Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

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 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'll admit it....

I originally added this book to my TBR based on the cover. What can I say... I like pretty covers. Plus I was loving the summer vibes it was giving off. It makes me want to go watch a movie in a pool.

As it turns out, Alex, Approximately had a lot more to it then just a pretty cover (thankfully!). Witty and charming, Alex, Approximately had me hooked from page one, and made me wish that I (someone who really doesn't like movies - I know SHOCKER) could be as much of a movie enthusiast as Bailey.

"My name is Bailey Rydell, and I'm a habitual evader." (pg. 4) 

As an occasional habitual evader myself, I knew that from that sentence onward Bailey and I were going to get along just fine. Bailey turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the book. She was lovable as well as relatable. She's the standard teenage girl. Bailey doesn't know where she's going in life, or how she's getting there, but she what she does want is a normal, stress free life, one with as little confrontation as possible (really, who doesn't want that? Young or old.) Bailey starts off the book by trying to fly under the radar, but it's hard to do when her new boss seems to love making fun of her and one of the coworkers wants to be friends, and over the course of the book Bailey comes out of her shell. She goes from being someone who always flows with the crowd, not speaking up when something bothers her, to someone who says what she feels, even when it gets her in huge trouble (as it did toward the end). I enjoyed seeing the friendships and relationships she developed throughout the book. Bailey and Porter mixed together as well as oil and water at first, but over time they got this good flow going- one that contained steaminess and funny banter (I don't know about you all but I love funny banter!). I also loved her relationship with her dad. I adored when they nerded out together over board games and how even at their worst moments all they wanted was for the other one to be happy. It was cute and mushy and it reminded me of my own relationship with my mom.

Besides Bailey, I also loved Porter. He was incredibly infuriating at times, but over the course of the book, I realized there was a lot more to Porter than met the eye. I enjoyed seeing him going from being archenemies with Bailey to friends to eventually something more. The only part of his character that brought him down a slight notch in my eyes? His ridiculousness towards the end and lack of communication. However, overall Bailey and Porter were couple goals.

The setting in this was also a high point for me. Alex, Approximately made me feel as if I was right there with Porter and Bailey in California, seeing the churro carts (gosh was I craving a churro during this one!), the surf shop, the museum, etc. Jenn Bennett did a fantastic job of fleshing out the setting as well as utilizing it to make the book more well-rounded.

The plot in this was predictable but sometimes predictable is all I want in a good summer romance. As mentioned before, I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Bailey and Porter play out. It was especially fun and actually sort of suspenseful knowing that Porter was Alex from the start but having to watch Bailey and Porter figure it out for themselves. There was so many moments, I was internally screaming "come on guys, you know each other! Porter is Alex and Bailey is Mink!" It was frustrating but in a fun kind of way, I promise. I also enjoyed reading about the day-to-day happenings at the museum - I wish it was a real museum - as well as Porter and Bailey's complicated family histories (again sort of predictable but I still liked it).

With lovable characters, swoon-worthy romance, and perfectly quoted movie scenes at the start of each chapter,  Alex, Approximately is yet another fantastic summer read. I cannot wait to read more by Jenn Bennet.

Grade: A+ 

Alex, Approximately (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Library


  1. Ahhh this sounds so amazing!! I'm a HUGE movie enthusiast, so I think I'll love Bailey!! And I also adore swoony romance, and movie quotes at the start of each chapter sounds PERFECT!!
    Lovely review :)

    1. If you're a huge movie enthusiast, I definitely suggest checking this one out!!! It's so fun recognizing the different quotes, and they really worked beautifully! It's easy to see Jenn took time in picking them out.

  2. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this one! I added it to my TBR just for the cover alone too. haha! I recently bought it and I can't wait to read it because everyone has seemed to love this one. Reading your review made me even more excited to pick it up. lol!

    1. Haha I'm glad I'm not alone in picking it up for the cover! You'll have to let me know what you think of it!


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