Title: Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Pages: 391
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Published date: 4 April 2017
Genre: Young Adult

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. (Source: Goodreads)

Sometimes it's better to get it out. It festers and gets weird when you bottle it up. I don't know why, but it does.

Alex, Approximately is my second read by Jenn Bennett. My first read is Starry Eyes which I liked, and I like this one even better! I can see now why some people who read Alex, Approximately first will find Starry Eyes underwhelming.

Jenn Bennett is now officially my go-to contemporary romance author, alongside Emily Henry and Sarah Hogle! She writes books with a joyful ride and characters full of passion. Her main characters usually have a hobby in something which I found fascinating because I got to learn new things besides having fun reading. The depth of the characters' knowledge about their hobbies reflects how much Jenn Bennett's research has put and it's A LOT because she knows her shit. 

Alex, Approximately is about Bailey whom is a classic movies geek. She has been establishing an online friendship with a guy named Alex who lives in LA via a film app. The book starts off with Bailey touching down in LA from DC. She never informed Alex about the fact that she has started living with his dad which coincidentally lives in the same area as Alex's. Soon, at Bailey's summer job place, she met Porter Roth, an annoying, cocky and arrogant guy. But being a horny 17 year-old teenager that Bailey is, with all the hormones, of course Bailey falls for Porter. With Porter around, Bailey doesn't know where does Alex stand in her life.

This book will be SO MUCH BETTER if the synopsis doesn't give away the true identity of Alex. Honestly, don't read the synopsis before picking this book up. I never read the book but I watched people's reviews on Booktube, so I know who Alex is in really life. 

I was expecting a story about working in a cinema for some reason and I don't know why but my imagination was completely off. I thought what plot could be possibly done for film geeks but this book did so well to keep me intrigued all the time. At the end, I felt like trying out classic films too!

Porter and Bailey's chemistry is undeniable. I love seeing them together, growing emotionally and working the relationship healthily. Although I love their relationship, I must admit it is a bit too sudden and I couldn't clearly see why they would fall for each other earnestly. It seems more about lust than love. Despite that, I still enjoy reading about their dates together. It's not that cringe to me, but it might be for some people. 

Jenn Bennett without a doubt knows how to write male characters with great passion! Her male characters are normally so soft and gentle and looks at you when you're looking away and smile to themselves like they're thinking how grateful they are to be in your orbit. And UGH Porter is so cute to Bailey. 

And I think Bailey is such an adorable person. I was scared if she will be annoying as most contemporary characters would be (but not all) but I don't mind her. I don't think she's a snob or acts like not-other-girls just because she loves classic films and girls her age don't normally enjoy them. It's not like she shoves to everyone's faces about how much she loves classic films.

I never really realized how toxic and damning it would be to be an evader in life but seeing Bailey materializing in front of me is like seeing a part of me long buried deep. Evader is basically a person who avoids dealing with life problems as simple as avoiding to ask a person out in fear of getting rejected or avoiding that party invitation you have no idea how to turn down without sounding awful and anti-social or avoiding calls from bank demanding you to pay the debt you've been meaning to pay but never did. 

I resonate with Bailey being an evader at a personal level. Whenever I had an argument with my friends, I wouldn't dare to look them in the eye or even be in their sight because I don't want to face any unwanted conversation that might actually clear the argument between us but I just don't want to deal with it. And trust me, being an evader has caused me regrets after regrets in my life because I tend to avoid things until the very end, until it was too late for me to do anything. Hence, seeing Bailey grew up and worked her way out to be more honest and open with the people around her; her dad, boyfriend and bestfriend, made me want to pat her on the shoulder because I know how hard it is to face forward when evading is so much easier. But evading is never good both for you and the people around you. It could affect your emotional and ruin relationships. 

Avoidance is a dysfunctional way to interact with people you care about.

Despite my praise for Alex, Approximately, I have ONE thing that doesn't sit right with me like an itch on the sole of my foot. Porter's childhood best friend, Davy became a drug addict and did drugs like heroin after he was prescribed with opioids for his injury. I don't like how Davy was portrayed as the villain and yeah I know he did unforgivable things to earn money to buy drugs but his friends and the people around him clearly knows, it's even stated in the book about how Davy's family issues caused his addiction to spiral out of control. And NOBODY tried to help him at all. NOBODY tried to put him in rehab and CONTINUE badmouthed him. I think Davy's addiction is a very serious problem and it should be addressed properly. Davy deserved a better ending. 

Overall, I really enjoy reading Alex, Approximately and would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a summer-y read. Summer hasn't ended yet, so you still have time to pick this book up!

Rate: ★★★★☆

My mom says we're all connected—people and plants and animals. We all know one another on the inside. It's what's on the outside that distracts. Our clothes, our words, our actions. Shark attacks. Gunshots. We spend our lives trying to find other people. Sometimes we get confused and turned around by the distractions.