Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

30312700The 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.   (From: Goodreads)

***Actual rating: 4/5 Alexmink Stars***

*The following review may contain mild spoilers.*

Alex, Approximately is a book about two people who were meant to be together got lost and found, and lost and then found again.

Bailey “Mink” Rydell was a seventeen-year-old “Artful Dodger,” who excelled in avoiding awkward moments or embarrassing conversations. In fact, she was a professional evader when it comes to reality and actual interaction with people.

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.

Therefore, in order to express her inner feelings about life and stuff, she turned to a person named “Alex” from an online film fanatics community, whom she wasn’t even sure truly existed in the real world. At first, Alex invited her to the summer film festival on a California beach and asked her to fly there. Interestingly, Mink was about to move from Washington D.C. all the way to California so she planned to stalk “scope” on him before informing him of her visit.

After moving to California, Bailey/Mink started her summer job in a local museum and she met an adorable British girl, Grace, along with a cocky guy named Porter Roth, whose grandfather was a popular surfer. Needless to say, the more time Porter and Bailey spent with each other, the closer they got. However, during the times when Porter pissed Bailey off by embarrassing her in public (yeah, I’m talking about the speaker announcement *wink*) or making not-so-funny comments about her fashion style, she would distract herself by chatting with Alex online or putting more efforts into finding him in town.

Well, never did she expect that Porter might approximately be Alex all this time. How would they react to the truth? Would they still be able to get along? Or was that even true?

——————————————————————————————–
The first thing that captured my attention when opening this book is the movie quotes for every single chapter. The author was such a genius for picking out the best, if not the MOST EPIC, quotes from all the phenomenal movies in the history. You could find the most iconic films in different periods of time from the classics such as Roman Holiday to the modern musical comedy, Pitch Perfect. Such a wide variety of film choices fascinated me a lot and those quotes undoubtedly brought back some of the loveliest memories from my childhood (not that I’ve lived that long…you get what I mean!).

The most entertaining part in the story is definitely Porter/Alex and Bailey/Mink’s encountering. Or should I say, reunion? Since they’d been talking about movies and life and past relationships online for months, I felt like the moment Porter showed up in Bailey’s life—despite the fact he actually irritated her in her first day of summer job—I knew he was so much more than just the plain, happy-go-lucky Porter. He was that Prince Charming in disguise with an outgoing personality on the outside but a darker, almost opposite version of him inside.

Maybe Walt Whitman was right. We all really do contradict ourselves and contain multitudes. How do we even figure out who we really are?

I really enjoyed reading this book because I was so eager to see Porter and Bailey’s development as friends and lovers. The author made this couple sound so adorable and I’ll tell you why. The following are my top three favorite scenes in this book:

#3: ”Hello, Mink.”

At the end of the story, it was finally time to reveal these two online-lovers on a romantic, ten-thousand-times-better-than-the-East-Coast beach, so color my shock when Mink eventually found out who Alex, the one whom she trusted whole-heartedly this entire time, even when she complained about how terrible Porter was, was exactly, non-mistakenly, Porter “Alexander” Roth himself.

No wonder Porter reacted like that when he accidentally heard Bailey’s nickname at game night and refused to talk to her for days because wow, I guess that’s what I’d feel if I were him.

“We’re basically cheating on each other with each other.”

#2: The Philadelphia Story

After Porter discovered the truth, he obviously overreacted and ignored her on purpose for awhile, but when she caught the “lurgy,” he turned out to be that knight in shining armor all of a sudden. *giggling* Porter was so cute when he insisted on staying with her in bed despite the germs and watched Mink’s favorite movie, The Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. How lovely is that!

#1: *drum rolls* Bumblebee’s Lift & moon muffins!

Nothing could beat this special first date moment of Porter and Bailey’s first hanging out when it comes to my favorite part of the story! Honestly, it’s probably one of the sweetest scenes I’ve ever read in YA contemporary novels. I was swooning over them so much that I can’t help but ship them all over again when I’m writing this review.

Delicately, I dip my hand into Porter’s gaping jacket until my fingertips hit the waxed-paper bag and find another muffin. It isn’t until I’m pulling it out that I look at Porter’s face and hesitate.
“No, please, go on,” he says. “Do help yourself.”
I give him a self-conscious grin.
“Oops.”
“You always go around sticking your hands down boys’ clothes?” he asks.
“When they’re full of baked goods.”
“Tomorrow I’m coming to work with ten pounds of pastries in my pants,” he mumbles to himself, making an ooaff! noise when I punch him lightly in the arm.

Do I need to say more!? This scene is literally the ultimate cuteness-overload. If you haven’t met Porter and Bailey yet, what are you waiting for???

Now that I’ve covered my favorite parts of the book, please allow me to point out something that’d been slightly bothering me while reading it. Frankly, I adored Porter and Bailey’s friendship-turned-relationship. They flirted a bit, chatted a lot and later realized that they had quite similar tastes in movies. So apparently, the chemistry would work out naturally, right?

NOPE. TOTALLY NOT AS NATURALLY AS I PREFER.

If I remember correctly, they kissed fervently for the first time a few days after the Bumblebee’s Lift and honestly, Porter wasn’t so sure about what it was between them so he remained hot and cold. Later, they started to do all the incredible things involving hands and fingers touch each other at midnight in the museum (let me clarify, staying in the museum was an accident whereas the other part wasn’t). Well, their romance bloomed overnight and I personally thought spending a night in a closed museum was creepy enough, let alone getting intimate. Not long afterwards, they hit the homerun.

Well, I did not see that coming at all. So I was like…

No offense, I just didn’t like the speedy acceleration in their relationship. Whatever they had before getting serious in the romance was oh so lovely; therefore, I personally thought the development after that kind of prelude to their romance was rushed and unnecessary. I’d appreciate more if the author could leave something to our imagination.

Am I more afraid of Porter…or the person he’s unleashing inside me?

All in all, Alex, Approximately is a book I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to everyone. It’s such a cute, light-hearted, swoon-worthy read and I finished the book with delight because of that ending. If you’re still hesitant about picking this up, I promise you won’t be disappointed if you like YA Contemporary. In fact, I’m positive that you’ll enjoy it as much as, if not more than, I did. Enough said, go read it, peeps! Immerse yourself in this wonderfully written story with Porter, Bailey/Mink, Alex, Grace and so many more lovable characters!

Two people who lived in two different places and found each other, not once but twice? You could stick one of us in Haiti and the other in a rocket headed to the moon and we’d still eventually be doing this right now.

 

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7 thoughts on “Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

  1. that Nicki Minaj emoji is lmao. hehe. but i agree i agree! i think such scenes spoil the being delightful of a love story. (oh i speak like a grandma). i remember having the same feeling with The Space Between Us Movie which felt like rushed for me. Sigh. (the trailer was too good that movie, not too much).
    thank you for sharing, dear Jasmine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, I was just about to watch that movie!!! LOL You’re absolutely right about the trailer; I was determined to watch it after seeing those teasers. 😛 But I guess I’ll prepare myself for the story when I give it a try! ^___^
      You’re more than welcome, darling! :-*

      Liked by 1 person

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