ALEX, APPROXIMATELY by Jenn Bennett
Kirkus Star

ALEX, APPROXIMATELY

Age Range: 14 - 18
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A movie-obsessed teen moves to her dad’s beach town and unexpectedly falls for an edgy surfer rather than the “film-buff soul mate” she was expecting to meet.

The summer before senior year, 17-year-old Bailey Rydell moves from D.C. to her father’s small beach town on the Central California coast. The one perk of moving is that “Alex,” her favorite chat-mate on a classic-film fan forum, lives there too, and she plans to surprise him—not that they know one another’s real names (she goes by “Mink” online). Her first day working at a mansion-cum-museum, introverted Bailey, a white girl who sports platinum-blonde Lana Turner pin curls, meets Porter Roth, a “ridiculously good-looking” but cocky 18-year-old security guard from a legendary local surfing family. Porter, who’s Hapa (half Polynesian/Chinese, half white), has a unique way of exasperating Bailey. As she futilely attempts to find Alex via chat-transcript clues, readers will figure out his identity long before she does. There’s definitely a The Shop Around the Corner buildup to the romantic chemistry, but in addition to their charming banter and online-quiz exchanges, Bailey and Porter also tackle substantive issues such as anxiety, PTSD, drug abuse, cheating, and sexual experience. Bennett creates an authentically multicultural ensemble, from Bailey’s Nigerian-by-way-of-London new bestie, Grace, to her dad’s Mexican-American girlfriend and Porter’s references to Hawaiian cultural beliefs.

An irresistible tribute to classic screwball-comedy romances that captures the “delicious whirling, twirling, buzzing” of falling in love. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4814-7877-9
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2017




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
ChildrenIF BIRDS FLY BACK by Carlie Sorosiak
by Carlie Sorosiak
ChildrenTELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum
by Julie Buxbaum
ChildrenTHE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART by Jenn Bennett
by Jenn Bennett