Cuddling up with a beachy romance helps me forget the cold/windy/rainy weather outside. If you’re like me, desperate for warmth in literary form, give Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett a try!
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. I loved this book something fierce, so I could probably list a hundred reasons to read this book, but a lot of them would contain spoilers (frowny face). That’s why I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 reasons why you should read Alex, Approximately. Once you’ve gone through and realized this book is perfect for you, just click here so you can read an extended excerpt until April 17th! But if you need more convincing, ask for more in the comments. Also be sure to tell me your thoughts after reading!
1. All the romantic tropes—without compromising your feminist views
One of the reasons I avoid romance in YA is the expectation forced on the woman to change everything about herself to suit the man she’s interested in, without asking the same sacrifices of the love interest. (Looking at you, Stephanie Meyer!) Luckily, Riveted has helped me find healthy relationships in teen lit, and this book definitely has one of them. It takes on gender-based prejudices Bailey faces as a teen girl, and the romance in the story is built on mutual respect and communication.
2. Takes on the tough stuff with care
Shark attacks, drug abuse, stalking/attempted murder all gets covered in this book, and each of these things are treated with respect by the author, and the characters they affect, but the book still manages to stay hopeful and light, a good reminder that there is life after these traumas.
3. Ultimate summer set-up
Flying across the country to live with the other divorced parent in a small town is a time-honored tradition of the genre, but Bailey’s new California life is pretty plush. She gets a new scooter, a fun summer job, and the love of a local beach cat! Even though I’m a ride-or-die for the East Coast, I can’t deny the appeal of a sleepy beach town with a quirky history, delicious eateries, and cute surfer boys.
4. For the movie lover in all of us
The plot harkens back to a formative romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, but there are even more gems for the bookish cinephiles. Movie quotes set the scene at the beginning of each chapter, and the references to old school films are a fun addition to Bailey and Porter’s flirtatious antagonism.
5. The boy
Like Bailey, I was incredibly hesitant in the beginning. His name is PORTER ROTH, after all. And he fits very nicely into his role as the jerk-turned-dreamy-love-interest. Even with a dark past, Porter doesn’t let it define him, and owns up when he’s wrong about something. He’s supportive of Bailey in her dreams for the future, and patient when she divulges her own hurtful backstory. And the dreamy surfer bod doesn’t hurt. Did I mention he’s dreamy? Get ready to make room in your heart (and book boyfriend list) for this one!