Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Published: April 4, 2017 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Period: November 30 – December 8, 2017
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5)
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.
About the Author:
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of young adult contemporary romance books, including: Alex, Approximately; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart; and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults (the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell series). Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, garnered two Reviewers’ Choice awards and a Seal of Excellence from RT Book Reviews, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs.
Alex, Approximately is one the books that have been in my TBR for so long. A friend keep on telling me to read it because she likes the book so much that I should read it as soon as possible. I decided to read it taking the chance that maybe this book is the one I need.
Bailey Rydell, habitual evader as she claimed, flies to California to live with her father. She evades to block stressors because that is her coping mechanism for panic attacks. She was traumatized because of some guy who harassed her family (a previous client of her mother). Bailey’s an old movie geek and actively chats with “alex” online and username is “mink”.
Porter Roth, a security guard at the Cave (a museum) where Bailey also works. He’s a surfer, and his family is known in their town because of his legendary grandfather. I like the imperfection of Porter here.
The story is in Bailey’s POV. I like the chat between “alex” and “mink” in almost every chapter. Those convo actually confuses me and made me think twice about who “alex” really is. I get frustrated how oblivious Bailey is. All the signs are there. All hints are there. Alex is in front of her. But her eyes were closed and doesn’t have any idea. Well, thankfully her father became her light and help her figure things out. By the way, I like how her father supports Bailey’s in searching “alex” in town.
The twists are not very surprising between Porter and Bailey but I always cringed when Davy’s involved because of his spontaneity. He is Porter’s childhood friend, who lives in the same town and a surfer. He is a messed up kid. Another is Patrick, whose became friends with Bailey. Although he was mentioned maybe three to five times, his interaction with Bailey and revelations shookt me. Pangborn grew in my heart, and I couldn’t accept the fact of what happened to him. Oh yes, another twist that shookt me.
My only issue in this book is that Bailey has been traumatized by an event before her parents divorced involving her mother’s client and Bailey “easily” recovered from that trauma. When I say “easily” after she moved to California to live with her father, her panic attacks and any other stressors to trigger her doesn’t exist anymore. She sounds perfectly normal to me and what happened to her is just part of her memory that it aches when she remembers it but doesn’t trigger her trauma, if she really has trauma. The ending is not appealing anymore to me because it’s expected. However, I like how it was written and it’s in good pace.
On the other hand, it always makes me happy to read a Filipino character or to mention Filipino or Philippines even though it’s just a small part.
Alex, Approximately is quite cute, entertaining, exciting and easy to read. It’s recommendable if you like reading adorable contemporary story.
“@alex: Do you ever feel like a fraud?
@mink: What do you mean?
@alex: Like you’re expected to act like one person at school, and another person in front of your family, and someone else around your friends. I get so tired of living up to other people’s expectations, and sometimes I try to remember who the real me is, and I don’t even know.
@mink: That happens to me every day. I don’t deal with people very well.”
“Sometimes you have to endure painful things to realize that you’re a whole lot stronger than you think.”
“I might be an evader, but I suppose I’m no quitter.”
“Your dreams may be closer to reality than you can possibly imagine. . . .”
“Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m aloof.”
“the second day of something is always better than the first because you know what to expect.”
“Change the subject as many times as you need in order to avoid uncomfortable conversation.”
“Take a chance. Do something crazy.”
“If life suddenly gives you a choice to say yes to a new experience, you should accept.”
“misfortune either breaks people apart or brings them closer.”
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat, because you didn’t deserve what he did to you. I will be your revenge.”—SO SWEET!!! I LOVE PORTER HERE!!!
“Don’t be too tenacious. Sometimes you’ve got to stop and look around.”
“The whole goal of parenting is for you to become an independent young woman and come up with your own answers. Not for me to provide them for you.”
“We all know one another on the inside. It’s what’s on the outside that distracts. Our clothes, our words, our actions. Shark attacks. Gunshots. We spend our lives trying to find other people. Sometimes we get confused and turned around by the distractions.”