Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Number of Pages: 388
Summary: 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.
Contrary to reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love, this was a horrible summer read, and a poorly written novel in general. It is hard to even pick a place to start on reviewing this book because there were so many problems that I had with it. To keep you interested I have ew gifs after every paragraph. Because the book was that hard to read so it will be just as hard to read my review of it.
I guess to start this, I will say that I loved Jenn Bennett’s book The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. The novel from what I recall had wonderfully crafted characters with wit, heart and the plot was unique. There were vivid descriptions of settings as well, and the writing set the perfect tone for the novel. I could not even tell this was by the same author and I realized this as I started to write the review.
The characters were very 2D, their humour and wit as advertised were not enjoyable and rather cringy. If not for the fact that I was on vacation and lacking a book to read, I would not have finished this. The plot was disastrous and messy with unnecessary drama from beginning to end. Like every classic romantic comedy, there is dramatic irony, but this book had a horrible case of it. Everyone who reads the book knows that Alex, who Bailey messages online is Porter in real life. If they had just been open with each other and had one normal conversation this book would have never happened. All the drama could have been avoided. However, I love romantic comedies, not for the unexpected plotlines but for the classic plot of misunderstandings with cute moments and a fun plotline. This had nothing eventful. The museum Bailey and Porter work at could have been a great concept. All that happens there is they talk, and Bailey sells tickets. Bailey tries to find Alex to no avail and starts to forget about their online chats. There was no entertainment and nothing eventful. Porter likes to surf, and his family has had accidents which I felt was an unnecessary aspect to the story to add a backstory to his character. The family drama was unrealistic and did not have a normal dynamic to it. For example, Porter’s sister Lana could have been a great addition, but she is barely mentioned, and his mom is “nice”, his dad “strict”. They were not really brought into the story at any point. In the rare times when they were, it felt awkward and the interactions cringy with Bailey.
Grace, the classic best friend character was also bland. She is barely mentioned and I did not see a progression of how she became friends with Bailey. Apparently, it just clicked and they became friends immediately. Not to mention the drama with Grace was also very unnecessary. This seems to be how I am describing everything in this book. Grace mentions her boyfriend throughout the whole book and he is never brought into the story and then suddenly she’s upset at him and Bailey is not there to help. Now the two “best friends” are angry at each other. Grace would be one of the 2D characters. Besides playing the role of “friend” what else is there to her. She had no character and was quite lacking because no character should ever be in a story just to play a role to the main character.
The final drama with Porter was lacking, because not only is he hypocritical for Bailey not telling him about Alex’s messages (he never tells her about his chats with Mink/Bailey), it is very extra. Over and over again, he claims he wants to talk to Bailey and then bails on her. The book at the end was just dragging on for no reason at all and once again I was surprised I could finish it.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. Not even a film lover because the book is marketed as such, a girl and boy who both love old movies. It was a book that was bland with a static plot and flat characters. Please take the time if you have it to read another book like I Believe in a Thing Called Love. (Link to my review of the fantastic read: https://teamingwithbooks.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/i-believe-in-a-thing-called-love-review/).
This book is a solid one cup of tea.
As for what tea to recommend, I would recommend peach tea, which I have been drinking recently. Do not drink it while reading this book. It will ruin the experience of enjoying the tea.