by Jenn Bennett
Narrator: Amy Melissa Bentley
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
* Caffeinated Warning: I personally recommend NOT reading the synopsis. In my opinion, it gives too much away. *
Classic movie buff Bailey "Mink" Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by "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 arch-nemesis. But life is a 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.
I very rarely pick up a young adult contemporary, but once in a while a fellow blogger’s comments, or in this case, the voices of many drove me to do so. ALEX, APPROXIMATELY by Jenn Bennett was absolutely delightful! Witty and realistic with friendships and romances that were messy and beautiful. Grab it, whether you are young or young at heart.
Caffeinated Reasons to listen to Alex, Approximately
- I loved the setup for ALEX, APPROXIMATELY and I am glad I went into this blind without reading the synopsis. Bennett breathed life into the premise and indeed delivered a heartfelt coming of age story that was refreshing and original.
- Bailey “Mink” Rydell was such a breath of fresh air. She is starting over when she moves in with her Dad, after a very traumatic incident on the East coast. Bailey sees this as a chance to grow and be the person she wants, rather than simply standing on the sidelines or running away. She is adorable, awkward and very real.
- Portor was a teenage girls dream guy. He is swoony with his facial scruff, shyness and over the top lines. Every time he was present I just couldn’t help but smile. I loved how patient he was, and he made both Alex and I laugh with his quizzes, thoughtful gestures, and adorkableness.
- Secondary characters from the old man at the museum to Grace, Bailey’s new friend added depth. I adored Grace and would love to see a story dedicated solely to her. Diversity, parental involvement, frank discussions, and reliable role models made this a win. The story was balanced, for instance, Bailey’s Dad is very involved, and her mother not so much, but it was addressed and not as a poor reflection of who Bailey is.
- The romance was realistic from misunderstandings to open honesty. This novel is sex-positive, from discussions beforehand to birth control. It touches on masturbation, self-discovery and doing what is right for you. I would not hesitate to allow my young teen to read this, and would enjoy the conversations it brought forth.
- The story offers depth and is the perfect coming of age story. For fans of the movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” you will adore the chapter intros and references to this film and more. Bailey is a movie buff, and I loved discovering all the hidden and not so hidden references.
- The California setting screams summer, beach, and sun. From the surf shops to local food carts you’ll feel transported by Bennett’s visuals.
- I saw a little of myself in Bailey. She is the type of character you can relate to, in fact, many of the characters were. Bennett made them all realistic, but not cliche’ and it is what made the story come to life.
- Amy Melissa Bentley was the perfect narrator for Bailey’s story. She nailed Bailey from her mannerisms to her feelings. She enhanced awkward moments and tender ones. I felt her panic, joy, and uncertainty. Her male voices were well done, and I swooned over Porter. ALEX, APPROXIMATELY, was made for audio.
ALEX, APPROXIMATELY, left me grinning like a fool. Now I am going to have to read THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART; rumor has it it’s even better. If you can believe that! I should tell you I have read and enjoyed Bennet’s adult novels especially her Roaring Twenties series with its mystery, paranormal elements, and romance.
[bctt tweet=”Heart, Swoons, and Smiles Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett a must #listen ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
This sounds utterly adorable and any book that makes a reader grin like a fool, I count as brilliant — great and joyous review!
This sounds like a good one, Kim. I’m interested in the Roaring Twenties series, now that you mention it here. I’ve never heard of this author and as always, am grateful for you reviews and introducing me to new writers.
Since I trust you so much, I just went to Audible and bought it! Thanks for the recommendation. It sounds awesome!
I really enjoy Bennett’s Roaring Twenties series and I keep meaning to try her YA books. Like you I rarely pick up YA books, especially contemporary ones. But after enjoying a few lately (Autoboygraphy by Christian Lauren (LOVE LOVE LOVE) and any title by Jeff Zentzer) I’ll add this one to my library wishlist.
I really need to read this one. I loved Anatomical, so I just know that Jenn Bennett is for me. I only skimmed your review after you said you liked that you went in blind (I like to do that too), but it definitely sounds like my kind of book.
Like you, I rarely read YA contemporary, but this does sound delightful.
This is a book that I feel like I need to read. I may have to see if my library has a copy of the audio though since you enjoyed the narration so much. Great review!
When someone cautioned me not to do something, I do the opposite, haha, And yep, I’ve read the sypnosis and it’s a bummer. But I’m still adding this book in my TBR because I LOVE what I’m reading. Awesome review Kim!
Glad you enjoyed it! I think it’s one of the best books I read this year. The setting was perfect, the romance and friendship were cute, and Bailey has such an amazing relationship with her dad! I agree about the synopsis though, it spoils too much!
I loved this one too! And I have to agree about the setting. Made me want to travel. Her other YA is a total treat too. I cannot wait to read her new one.
Wow Kim you really loved this. I’m like you and don’t usually like YA except the occasional fantasy/UF. And I just hate it when the premise gives too much away. Sometimes when I’m reviewing a book and look at the premise its like wow that didn’t even happen until the end of the book why is that included. Great review
The library has the anatomical 😀
Yasss! I’m so glad you loved it. Okay, I might TASoaH a little more because I read it before Alex & love the dude’s style. Really, though, both are AMAZING. I can’t wait for her next one.
I adored this book and thought it was a great summer read! I am glad you loved it too. 😀
I don’t usually read this genre but this does sound like a good book.
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Oh wow, MINE. Sounds SO good. I love stories that are original. Offering something I haven’t read before. I’ll check out this book and the author. Thanks for recommending this book, Kim. Fantastic review. ❤️
I’ve been eyeing this book…the title definitely captured me. Thanks for sharing…and I think I would enjoy the little tidbits from the movie You’ve Got Mail, one of my favorites. Great review.
I agree , this was a really great book and I enjoyed the positivist it bought forth for teenagers
I couldn’t agree with you more, I absolutely adored this and this isn’t even my genre right now and I still couldn’t get enough of it. So good! I can’t wait for her next one.
I’m really curious about this book, I really love her books
i guess it’s not the journey but the process for the book?
I am adding this to my list. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Some of the best books are the ones you go into blind! Alex, Approximately sounds like so much fun, considering we’re going into Summer here!
I’m not a YA fan, and you know I don’t really listen to them, but this is a book I would definitely give a try. I love the reference to You’ve Got Mail, which was a fun movie. Hugs…
I’m listening to this one, now. 🙂