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.
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Simon Pulse
Four stars: An adorable, feel good romance with heart and realism.
Bailey is going to try hard not to be the Artful Dodge anymore. She is getting a fresh start, as she's moving to California to live with her dad. California, just so happens to be where her online friend and fellow classic movie lover, Alex lives, whom Bailey might just have a crush on. Bailey and Alex have been guarded online, not sharing too much personal info, so that makes it easy for Bailey to move to California without telling him. Besides, she has the perfect plan. Alex has given her clues as to where he works, so Bailey can spend the summer searching for him and scope him out before meeting in real life. As she searches for Alex, Bailey begins her summer job where she meets Porter Roth, who soon becomes her arch-nemesis. Before long, Porter and Bailey become friends, and Alex is forgotten. Will Bailey find love with her online friend or her frenemy, Porter?
What I Liked:
- Alex Approximately was a breath of fresh air in the YA contemporary genre. I have practically given up on YA all together especially YA contemp, but after reading all the glowing reviews for this one, I had to try it, and I am glad I did. This is a fun, flirty romance with realism, heart, friendship, family and overcoming the obstacles of the past. It is the perfect, flirty read you need for summer reading.
- Bailey is an excellent main character because she is flawed and real. Bailey is still struggling with a traumatic incident that occurred when she was younger, which turned her into the Artful Dodger. As Bailey starts her new life, she makes a new start, finds new friends and love. It was wonderful watching her come out of her shell and learn to be honest and open with others, even though it was so hard for her. Bailey is an easy character to like, and I loved watching her transform.
- Porter easily steals the show. He is adorable, sure to make young hearts pitter patter. He made me laugh with his silly quizzes and his jokes. He is kind, sweet and so patient. I also liked watching him overcome his own hurdles, and I liked that he didn't let his scars define him.
- The romance is all kinds of adorable. It starts out antagonistic as Bailey can't stand Porter, but then things change. I am a huge sucker for the antagonistic romance, and this one was delightful to watch unfold. What made it even better was knowing that there was another level to it, and I couldn't wait for that portion to be exposed. I am a huge fan of You've Got Mail, and I loved that vibe in this story. I also appreciated how sex positive the relationship was. It was so much more than lust and sex. It was about being open and honest and trusting one another!
- I loved the strong focus on family. Both Bailey and Porter have great relationships with their family. I especially loved Bailey's dad. He was quirky and funny, but he got Bailey. Porter's family was wonderful too. I especially loved his mom.
- There are also some great friendships. I loved Grace, Bailey's sidekick, and I liked the relationship Porter and Bailey form with Pangborn, the old man they work with.
- I loved the California setting. Ms. Bennett does an excellent job of bringing the reader to the sun soaked, foggy California beaches in summer teeming with tourists, churros and sunshine.
- The ending is sweet and perfect. It will make you smile. Loved it! My only complaint is that I wanted it not to end.
And The Not So Much:
- I struggled a bit with how long it took for the two of them to catch on to what was going on. I thought Bailey would clue in way sooner than she did, especially when Alex acts the way he did when he learns her nickname. It got a bit contrived at that point, but that was easy to overlook.
- I was bothered by the whole relationship with Bailey and her mother. I wished that that it had been explored further, especially when Bailey's dad clues her in.
- I really liked Grace, and I wish that she had a bigger role. I was curious to know way more about her boyfriend and their relationship.
- I could have done without the whole story line involving Davey. It really didn't add to the story.
Alex Approximately is the perfect summer romance. This book has a terrific setting, an adorable romance, fun characters and lots of heart. If you are a fan of You've Got Mail, this is a must read. I highly recommend grabbing this one and spending an afternoon in the sun while reading this.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.