Wednesday, March 29, 2017
review: alex, approximately by jenn bennett
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately. ~ Goodreads
Source: Borrowed (thank you Brooke!)
Alex, Approximately is a YA re-telling of You’ve Got Mail and I haven’t enjoyed a YA contemporary romance this much in a really long time. One that gives you all those YA fluttery, awkward, falling in love feels.
I love all of Jenn Bennett’s books, but I think she has a real knack for writing YA. Her stories, and characters, are always a bit different and quirky in all the best ways while maintaining an authentic (at least how I remember it as a teen) voice.
Bailey “Mink” Rydell and “Alex” have chatted online, using fake names, about movies for months now and Alex wants her to visit him in California so they can finally meet and go to all the classic movies they’ve emailed about. There has been some flirting but it’s mostly been an online friendship that helps them talk through a few issues they have going on in their lives and to be weirdo movie geeks together.
When Bailey moves to California to live with her father, who happens to live in Alex’s hometown, she decides to do some stealthy investigating based on their emails and find Alex first to make sure he’s the real deal and not some online creeper before she meets him in real life. But then beautiful, annoying surfer, Porter Roth stumbles into her path. And boy is he annoying at first. But hang in there people! He's worth it.
Alex, Approximately is filled with wonderful representations of healthy families, friendships and sex positive relationships.
The supporting cast of character leap off the page and tug at your heart. The California coastal setting, surfing, exploring museums and movie trivia add to the light, easy summer vibe.
There was a bit of drama with a friend of Porter’s that when it hits its peak – didn’t quite ring true - but that’s a small blip to an otherwise fantastic story.