Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Friday, September 8, 2017

 Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: April 4th 2017

 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 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.



Oh man, I don't even know where to start with this one!  I loved it so much!  This is the first Jenn Bennett book I've gotten to read so far but I will definitely be adding more to my TBR list asap!  Because I am a ridiculous mess and I am having trouble forming coherent thoughts, I'm going to have to do this review in list form.

Things I loved about this one:

It's kind of a "You've Got Mail" retelling
I've mentioned this before, but just in case you are new around here:  I love romances that involve any form of messaging: hand written letters, texts, forums, emails, whatever!  I'm a sucker for it.

Great INVOLVED parents
In so many YA stories the parents are written as the bane of the MCs whole existence, or they don't seem to be around or mentioned at all.  Bailey's dad is very supportive, caring, and involved in her life.  He gets her a job to teach her to be responsible.  He is a bit awkward and unsure of how to handle things with her sometimes but I think that made him even more endearing.  Porter's family is close and also really involved with his life.

The Setting
The was the perfect read for summer.  I may have to pick this one back up in the middle of winter when I need to "escape" from the cold for a while.  It takes place in California and has everything you could hope for in a summer read: beaches, bonfires, and fun boardwalk food! (churros!!!)

It's a hate-to-love romance!
At the beginning of this one, Bailey and Porter are not big fans of each other at all.  It doesn't take too long for them to start being more civil towards each other and then it became more of a friends-to-lovers story.  Those are two of my favorite tropes!  That had really sweet and swoon-worthy moments together too.

Porter Roth
At first he kind of comes of as a bit of a jerk, but he quickly apologies and changes his behavior.  Once he and Bailey decide to give things a try he is so sweet and charming.  He goes out of his way to give her an amazing first date that he put a lot of thought into.  He slowly gets Bailey to stop running and open up more.  The scenes when they opened up to each other were some of my favorite moments. 

Consent & Sex positive
I was going to include this in the reasons why I love Porter Roth section but decided it needed it's own line.  Bailey and Porter sit down and talk about sex before they get intimate, and I was so happy to read something like that in a YA book.  Porter repeatedly states that they will only go as far as she is ready to go and she can stay stop at any time and he will, it doesn't matter when.  I LOVE that.  He was very patient and never pushed her into anything she didn't want. There was a lot of chemistry between them but the "intimate scenes" were not graphic or detailed.  Masturbation is also mentioned and not in a shaming kind of way, which I really appreciated.

The Banter
I LOVED the banter between the two of them.  They were always trying to get a rise out of each other, even after they were becoming friends.

Friendship
I really loved Grace and Bailey's friendship.  She was such a great secondary character.  She took Bailey under her wing as soon as they met, and she was really supportive and a great listener.  I loved that Bailey got called out for "dumping" her as soon as a boy entered the picture.  It was such a real moment and I thought it was handled really well.  I also liked that the author brought a "toxic" friendship into the picture, with Porter's ex-friend.  They grew up together but it was quickly obvious that he wasn't good for Porter and it was time for him to let go of him for good.


Okay, I think I've gushed about this one enough now. I can't honestly think of anything about this one that bothered me enough that I need to talk about it, so that's a good sign! haha  This is one that I can see myself wanting to read over and over again.  


Find It Here


17 comments:

  1. So excited you loved this since it is my next read. Sounds like it has all the elements that make an awesome read. Great review!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I was really nervous going into it because there was a lot of hype around it, but it was fun. Thanks, Grace!

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  2. Yay! I'm so happy you loved this one as much as I did. All those reasons you listed were my reasons for loving it too. I looooved Porter, and I absolutely loved how sex-positive the book was too. Too many YA books brush up on consent, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it here!
    You've got to read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart as well!
    Lovely review, Julie! :)

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    1. Porter was sooo amazing!! Definite book boyfriend material! And YES, to sex positive YA books. There need to be more of them out there!! I'm definitely going to be adding The Anatomical Shape of a Heart to my TBR. Thanks so much, Nick!

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  3. This is the second review I've seen today on this book and both positive! Then again, I have only heard good things about this book. I'm so glad you enjoyed it ^_^

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. Aww yayyy!! I was nervous about this one because I was seeing nothing but positive reviews for it and for some reason that always makes me leery. haha! I don't make any sense. Thanks, Brittany!

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  4. I STILL have to read this one--it looks so cute!

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    1. Ohhh you totally should! It was really cute. I enjoyed it a lot

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  5. Oh my word this sounds amazing. All those points you've mentioned made me go "YAAAAAASSS!!" as I was reading through the review ;) It just sounds terrific and so well done.

    Thanks for the review, Julie :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. hahaha yayy!! I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did when you get a chance to check it out. Thanks, Amy!

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  6. I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this one!! I loved it for many of the same reasons as you! It was especially nice to see that positive dad-daughter relationship. Like you said, it's a rare thing in YA. Great Review, Julie! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lauren! I can definitely see myself picking this one up over and over to reread. It was a lot of fun. I LOVED the father-daughter relationship.

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  7. AWWWW...This sounds so sweet!! <33 Yas for involved parents :) it's always nice to see good parent-child relationships :) Great review!!

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    1. It was really sweet! I'm so glad that everyone picked this one for me. The father/daughter relationship was one of my favorite things about this one. It's so rare in YA when you have great involved parents. Thanks Uma!

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  8. I looooove this book so much. I read it earlier this year and I just heard it on audio this weekend. I love how sex positive it is, I miss YA like this.

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    1. YESSS!! There need to be way more sex positive YA books out there. I think the talk of consent in this book was so important and it made me smile. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this one too. Thanks, Nereyda!

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  9. So glad to hear you liked this one. It was such a good read. I loved that it was a sex positive YA (which I expected because Bennett's other YA read was the same). I can't totally put into words why this book was so fantastic. It was totally amazing and there needs to be more books like this one.

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