A YA Book I Loved *shocked*: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

A YA Book I Loved *shocked*: Alex, Approximately by Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately
by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Published by Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 391
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

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.

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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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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...
  • I just got this one last week and am pumped for it. I loved The Anatomical Shape of a Heart last year too.Glad things aren’t dumbed down in it. Great review!!

  • kindlemom1

    So many are raving about this one right now and I never would have guessed. I might have to take a second look at this one.

  • So happy you loved this one Nereyda! I’m thinking I can’t go wrong with Jenn Bennett’s books because every one that I’ve read has been a total hit! 😀 Plus, yay to all the sex-positive YA. *dances*

    – Aila @ One Way Or An Author

  • I’ve been in the same boat, YA books just aren’t calling to me lately. But I am so glad you loved this. I think I have to give it a try!

  • I have been avoiding YA contemp for awhile, but this one worked for me. I loved that is simple and sweet and yet it dealt with real issues without too much drama.

  • Eva

    Great review Nereyda! I didn’t love this one as much as you but I did love the setting and Bailey as a character! Porter needed a bit of work on double standards but definitely such a cute book and great YA contemp!

  • Yayyy so happy to hear that you really loved this one, especially after so many other YA books have been disappointing you lately. I have this one on my TBR/Wishlist and I’ve read so many great reviews for it. Great review!

  • I feel ya, I had an off again on again relationship with YA contemporary also. Mainly because of several issues. This one seems to be a hit with people who struggle with YA contemporary so I am excited to give it a shot

  • I’m so happy you liked this! I’ve seen this everywhere lately and it sounds amazing. I’ve really been in the mood for a good contemporary so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Great review!

  • Woohoo!!! I know you’ve struggled with Contemporary YA, so I’m thrilled you found one you loved. I enjoyed this one too! It was really cute and I liked that she didn’t sanitize the sexy times. Thanks for recommending it to me!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hi, Nereyda! It’s good to read
    your review again. You know the more books I read the more I convinced I get
    that the idea of the book is not as important as its realization. It takes truly
    talented author to take the same old premise and write a truly amazing book. I’m
    glad to hear you loved this story so much, I had it on my tbr-list. Hopefully I’ll
    love it too.

  • I’m so excited to read this book! I was hoping to read it this month, but I didn’t get to it. Hopefully soon! I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and it sounds like my kind of book. Great review!

  • Nereyda, you’re just another in a long list of people I’ve seen talking about their love for this book and I’m glad because I am so nervous about buying. Annoyingly, I can’t seem to find a copy anywhere for me to order that will send out straight away. They’re all on order which is annoying but I will definitely be buying this one in time for summer. Jenn Bennett seems to be skilled at writing books which are really good but she doesn’t try and do too much. She writes books which feel real with characters who feel genuine and just makes you believe the entire story. I loved her other contemporary YA so I have high hopes for this one. I’m glad to see I won’t be disappointed.

    As for recs… it’s hard because I had fallen out of love with YA but we’re slowly making friends again. I really enjoyed The Upside of Unrequited recently so maybe give that a try?