BOOK REVIEW: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

BOOK REVIEW: Alex, Approximately by Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
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Synopsis:

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.

 

*New Mommy Review #2*

Maybe Walt Whitman was right. We all really do contradict ourselves and contain multitudes. How do we even figure out who we really are?

I’m not going to lie-I’d much rather be writing about a book I’ve read closer to this moment, but if I don’t go back and write reviews for all the books I’ve read-and loved-in the past few months, it will make me CRAZY (Well, crazier than usual…). Alex, Approximately was one of those books that you read quickly-but not like your typical YA contemp-you don’t just read it and cut through it and, once finished, never look back. No, this book was one of those that you devour, inhale every word….and just, I don’t know, exhale slowly in a contented breath. It’s a book that not only makes you giddy and happy, but makes warmth radiate from the inside out. It fills your heart with something akin to true love-believable true love-and you can’t quite let it go.

“Bailey, I spend most of my days looking at you through that tiny square screen up there. I’m just grateful to be in the same room. And the fact that you’ll even let me touch you at all is the freaking miracle of the century. So whatever you want or don’t want from me, all you have to do is ask. Okay?”

Now, I’m not a moron. The chances of this book happening in real life are nill and none-I just meant that the progression of the romance not only felt natural, but light-hearted and full of something I’m not sure I feel very often anymore when I read. And, fun as this book was, it was heavy in all the right places.

But despite all that . . . look what he did. Look what he did. For me? And he’s sitting here, in pain, falling apart, and all he’s worried about is that I’m sorry I gave him my number and don’t want to go out on a date with him?

In true YA fashion, though, it wasn’t without it’s pitfalls. Let’s be honest here: Not many girls would miss the obvious signs that Porter Roth was, in fact, online Alex. It was clear as day. And I did think that if there was a problem with this book, it’d be Mink. She was a tad naive for my tastes…but I never felt full-on annoyance, which seems to be a recurring theme lately on all the books I choose to pick up. With what little time I have to read, I’m sure not as forgiving as I used to be.

A couple of yards before we hit the ground, he speaks up in a voice so quiet, I can barely hear him. “What I said the other day about you having champagne tastes?” He pauses for a moment. Mr. Reyes is smiling, waiting to unhitch our bar. “I just wanted you to know that I like the way you dress. I like your style. . . . I think it’s sexy as hell.”

And Porter-I just loved him so so much. Sweet, funny, a tad asshole-ish….but absolutely loyal to the core. He gets his heart broken. He would do anything for Mink. He even has the sweetest apology scene. And, ya know, he can be a tad alpha-male which, hey, I love me a good ‘defending my lady’ scene -*whispers* There were 3 (holds up the non-existent but ever useful three finger emoji). PLUS, he is a tad wittier than our dear main character-I’ll say that much…though, he got a little clearer sign, I’ll admit.

He kisses my forehead. “Know what I’m scared of?”
“What?”
“That I like you way too much, and I’m afraid once you get to know me, you’re going to realize that you can do lots better, and you’re going to break my heart and leave me for someone classier.”

And I seem to be LOVING this type of book right now (is it a trope? I don’t want to toss that word around unnecessarily)-the one where people meet online or in letters (Punk 57, Letters to the Lost, Eliza and Her Monsters, and others I’m forgetting like a moron) and then meet in person, hit it off, and don’t realize they are the same person. I can’t help it-I’m a hopeless romantic and these seem to be hitting all the right buttons for me this year. Note: 2017, the year of the YA Romance cyber stalkers. See: Chelsea totally buying into this melodrama-and LOVING IT.

If we’re meant to be, and he’s the person I imagine him to be, then things will all work out fine. He’ll be wonderful, and by the end of the summer, we’ll be crazy in love, watching North by Northwest at the film festival on the beach, and I’ll have my hands all over him. Which is what I spend a lot of my free time imagining myself doing to his virtual body, the lucky boy.

And, frankly, I liked Bailey’s voice. She was funny, sarcastic, and I found that I related to her quite a bit when it came to her sarcasm. She was snarky and quick-witted. Whadya guna do? 😛

…”Like a horse, you know?” He holds his hands up on either side of his eyes. “You plow ahead, and you make a lot of progress that other people wouldn’t make, but you can’t see what’s happening on either side of the road. You have blind spots. You ignore things that are right next to you. Your mom did that all the time.”

I had so much to say about this book when I first finished-I had a whole review plotted out in my head, I was so anxious to let my thoughts be heard. But, as it is…TIME. TIME TIME TIME. But, and maybe this is a tad cliche, I think it truly says something when I read a book, have no time to write a review, and STILL come back a month (or more) later and attempt to post one. Obviously this book meant something to me, and obviously it was worth coming back for. Maybe that says the most of all.

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3 Comments

  1. I loved this one too. Their banter was so fun to read. I wish there was a playlist for this one.

  2. I loved this book! It was so much fun to read especially the hate to love romance between Bailey and Porter. I also enjoyed the online friendship between Mink and Alex. They’re pretty adorable characters.
    Raven recently posted…The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue By Mackenzi Lee [Review]My Profile

  3. I really want to read this book. I agree that this theme has been a trend lately—another one that fits the bill is Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss.My Profile

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