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’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.
But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosseplaying bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she’s struggling to prove to her mother—the city’s celebrity health nut—that she’s perfectly content with who she is.
Just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she’s landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her?
About the Author
Amy Spalding has a B.A. in advertising and 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. She grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles.
Named one of the Best YA Books of 2018 by Cosmopolitan
"Yes, this book is as fantastic as it sounds." —PopSugar
"The summer's hottest queer teen romance." —Entertainment Weekly
"This book is funny, empowering, and romantic, without downplaying the role of platonic friendships. And to the fat girls who are sidelined in almost every romantic comedy? It’s a love letter." —Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"The Summer of Jordi Perez is a confectionary delight. From lovely romantic date nights to secret makeout sessions to utterly relatable friend drama, this is the happy queer-girl romance I've been longing for since I knew enough to long for happy queer-girl romance." —Robin Talley, New York Times bestselling author of Lies We Tell Ourselves
"This book is the queer, fat girl rom-com of my dreams! Plus-size fashion, a fat girl falling in love, nuanced friendships, and cheeseburgers! Did I mention cheeseburgers?" —Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin'
"You'll want to go shopping with Abby. You'll obsessively need to sample every cheeseburger in town. You might even plan a foodie-fashion-fun times vacation in L.A. But most importantly, you'll fall in love with The Summer of Jordi Perez. Just like I did." —Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
"Amy Spalding is the funniest YA contemporary writer out there." —Hey YA Book Riot Podcast
[*] “Funny, full of heart, and refreshingly free of a weight-loss arc.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Abby’s journey is a vehicle for highlighting the dangers of negative self-perception in any relationship or endeavor. . . Finally able to appreciate her talents, she discovers support and care rather than criticism. Shopping, humor, and summer romance add to the appeal of the story.” —VOYA
“Sweet and delightful.” —School Library Journal
"A deceptively fun and breezy novel that gracefully delineates the difference between dreaming about a relationship and actually having one. . . . The story moves along effortlessly. This is a book you don’t want to miss a word of. . . . A treat with a heroine who’s not easily forgotten." —Foreword Reviews
"It’s about the painful fizzy joy of a new crush, about the solidity and support we get from platonic friendships, about feeling lost when family dynamics change." —Leila Roy, feature for Kirkus Reviews
"Spalding is back with another bubbly and fun-loving protagonist, similar to the leading ladies in her Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) (2015) and The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) (2016). Abby finds herself having a summer full of surprises when she starts dating Jordi Perez, her fellow intern at the summer job of her dreams, and helping her new friend Jax rate a bunch of burger joints in L.A. for his father’s soon-to-launch app. A plus-size fashion blogger, Abby proclaims to everyone that she is comfortable with her body, but doesn’t like to look at pictures of herself or post them online. As Jordi turns the camera on her, Abby slowly begins the journey to complete self-love that will lay the foundation for a deeper romantic love. Abby will connect with readers who appreciate the realistic and natural love story between the two girls, and with anyone who’s ever struggled to feel comfortable in his or her own skin." —Booklist
"Full of fast-paced writing and just the right amount of romance, this is a happy read that will have you rooting for Abby as she comes to terms with what she wants and how best to get it. Plus, the wonderful queer fat girl rep will leave you with a big smile on your face and an urge to read more just like it." —The Mary Sue
"The plot is as sweet as bubblegum, and probably the lightest, most enjoyable read you’ll have all summer. Don’t let the bright colors and stellar shopping fool you, this book carries themes like body positivity, following your dreams, and maintaining friendships too." —After Ellen.com
"Abby’s rambling voice is honest, charming, and absorbing. In a story about staying true to one’s passions, Spalding (The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)) presents an interesting look at first love, social media, and private and public personas." —Publisher's Weekly
"Seventeen-year-old Abby Ives is also working after graduation, interning at a hip clothing boutique. Abby claims that she’s doomed to be 'the sassy best friend,' but readers will quickly see her star power. She’s bubbles on steroids dipped in Pop Rocks, perpetually chatty, dressed in candy colours and daydreaming. Amy Spalding’s The Summer of Jordi Perez bursts with love: for clothes, for burgers (Abby goes on a 'best burger' hunt with a new jock friend) and for Abby’s female colleague, Jordi. Abby loves her body too and is comfortable describing herself as fat, with the essential qualification, 'Being fat isn’t bad. Acting like fat’s an insult is, though.'" —Globe and Mail