Thursday, April 27, 2017

BOOK REVIEW | Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Pages: 391
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Source: I checked this out from my local library!
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.
Alex, Approximately was such a blast! It has been such a long time since I have sat down and truly just immersed myself in a book. When I sat down and read this, that's all that my attention was on, and it was bliss.
my initial thoughts :)

What I loved most about Alex, Approximately is how authentic it feels. The cast of characters was strong enough that they came right off the page. I can easily picture Bailey, Porter, Grace, and everyone else. Also, parents and adult figures were proud and present in this book!!! So many times in YA we have parents that are just never mentioned or out of the picture. I absolutely loved that there were adult figures in this book. As a teen myself, my parents and other adults close to me have shaped me into how I am, and I think it is silly when books don't have them present.

The setting of Alex, Approximately also helped with its authenticity. Most books that are set in California are in the heart of a big city, which is fun. This book, however, was set in Coronado Cove, and it had so much more personality. Not only could I easily picture Bailey and Co., I could picture them easily in Coronado Cove. Bennett set up a great atmosphere with the setting, and you can tell she put in some work.

One of the other great things about this book was how sex-positive it is. The book doesn't make sex out to be this huge thing, and it also shows how sex is a decision between two consenting adults. I really appreciated this. Many times in YA sex is either way too romanticized, vague, or completely absent.  Masturbation is also mentioned as well, just here and there. Considering how taboo masturbation is not only in YA but in the real world as well, it was great to see it actually be touched on, albeit just an off-handed comment hear and there.

There was also a great balance between heavy and light in the book. My main struggle with YA contemporaries is that it is normally too dark for me or way too happy. This book has the perfect balance for both. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine, but there are humorous times as well. This book didn't just make me laugh and smile ear to ear, but it made me empathize for the characters when something happened as well.

Last but certainly not least is the romance. At the end of the day, the selling point of the book is the romance. And let me tell you: it delivered. So much that I want to buy this book so I can just read their interactions again and again. Porter and Bailey have great banter, and they are just so cute together. Plus, there are some sexy times as well. ;)

To be honest, I have no qualms with this book. I absolutely loved it (if you couldn't tell). My only fault is that I just want more, but I don't think that was needed. I just want more of Jenn Bennett. Hopefully I'll be reading more of her in the very near future, because I fell in love with this book. I'm eagerly awaiting the day that I will buy this!

With that, I give this book
5 out of 5 Stars!


  1. AHHH, I have heard the most amazing things about this book. I wanted to pick it up ages ago but exams are getting in the way so I'm not reading as much. After my exams I will be devouring this book. It sounds incredible. Great review <3

    1. Trust me, I;m in the same boat! AP exams are coming up for me, and I just don't have the time to really read anymore. I can't wait until exams are over. :) I hope you love it Kirsty! Best of luck on your exams!!

  2. This sounds wonderful! I've been taking a break from contemporaries because I've had enough of the fluff for now but if this one has a bit of dark in there too, count me in! I'm so glad to hear the author didn't shy away from sex or masturbation as well. You're totally right, they should be talked about more in the YA community and we should work on getting that taboo diminished. Lovely review, Genni!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. It truly was! I completely understand; the fluff can be too much sometimes. I was so happy to see that the author just didn't swipe it under the rug like usual! Thank you so much Laura! :)