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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.
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Once upon a time, I used to love contemporary YA. I couldn’t get enough of it, the books were the equivalent of cheesecake brownies to me to me and I would practically inhale them. I’m not sure if it’s me or the books (I choose to believe it’s the latter) but in the past year, I’ve struggled so much with contemporary YA. To the point where not only not much interests me, but if a book does interest me, I dread reading it because I don’t want yet another tally in my ‘mediocre YA’ list. In fact, I hadn’t read a contemp YA book in so long but I knew that I had to break that streak with Alex, Approximately. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart was one of my favorite books of 2016 and one of my favorite YA books overall. I loved that book. The bar was set high, as were my expectations. Any worry that I wouldn’t love this faded within a few pages and I instantly found myself immersed in the story and the characters.
The premise of this book is simple and I’ve read quite a few books with this same storyline. The fact that the author was still able to make me love this and make it stand out from all the rest is just proof that books don’t need all these crazy plot twists and shok factors (I’m looking at you NA). Hate to love and slow burn romance has never been this good!
Another reason I loved this so much is because I didn’t feel like it was ‘dumbed down’ for YA. It dealt with realistic and even sometimes uncomfortable subjects like first love, parent’s divorce, new friendships, asshole guys and even sex. Give me a book that represents sex in a healthy and realistic way and I am all over it, especially in YA because teens need it. I absolutely loved the slow romance between Bailey and Porter but this was so much more than a cute romance. I love Bailey’s relationship with her dad, her friendships, her growth and Bailey and Porter’s personalities in general. This book reminded me of all the reasons I loved YA and gave me hope that YA contemporary isn’t dead. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a YA book (other than rereads). If you feel like you’ve outgrown YA or that YA isn’t what it used to, do yourself a favor and read this book right away! If you know of any other books like this with that old school YA contemporary feel, please let me know in the comments!
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