Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Review: Alex Approximately

About the Book

Published by Simon Pulse on April 4, 2017

GoodReads Description

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 a 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.

My Thoughts

Alex, Approximately is another one of those student suggested books.  Again, by a tenth grader (I'm glad they're reading, but I wish my other classes would suggest books!)  This time, though, I told the girl she was nuts.  There was no way I would like this book.  Nevertheless, she persisted.

So, I took it home.  I cuddled up under the heaviest blankets I could find in my apartment and read the first two chapters.  I fell asleep before the second one was done.  The next day, I brought the book back to school and promptly handed it back to my student.  Again, I insisted that she was wrong and that this just wasn't the right type of book for me. Again, she persisted.  "No, Ms. J! Seriously!  You have to give it like six more chapters!  You have to try more.  It was so bad in the beginning for me too but it gets soooooooooooooo much better!"

How the heck do you say no to a high school student with bright eyes begging you to finish a book, no matter how much you hated the first two chapters.  Well, I couldn't.  Maybe there's just a better person for the job?

Anyway, the moral of this story is to listen to your students.  Apparently, mine know me better than I think they do.

Despite its slow beginning, Alex, Approximately was a rather delightful read.  Once the story really gets rolling, it's difficult to put it down for even a moment!  Bennett makes her audience want to read and read and read and read some more!

Bennett introduces her audience to a remarkably dull world in which a plethora of exciting things happen.  I love that she chooses to include a variety of museums in her writing!  Not only does this idea bring a new perspective to "dry" and "boring" museums, it introduces the kids to some other places that they may like to explore! I love that Bennett is able to confront kids with this new idea in such a fun book!

Bennett also has a remarkable talent for truly bringing her characters to life.  She is unafraid of showing both men and women at their best and worst.  She shows them when they're terrified, when they're in love, and when they are laughing and happy with friends.  My favorite character was definitely Porter.  He was such a gentleman and the way that he cares so much about Bailey really touched my heart.

However, the end of this novel was rather hastily wrapped up.  I believe that Bennett had the opportunity to do so much more with this book and she let it fall to the wayside. 

Overall, this was a very cute book.  I definitely recommend it to fans of Stephanie Meyer or Gayle Forman.

My Rating

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