Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse on April 4, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 391 Format: Hardcover Source: Library
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.
Bailey Rydell’s moving across the country to live with her dad and the reality of meeting her online crush is now possible. Unfortunately her fears and a new slick co-worker, Porter Roth, stand in the way. Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately is actually so much more than a You’ve Got Mail retelling. It’s a heart felt, emotional ride of discovery and opening up!
Bailey’s got this old time, classic style and is kind of a loner but is passionate about film and history. Then there’s Porter who is the hot, sarcastic surfer with untold depths. With plenty of banter and a dynamic environment to interact in, these two were so freaking cute together. And honestly Porter has my heart for his particular brand of wooing. (Museum date, anyone?)
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. Bailey has to face her past and the tendencies that her trauma brought on. She’s closed off, preferring to observe from afar than to jump into a situation. Porter also has his fair share of difficulties, working two jobs, trying to please his parents, and dealing with friends who’ve lost their way. The author did an excellent job of balancing both character’s problems and allowing them to flow through the story.
I’d also like to shine a light on all the little quirks and eccentricities that really made this one pop. With the California atmosphere and beach front setting, I couldn’t help but crave a churro and dip my toes in the water. Plus the ridiculously cool museum setting with all it’s strange memorabilia was delightful. Not to mention all the old school film references that had me clamoring for a movie night.
Overall Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett was the perfect amount of serious and sweet. With protagonists that are easy to both love and hate and a ton of movie references, it would be hard not to like this one. Honestly I’d like a summer as exciting as Bailey and Porter’s was but I’ll have to make do with this wonderful tale. I definitely recommend this one and think it’s especially great as summer approaches.
So are you interested in Alex, Approximately? Are you a fan of old films? What does your perfect summer entail? Let me know in the comments below!