I have been blessed to encounter Contemporary Romance books this year that I love, this one being a definite 5 stars at the top.
Alex, Approximately was hooking from the first page, especially with the many movie references, as well as quotes at the start of every chapter. The main character, Bailey Rydell aka “Mink” is moving with her dad to California, to the town where her online film geek crush, Alex, lives. Through their chat conversations, Alex invites her to a movie festival in his town, knowing her dad lives there. However, she refuses and doesn’t tell him the news of moving. Not knowing who, or how, Alex is, Bailey takes it upon herself to search for him through the small clues of their conversations. Yet not everything is perfect in paradise, as she gets a job in a museum where one of the security guard’s, Porter Roth, seems to get on her nerves all the time. What Bailey doesn’t know, is that Porter and Alex are the same person.
We know Porter is Alex, which makes the whole story even more frustrating because Bailey doesn’t know what is right in front of her. I would have loved for them to know instantly who they were online, but this allowed for a better development of Porter’s and Bailey’s relationship outside of any ideas they created beforehand. Which was great because I LIVED to see these two bicker and fight, to slowly have that animosity towards each other become mutual understanding and then blossom into love. The romance was slow-built, sweet, flirty, and an actual healthy relationship that not many YA books focus on. They were supportive of each other and their families, and when bumpy roads came, they were able to manage it with time and communication.
But talking of communication, my only problem in the whole book was towards the end how something so simple as communicating was not exercised. Just say whatever you want or need to say before it’s too late! Be direct and clear from the start. So many problems and heartache could’ve been prevented if they talked. Not just Bailey and Porter, but other characters as well. However, I think this is a nice emphasis the author makes of how it’s something important and to not take people for granted.
The rest of the characters were spectacular. Each one had an important role in Bailey’s new life and her search for Alex, but weren’t there just as plot devices or cardboard to discard later. Bailey’s father was fun to read about and his relationship with his daughter, as well as a cop *wink wink*. There was also Grace, a new friend Bailey makes, that spiced the story and was also an active character, rather than simply in the background for when you need them. Great family and friends dynamics made the story feel genuine and I liked that. However, there’s one character called Davy (Porter’s former best friend) that seemed almost caricature-like. He became addicted to pain relievers and then other drugs, and was basically the antagonist in this town. His situation is not an unlikely one, but it still seemed to be painted rough for him to be inherently and uniquely bad. Though this can be a matter of perspective and preference. While reading it didn’t bother me at all, but I thought it would be good to mention it here.
Alex, Approximately is the perfect summer read to get you into those relaxing vibes thanks to the California beach setting and movies love “Mink” and “Alex” have. It is a fast and easy read that will have you swooning and laughing with the banter and hate-to-love relationship. Don’t let this one slide through the waves without you 😉
Rating: 5 stars