Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover, 391 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
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 a 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.
Alex, Approximately was of the “grin until your cheeks hurt” variety of books. And boy, did I ever love it. Books like this one remind me of why, even as I near 40 years old, I’m still compelled to pick up YA every now and then. This was an absolutely delightful book that I read from cover to cover in one sitting. With, you know, short food or bathroom breaks as needed, which was about as long as I could bear to be away from it. Alex, Approximately has been on my TBR for ages now and, as is often the case, I’m totally kicking myself for just now picking it up.
I’m not even gonna lie, I basically fell in love with Bailey from the first chapter. I felt like I totally “got” her, especially understanding her need to “evade” uncomfortable situations. Which was totally understandable after we find out what she went through when she was younger. I adored her quest to find “Alex,” the guy she had been chatting with online for ages now, who just happened to live in the same town as her dad. (It’s not as stalker-ly as it sounds, promise. It really was sweet and it’s not like he’s the ONLY reason she chose to move in with her dad.) Hello, kismet.
Naturally things got complicated from there. Partially because she couldn’t seem to find “Alex,” and she never admitted to him she had, in fact, moved to California. Then there was her sexy, if jerkish at times, coworker Porter, who she had a total love/hate relationship with. As she finds out more about him, and spends more time with him, she realizes there’s a whole lot more to him than what he shows the world… and maybe she isn’t so intent on finding “Alex” any longer.
Bailey and Porter were everything, even before they were really anything to each other. I was totally charmed by their interactions, particularly enjoying the banter. I’m not lying when I say I read most of the book with a giant grin on my face. It was so perfectly YA contemporary, I couldn’t help but swoon all over the place. It wasn’t all rosy perfection as both of these characters had been through some heavy stuff in their past, and of course, they’re both lying to each other in a way, but it all worked so well.
I loved every little thing about this book. It was charming and sweet and funny, with plenty of feels of the good variety. Not only was the romance A+, Bailey’s transition from evader to lion was wonderful. I was so proud of her my heart felt like it might burst. She was taking chances and putting herself out there and I loved it. The coming of age tale was as special as the romance. If you ask me, Alex, Approximately was the total package.
That’s the thing about being an evader. You have to be flexible and know when to bail before it all gets weird. Better for everyone, really. I’m a giver.
“Sometimes you have to endure painful things to realize that you’re a whole lot stronger than you think.”
I swear, every time I have any interaction whatsoever with Porter Roth, something always goes screwy. He’s an electrical outlet, and I’m the stupid toddler, always trying to poke around and stick my finger inside.
“You always go around sticking your hands down boys’ clothes?”
“When they’re full of baked goods.”
Once you’ve had an amazing kiss, can you do if you don’t get another one? Because I feel like that’s what’s happening to me.
But the thing he doesn’t know, the thing that shocks even me, is that I’m not the gentle guardian spirit; I’m the hungry shark. And I fear his arm won’t be enough. I want all of him.
I am Mink. Hear me roar.
Have you read any of Jenn’s books?