The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Things I know about Reece Malcolm:1. She graduated from New York University.2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.5. She’s my mother.Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything? (Goodreads)
Devan has never really met her mom. She knows a handful of things about her, one being that she’s a famous author, and two being that she gave up Devan to her dad years earlier, no relationship, no communication. Now, after her father has died tragically, her stepmother ships her off to live with her mother in Southern California to start a new school, a new life. Devan wants so badly to know her mom better, to know anything more than she’s already discovered on Google (which isn’t much). But Reece is quite the enigma. She’s nice–super-nice. Her home is beautiful. She has this amazing live-in boyfriend. And she welcomes Devan without being too touchy feely and without really enveloping her into her life as a daughter. She’s like a cool aunt or godmother.
At the same time, Devan is finding her way at her new performing arts school (yes there are show tunes and choruses in this book!). She’s quite the musical geek and at her school she is in Musical Geek Mecca. There it’s cool to be a performer and to like Broadway tunes (seriously can I go there?Now?). She’s balancing auditions and performances, and kissing, and missing her old BFF and making new friends, all while trying to snoop on her mom. She wants to know what happened with her parents. She wants to know if she’s wanted now.
This was a charming book. I didn’t knock my socks off, but I enjoyed every single page. I looked forward to picking it up every day (don’t you love that feeling?). Devan’s thoughts are so authentic, her inner struggles so real, And Reece, what can I say about her? There were moments I just wanted to smack her because niceness and friendliness can’t cover the volume of the unanswered questions Devan had. She was a wonderful character one moment and completely frustrating the next, but I have to be honest. She really grew on me. I felt I came to understand her and I came to love the little family they built–Devan, Reece and Reece’s boyfriend. I was even a little sad when it all ended.
Crush Intensity: 4/5 Yes there is humor, there is awkwardness and there is romance and kissing, but the heart of this story is Reece and Devan, and I was very satisfied with where it all went.
Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Teen for giving me an e-galley of this book.