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Review: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY

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Title: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an EXCERPT (on April 3rd)

Description…

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “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 arch-nemesis. 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.

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NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was pre-ordered for my collection.


The Review

ALEX, APPROXIMATELY is the perfect anytime read. It’s sweet and sad and romantic and hilarious. It introduces a main character who is delightful and witty and quirky and a little bit fierce. It is full of clever banter, palpable chemistry, and charming mishaps. It has moments that are intense, heartbreaking, daring. It is instantly captivating, positively adorable, and absolutely unputdownable. It is a love story that promises to be unforgettable.

Bailey Rydell doesn’t do direct. She isn’t called the Artful Dodger for nothing. So when she decides to move across the country to live with her dad in California, she can’t quite get around to telling Alex, her online friend-but-maybe-more.

It doesn’t matter that Alex lives in the same town as her dad. Or that he wants her to come out and meet him. She just isn’t willing to take that big of a risk on someone whose real name she isn’t even sure she knows.

But if she can find out who he is without him knowing about her, and he’s everything she thought he was and hoped he would be, then maybe she’ll be willing to take a chance and reveal her identity. She just needs to find him.

Which turns out to be not quite as easy as she thought it would be, given what she already knows about Alex. Although the very distracting, maddening, gorgeous, Porter Roth might be to blame for her lack of progress. And for her waning interest in finding Alex at all.

Jenn Bennett makes it so easy to fall in love with her novel. From the writing that immediately draws you into the story and keeps you engaged and invested throughout. To the characters you can’t help but adore. To the wildly entertaining interactions between Bailey and Porter. To the lighter moments that include a case of mistaken identity, a museum heist, an embarrassing family tradition, an unhealthy love affair with churros. To the serious moments that include heartache, the end of a friendship, family tragedies, loss. And to the notable film quotes at the beginning of each chapter that hint at what is to come.

ALEX, APPROXIMATELY is an enchanting and enduring story, told from Bailey’s point of view and through her messaging with Alex, that spans the course of a summer with just a glimpse beyond. It offers substance and depth coupled with romance and humor. It has an easy flow that will make the pages fly. It is an insanely good read that is a definite must.

The Rating


About Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of books for both adults (the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series and the Roaring Twenties romance series) and teens—including the young adult contemporary romances The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (aka Night Owls in the U.K.) and Alex, Approximately. 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 pugs.

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