Published by Simon Pulse in April 2017
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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 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.
Note: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.
Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately left me longing for a California summer. (Hawaii is great, but it doesn’t have the boardwalks like California or the one featured in Alex, Approximately.) It’s the perfect feel good summery read with the most endearing characters. I fell in love with Bailey Rydell and Porter Roth from the very beginning and absolutely enjoyed watching their relationship blossom as they came out of their shells.
In Alex, Approximately, Bailey and Porter met online, chatting about classic films. Despite living on opposite coasts, they have a budding relationship that seems like it could be something more than just friendship. Fleeing her mother and step-father, Bailey moves in with her father who happens to live in the same small California town as Porter. You’d think this would be their chance to meet, but Bailey refrains from telling Porter she’s in town. (She likes to think of herself as an evader.) Plus Bailey knows Porter online as Alex, and Porter knows Bailey as Mink.
The plot overall is fairly predictable. The two meet in real life, hate each other, somehow fall in love, while not knowing they’re friends online. It’s kind of a formulaic plot. What made Alex, Approximately stand out was the endearing characters that Bennett created along with the absolutely hilarious surfer, California town. Can you imagine the shenanigans that could go on working in a tourist-trap museum? Alex, Approximately was an absolute joy to read.
Going back to the characters, Bailey, Porter, and all of their family and friends are what will stick with me beyond reading the book. Bailey and Porter’s relationship was strong from the very beginning. It was hilarious watching them butt heads and watching their relationship bloom. There was no denying their chemistry. All of the secondary characters also had fairly distinct personalities, like Bailey’s sci-fi loving father and Porter’s drug addicted ex-best friend that has a bucket load of issues. The characters truly made the story.
I’d highly recommend Alex, Approximately. It’s the perfect read to get you in a summer mood with a funny, romantic story and characters worth befriending. Seriously, can Bailey just be my best friend? I hope you give Alex, Approximately a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.