My CBR holiday gift exchange package arrived at just the right time when Alex, Approximately was exactly what I was in the mood to read. A young adult romance with emotions running high, life lessons, and swoony romance was just the thing to get me out of my post-Christmas funk.
Essentially, this book is a modern, young adult take on The Shop Around the Corner story, but different enough that it doesn’t feel like a perfect retelling. There were little nods to its origin, but also some great surprises along the way that keep this story feeling fresh and new.
Mink and Alex are usernames for two friends on a film discussion forum. It’s clear to both that they like each other, but they’re separated by an entire continent. Except that Bailey (Mink) is moving in with her father who lives in the same Californian town as “Alex.” She keeps it on the down low because she doesn’t want things to be awkward and she’s hoping to scope out the situation without a ton of pressure. Things do get awkward when she meets Parker, a surfer who she immediately dislikes, but then things start to heat up with.
I think you’ll know ahead of time if you’ll like this one. It has some improbable plot points and backstories, but if you’re generally okay with other young adult stories with similar issues, you’ll find this to be as cute as I did. If those sorts of tropes drive you crazy, maybe stay away from this one.