April 19, 2017

Mini-reviews: Alex, Approximately + The Last Thing You Said

pub 4/4/17 by Simon Pulse
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Netgalley
Seriously, this book had me at “charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail” but — don’t compare too much! The author takes the warmth and heart of the movie and channels it into a book that’s all her own. Bailey “Mink” Rydell has been chatting online with (and secretly crushing on) fellow film geek “Alex” for months. They’ve never met but Bailey finally has the opportunity to reach out in person when she moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California town as Alex. Of course, she doesn’t and instead try to do some scoping out of her own in case he turns out to be a creeper. But along the way, she starts to settle into life in this new town. She gets a job at a local tourist museum, makes friends and clashes on a daily basis with co-worker Porter Roth. They pretty much have that hate-to-love thing that I adore and it plays out in such a great way. It’s this mix of sweet, funny and a little sexy too (courtesy of Porter who is so swoon-worthy). The characters are just great and while the heart of it is the romance, the author explores more than just that. Their families are ever-present, we see good and bad friends enter their lives and of course, there’s that interesting question of whether it’s better to choose reality over the fantasy.

Do I recommend? Yes! I really enjoyed it. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and romantic, give this one a shot.

pub 4/4/17 by Amulet Books
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received finished copy from pub
The Last Thing You Said alternates point-of-views between Lucy and Ben, each of whom are grieving Trixie’s death — her best friend, his sister — in their own way. We see the aftermath of this tragedy as the story takes place a year later, with the anniversary of her death nearing. But it’s through flashbacks that we understand what happened and the relationships between them all. I think the author did a wonderful job of making the reader understand Trixie’s place in their lives and the camaraderie that existed while she was still alive. It made the pain they feel in the present that much more palpable. Another aspect where I think the book shined was in portraying positive female friendships. Lucy doesn’t collapse into herself (which would’ve been understandable!) but instead finds solace by reaching out to others and keeping busy. However, I think the faltered everywhere else. Not much actually happens in the book, which is fine, because it seems like the author’s intent was to focus on each character’s emotions. But in the case of Ben, his character doesn’t develop much. He’s just angry, angry and more angry and in the last few pages, he suddenly has a change of heart. It made it difficult to root for Lucy and Ben to reconnect because I didn’t see any reason why (at least in the present) she’d want to. Their romance is supposed to be the other major part of the book, aside from dealing with their grief, and I just couldn’t connect to it.

Do I recommend? It’s a short book and a quick read but it wasn't exactly what I expected. I know a bunch of fellow bloggers who enjoyed though so if you're interested, check it out!

2 comments:

  1. I am very happy by knowing more about this book. Now really I would like to read this book .Thank you very much for introducing new book information here.
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  2. Glad you enjoyed Alex, Approximately! I loved it, it's so cute and yes, I agree with how much the families are present in the story!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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