Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Having loved Jenn Bennett’s last novel, Night Owls, a creative YA fiction about two young artists, I was really happy to be asked to review Alex, Approximately; a story that sees two young people fall in love over movies, online. Bailey, who has the online handle Mink has been chatting to Alex about their love of movies for a couple of months before he suggests she comes to visit her dad in the same surf town in California that he lives in. But, when Bailey decides she can’t live with her mum anymore, she moves to Coronado Cove without telling Alex, worried that she might meet him in real life and not like him. Instead, she goes about trying to track him down on the sly. In the meantime, while working at a local museum, she meets the terribly annoying yet overly attractive Porter, a security guard there. Before Bailey has much of a chance to hate him, she finds herself falling for him. What Bailey doesn’t realise, while she is worrying over how she is going to tell Alex all this, is that Porter has an online handle as well: Alex.

I was originally irritated that the book seemed to be a rip off of the movie You’ve Got Mail, but I was happy to see that Bennett makes reference to the movie in one of the chapters, which made me settle down a bit. And while this is a predictable story that doesn’t really scream ‘original’, it is a cute, romantic piece of teen fiction for YA readers 13 and up who like a bit of feel-good reading.

Katherine Dretzke is a friend of Readings.