Beat the Backlist Review | Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex ApproximatelyAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Young Adult Contemporary

Simon Pulse | April 4, 2017

About the Book: 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.

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For a book I randomly picked up at Target, that was amazing!  I was afraid all those glowing reviews were going to be a fluke, but Alex, Approximately was as good as everyone is saying.  I was hooked from chapter one and so addicted to the story it was creeping into my dreams at night.  Those are my favorite books.  I want the story to wreck havoc on my sleep!

The cool thing about reading Alex, Approximately was how I started off not liking either main character.  I think Bailey’s mindset was too much like my own, basically all the things that annoy me about myself, so it was hard to like her.  Then Porter was such a douche canoe in his first few scenes.  I’m not a fan of those who think it’s funny to embarrass people.  (It probably made me extra annoyed because Bailey did remind me of myself, and I could easily imagine all the face burning shame she felt.)  Of course, my initial dislike made their slow reconciliation so much better!  Despite my early reservations, I found myself falling for Porter right along with Bailey.  And Bailey, well I also recognized in her the same strength I’ve found in myself, the strength to pull out of a negative learned behaviors.  She grew on me quickly.

One could argue that the plot of the story was a little much, with both Bailey and Porter’s back stories, and then throwing Davy into the mix.  I think I could have been one of those arguing it, except the romance was so flipping fantastic I just didn’t care about anything else.  I loved every one of Porter and Bailey’s interactions, and I loved how Bailey’s internal dialogue was so realistic.  At nearly 18 years old, she made jokes to herself about lust and sex, deciding when the time would be right for herself, and through the whole thing she was just super funny.  It’s a good thing too, because Porter was incredibly witty.  She needed to be able to keep up, if we were gonna believe them together.

I was looking for a YA You’ve Got Mail and I think I mostly got it.  It had the same level of anticipation, but still light, sweet, and fluffy.  It made me happy, like only YA Contemporary Romance can.

I am so glad Alex, Approximately jumped off the store shelf and into my life.


Rating:4_5 feather

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

19 Responses

  1. Great review! I love a good hate to love romance, and this was JUST that. The romance gave me shivers, it was so good! And I also really related to Bailey at first, which was good because I was engaged right away. Porter quickly jumped to one of my top fictional boyfriends, which is a tough feat.


  2. I don’t read a ton of contemporary books, but this sounds really interesting based on your review, and I’ve seen other people enjoy it as well. I might have to consider it!


  3. I loved this one too! I read it entirely in the bookstore 😂😂😂 because I didn’t like the cover so I didn’t want to buy it but those movie lines in the beginning of each chapter kept me on the hook!


  4. Sometimes, this is JUST the book you need! I know how challenging it can be to find yourself represented in a protagonist so closely that it is almost offensive, but this book still sounds like a lovely escape from the world! Did you know what to expect when you picked it up? Or did you only read other reviews after?


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