Sunday, 16 July 2017

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

This is a spoiler free review.





Alex, Approximately
Written by Jenn Bennett
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Pages: 388
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as 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 archnemesis. 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.


Review:

I have heard nothing but positive things about this book and I finally found it sitting in my library and I picked it up really quickly. It had such a cute concept and I adored the movie references because I love movies and I recognized a ton of the ones that were referenced in this book. One thing I absolutely loved was the fact that there were movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

Also, this is basically a YA retelling of You've Got Mail which is set in California and includes surfers, food, fog, museums and movie references. I was so pleased with this book. It has just become a new favorite.

COVER

I love the cover even if it doesn't really represent the book too well. What they should have is something to do with movies but I think it still captures the summer vibe quite well.


WORLD-BUILDING

It's set in our world in modern day so there really isn't much world-building.

Then there are the characters.

BAILEY

I really loved Bailey. When Bailey was younger she experienced something that left her guarded and struggling with trust issues. She is wary to trust anyone outside of her family and she sometimes even is wary towards her own family members. Bailey starts acting like the 'Artful dodger' because she wishes to keep to the shadows and out of people's lives. Bailey really grows as both a person and a character throughout the novel. I really liked Bailey's sense of style as she tended to dress like a retro film star and she modeled her hair after Lana Turner. Throughout the book, Bailey learns to conquer her fears with help from her dad and Porter. Bailey was a very realistic character that I feel like girls can relate to.

PORTER
Porter is half white and half Polynesian and he is such a sweetheart though he doesn't start out that way. At first he seems annoying because of the way he treats Bailey but he ends up being kind and sweet. Porter also had an experience when he was younger shape who he is today and as Bailey uncovers it, he is able to move past it and not let it stop him from doing what he wants to do. I loved his devotion to his family, his cocky but charming and sweet attitude and his love of surfing. I really liked how Jenn Bennett makes Porter have his own story and we get to see more of him rather than having him just be there as a love interest.

FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

While friendship and family is not the main focus of this book, it is still very prominant within the pages. At the very beginning of the book, Bailey is moving to be with her dad on the West Coast and we see a lot of her spending time with her dad which is great. He is such a good example of a single parent who is doing the best job of raising a teenage girl. He also has a girlfriend in the book and she spends a lot of time with them and I was happy to see them all get along well. We also get to see Porter interact with his family and Bailey gets to meet them which is very nice.

Friendship is also something that is strongly addressed. Because Bailey is very reserved at the beginning, she doesn't really want to make that many friends but she does end up making one and their friendship is very important.

PLOT

As I mentioned before, it is a retelling of You've Got Mail or The Shop Around the Corner. I have seen the latter of those two movies so I know where this is coming from and I have to say that it was done so well. If you don't know what I am talking about, then here is a brief summary. Bailey is messaging a film geek like herself on the internet. She discovers that he lives in the same West Coast town as her dad and they wish to meet up. The thing is, Bailey moves out there to be with her dad but she never tells Alex [the guy she is messaging] that she is coming out there so he has no idea. All the scenes had a point in the book and there wasn't anything that felt unnecessary. It's a wonderful YA story and I adored it immensely.
ROMANCE

The romance in this wasn't cringy or unrealistic like some YA books have. I thought the romance between Porter and Bailey was really well done. It had a little bit of hate-to-love feel at the beginning but he slowly broke down her defenses and soon she couldn't resist his charms. There were some great swoony moments but I loved the scenes when the two were talking and connecting. Those were so nice and refreshing for a YA romance. Their chemistry felt real as well and it was nice.

WRITING


The writing was really nice for a YA romance. I really enjoyed reading it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I highly recommend this book as it is semi diverse and it has everything that a cute contemporary needs. The characters are complex and the storyline is very unique. This book also showcases a healthy YA romance and healthy relationships between family members and friends. It is really good!

Quotes from the Book:

I am Mink. Hear me roar.” 

“We all really do contradict ourselves and contain multitudes. How do we even figure out who we really are?” 





My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

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