The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

6 CDs. Forever Young: Blackstone Audio. Apr. 2018. 6:30 hrs. ISBN 9781982501235. $34.95. digital download. F
Without glossing over more difficult subjects—fat shaming, homophobia, parental (non)acceptance, matters of consent—Spalding's (The New Guy [and Other Senior Distractions]) latest is a charming contemporary love story, complete with blogs, social media, rating apps, and more. For the summer before senior year, pink-haired, vivacious 17-year-old Abby gets her dream internship working at Lemonberry, that rare clothing boutique that caters to all sizes. She's co-interning with Jordi, a photographer who's got a bit of a "fiery" reputation. Their styles couldn't be more different, but then opposites do attract. Since a teen can't survive on love alone, Abby's also busy sampling L.A.'s best burgers with new friend-by-extension Jax, who's Abby's best friend's boyfriend's best friend (got that?). The toothsome tastings—research for Jax's father's developing food app—become a welcome reprieve from Abby's food-famous mother's "Eat Healthy with Norah!" menus at home. Cassandra Morris's youthfully emotive, excitably involved narration transforms what could have been on-the-page clunkers (Spalding's occasionally overreactive dialog and sometimes meandering plotting) into effervescent fun.
VERDICT With audio as the improved option, libraries will want to provide easy access.
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