Alex, Approximately

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By Jenn Bennett

Bailey Rydell is me as a teenager. The now me, that is (I wasn’t as cool as Bailey in high school). She loves old movies and hates confrontation. She’s what she calls an Artful Dodger. So when things get uncomfortable between her mother and her stepdad, she dodges the drama and leaves NJ for her dad’s place in beautiful Southern California.

She’s been talking to Alex on a film appreciation app. Alex seems to be perfect for her. He, too, is a classic movie fan. He’s witty and flirty and she’s crushing on him hard. Even more perfect? He just happens to live in the same town as her dad! So when Bailey dodges to the West Coast she decided to track down Alex based on clues in his messages.

While not hunting down the mysterious Alex, Bailey works a summer job at a local museum, where she meets security guard Porter Roth *sigh* (and #bookboyfriendalert). Porter and Bailey bicker like mad. He is the most infuriating boy she’s ever met. Sure, he’s also kind of adorable. But that doesn’t erase his cocky tone or his ability to publicly push her buttons. Would she feel the same if she knew Perter’s secret? That he is Alex?

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So, yeah. This is a YA take on You’ve Got Mail. And that concept alone made me anxious to give this one a read. It did NOT disappoint. Funny and heartfelt, Bennett made me fall in love not just with Porter, but with Bailey too. And Porter’s family, and Bailey’s dad and *almost* every character in the book!

The book also deals with some deeper issues not covered in its movie counterpart, like, teen sex, gun violence and drug abuse. I think for the most part Bennett handles these well and the characters respond in a realistic manner.

Like Porter Roth himself, I just found the whole book, swoonworthy! A perfect (end of the) summer read!

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