Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett earns approximately three stars from me.
Alex, Approximately is a You’ve Got Mail-inspired story that follows movie-obsessed Bailey as she moves across the country to live with her father in California. Coincidentally, Bailey’s online friend and crush, “Alex”, lives in the same area. Bailey, also known as “Mink” online, never tells Alex about her recent move. Instead, she searches for him while working at museum where she meets a new boy that may make her forget about Alex entirely.
Alex, Approximately is a solid young adult contemporary romance. While it falls into several cliches, the novel features good writing and a good story. Unfortunately for me, the story lagged a bit in the middle. After putting the book aside for a bit, I was able to push through the second half of the book and was satisfied with the conclusion.
As for the main character, Bailey was an okay protagonist for me. While she will be extremely relatable to the target audience, she fell flat for me and was a little too boring. Like many protagonists in contemporary books, she loved movies, dressed in vintage clothes, and deals with huge issues from her past. Other than that, it is hard to pinpoint anything particularly remarkable about her personality. However, Bailey is an overall good character in the book, even if she isn’t too memorable among a sea of other young adult characters.
I have more mixed feelings towards the love interests in the book. If you’ve ever heard of You’ve Got Mail, it’s pretty easy to guess which character is “Alex.” This made the book drag for me, especially in the middle, where plot dragged. When it comes to a boil at the end after disappearing from the middle of the book, it seems a little over dramatic and the reaction from Porter, Bailey’s other love interest, seems a little too much.
Like with Bailey, I thought Porter was a decent character, but not particularly memorable. With many love interests in young adult fiction, Porter has a mysterious event that happened in the past, instantly argues with Bailey, has a creepy best friend that hits on the main character, but actually possesses a heart of gold. Besides one moment at the end, Porter always came across as a little too perfect for me. Once again, Porter was a solid love interest, but nothing remarkable.
While I enjoyed parts of Alex, Approximately, there were several sections where I was a little bored and felt myself just pushing through to the end. Alex, Approximately is a decent young adult book that would be fun to read for the summer, but it won’t be the top of my reread pile. I give Alex, Approximately, three out of five stars.
I received this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.