❝ Bailey, I’ve been yours. I’ve just been waiting for you to make up your mind.❞
*ARC Borrowed for Review*
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent half of her junior year falling for a sensitive film geek she only knows online as “Alex.” Two coasts separate them until she 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—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, the oddball Cavern Palace Museum. Or that she’s being tormented daily by Porter Roth, a smart-alecky yet irritatingly hot museum security guard. But when Porter and Bailey are locked in the museum overnight, Bailey is forced to choose whether she should cling to a dreamy 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.
I absolutely adored Jenn Bennett’s YA debut, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, so when I heard that Bennett was writing a new book, I was over the moon excited. I didn’t even read the synopsis for Alex, Approximately, but judging from the cover alone, I knew that this was going to be another cute and fluffy read and after having read some not so happy books, I was in major need of some fluff.
Alex, Approximately is the story about a boy and a girl who meet online and bond over their love for classic films. Bailey Rydell and her online pen-pal, Alex, have been chatting for some time now and Bailey soon gets the chance to meet Alex when she moves across the country to California to live with her father. But Bailey is not yet ready meet Alex in person and instead uses her new summer job to distract her and keep her busy. But her new job is not the only thing distracting her. Porter Roth, local surfer and fellow employee, has been pushing her buttons since they met. But as the weeks go by, Bailey finds herself feeling something more for Porter and comes to the realization that she is going to have to choose between Porter and Alex…or maybe not.
Alex, Approximately is the second book I’ve read where two characters who meet online end up meeting in real life and I think I’m starting to become rather fond of this plot line. While it may be fairly predictable, I still enjoy seeing two characters who have been communicating online finally meet and then seeing that friendship grow into something more. Movies plays an essential role in this story as it is what brings these two together and one of my favorite things about this book is the fact that there are quote from famous movies at the beginning of each chapter! THE NOSTALGIA WAS REAL! That little detail just tied in nicely to the story. Just like in the The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, family also plays an important role in Alex, Approximately. Bailey doesn’t have the best relationship with her father at the beginning of the book due to a traumatic event that almost costed Bailey her life. They don’t really know much about each other because they lived on opposite ends of the country, but throughout this book these two become closer and they even bonded over films! It was too sweet. CAN WE ALSO GIVE IT UP TO BENNETT FOR ONCE AGAIN HANDLING SEX IN SUCH A POSITIVE LIGHT?! This is the second YA book I’ve read with female masturbates and we seriously need to normalize this idea. We need to normalize all forms of masturbation to to be honest because self-love is a good thing!
Bailey reminded a lot of myself as a teen as she is an evader. She hates conflict and avoids it at all cost. But throughout this book, I felt like she realized that by staying quiet all the time, it was actually doing more harm than good. Once she starts opening up and letting people in and expressing how she feels, her relationships with other characters grow stronger. Especially her relationship with Grace, her coworker. Before Grace, Bailey never really had much friends and by the end of this book she did. Porter is an absolute sweetheart and I loved the Roth family! One thing that Bailey and Porter had in common was the fact that they both went through something traumatic and while those events did not define who they were, they definitely affected their lives, hence the reason why Bailey is an evader. In regards to the revealing of Alex’s identity, I had already guessed who Alex was (yes ‘guessed’ because I didn’t read the synopsis beforehand so I didn’t realize that it had stated who Alex was 😂), but I didn’t think that the reveal would go down that way. Things kind of came full circle and while it was a bit rushed, I still liked it.
Overall, Alex, Approximately was a sweet and fluffy summer romance and once again Bennett has slayed my feels! I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoyed The Anatomical Shape of a Heart and I can’t wait to see what cute contemporary romance Bennett writes next.