Book Review- Alex, Approximately

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Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Expected publication by Simon Pulse on April 4, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon
Goodreads

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “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 arch-nemesis. 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.

Boy oh boy did I love this book. Alex, Approximately was beautiful and heart felt and had just the right mix of romance and realism to loose me in its pages. I was captivated from the first word, and it only went uphill from there.
Bailey is a pretty awesome main character. She is relatable and honest, and very true to herself. She moves from Washington D.C. to California to live with her Dad, and starts a new job working at a museum for the summer. She describes herself as an “Artful Dodger” (which is going to be my new favorite term for literally ever), and despite her desire to avoid conflict, she can’t seem to stop “fighting” with her coworker Porter.
I’m usually not one to go for romantic books, but this one really swept me off my feet. I got so emotionally involved in the story (what more can anyone want?) and every twist and turn, for better or for worse, made it even harder to put this book down. Alex, Approximately is adorable and toe-curling and made me have all the feels. All of them. I can’t even describe what this book did to me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a rainy day read (or a beach day read, or an any day read). If you love romance, this book is for you. If you love romantic gestures, this book is for you. If you don’t know how you feel about romance, this book is still for you. If you have a heart, this book is for you. (do you see what I am getting at here?)
As you have probably been able to tell, I am going to give Alex, Approximately five out of five hearts. Now excuse me while I go read it again.

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An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review- Girl out of Water

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Girl out of Water by Laura Silverman
Expected publication by Sourcebooks Fire on May 2 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Amazon
Goodreads

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves

 

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Me!

Girl out of Water took me a bit by surprise. I don’t normally enjoy contemporary (as much as other genres), but I found myself pleasantly surprised; especially considering the book focused around things I’ve never done (surfing and skateboarding… unless you count that week in second grade) and places I have never been (California and Nebraska).

 

Anise was the kind of character that I just love. Her world was shaken up, yet she stays strong in a not-to-heroine-but-completely-realistic way that felt very relatable. Her connections with her old friends back in California and her new friend(s) in Nebraska evolve the way they would in real life, which brought a whole new level of realism to the story. Anise’s feelings were genuine and both easy to understand and complex at the same time.

All of the characters, both major and minor, were very well developed. The emotions and plotlines for each of the characters were well thought out and well written. The romance in the book also seemed organic, and definitely swoon worthy!

The story was a little bit slow at times, but still interesting all the same. The ending was good, but I do wish it told a little bit more of what happens in the future… it is a bit open ended in that regard.

Over all I really enjoyed Girl out of Water, and would recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary, want to try contemporary, or someone looking for a feel-good weekend read. I am going to give Girl out of Water four out of five hearts.

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