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Alex, Approximately
     

Alex, Approximately

by Jenn Bennett
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/13/2017
A year after her mother divorces to marry a lawyer, Bailey Rydell decides to leave Washington, D.C., to live with her father in California. One of her primary motives for going is to track down Alex, a boy she met online but has never seen in person. Like Bailey, Alex loves old films and, coincidentally enough, he lives in her father’s neighborhood. But after Bailey settles in and starts a job at a quirky local museum, her mission to find her “film-buff soul mate” is sidelined as she becomes absorbed in a love-hate relationship with Porter, her arrogant, surfer coworker. As might be expected, Bailey’s and Porter’s fiery retorts soon kindle passion, and the two start dating despite Bailey’s guilt about keeping him a secret from her online pal. In what’s essentially a YA version of You’ve Got Mail, Bennett’s (The Anatomical Shape of a Heart) contemporary romance offers sympathetic characters and plenty of drama. Although the climax is forced and predictable, the protagonists’ backstories shed light on their respective anxieties, adding depth to their conflicts. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
02/01/2017
Gr 9 Up—Bennett's updated homage to You've Got Mail starts with two teens bonding online over their love of classic films. But will they be simpatico in real life? Bailey Rydell, aka "Mink," is a self-described "habitual evader" and an "artful dodger" who lives far away from her online friend "Alex." When Bailey moves across the country to the California town where Alex lives, she worries that "meeting real-life Alex could be great, but it could be one big awkward disappointment." Nonetheless, she begins a methodical search for her friend in the small town of Coronado Cove, but little does she know, a curveball is coming her way. Bennett has skillfully created a modern teen romance with a retro-cool vibe. Nods to Roman Holiday, North by Northwest, and other films appear throughout the novel, and quotes from iconic classic movies frame each chapter. The contrast of a sexy surfer love interest with Bailey's Lana Turner—inspired persona effectively creates tension. Adrenaline-fueled chase scenes, misunderstandings, complicated tragic backstories, and missed opportunities drive the narrative forward. Bennett's charming protagonist is equal parts introverted fashionista and vulnerable yet resilient heroine. There are a few mature references to sex, drugs, and drinking. Steamy romantic scenes capture the anticipation of young love and are carefully crafted to build to the inevitable and satisfying conclusion. VERDICT This contemporary romance is recommended for film buffs who appreciate witty repartee and a touch of the nostalgic. A strong addition to romance collections.—Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Glencoe Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781481478779
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
04/04/2017
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
415,289
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Jenn Bennett is an artist and RITA-nominated author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series and the Roaring Twenties romance series, including Bitter Spirits, which was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014 and winner of RT Reviewers’ Choice Paranormal Romance Book of the Year, and Grave Phantoms—which was awarded RT’s May Seal of Excellence for 2015. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, (a.k.a. Night Owls in the UK) is her first YA contemporary romance. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs.