (And The Best Burger in Los Angeles) comes out April 3rd. Pre-order it here.
TL;DR: A fun, cute YA romcom about fashion, burgers, body positivity, and two girls falling in love.
“You don’t fall in love with just the good parts, and I know that now.”
*I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*