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Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding

352 pages, YA Contemporary
Standalone book
My rating: 3.5 stars


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?

My 2 cents

Overall, this was a really fun read!  It struck a nice balance between light and funny with a mix of teen angst and self confidence issues.  I really loved the main character, Devan.  She and her mother, Reece, were the most developed characters of the story.

So Devan has a pretty messed up life.  Her father, who was married,  had an affair with a teenager, and Devan is the result of it.  Reece, her mother, doesn't want to raise a kid, so she gives Devan to her father.  As a result, Devan feels like an unwanted child.  Her stepmother can't stand her, her father ignores her, and her mother has never tried to contact her.

Then, Devan's father dies, and Reece inherits Devan.  The story starts out with Devan on the plane to L.A, 3 months after her father's death.  She moves in with Reece and Reece's boyfriend, Brad.  Brad is the other standout character in the story.  He actually becomes one of Devan's best confidantes!  

At first it seems that Devan could have all she ever wanted.  Her mother's house is spacious and gorgeous,  she is enrolled in a private fine arts school (a dream come true since all Devan loves to do is act and sing), and her mother takes her shopping for all new clothes, furniture, computer, you name it!  Devan seems to have no problem making new friends at her new school, and she is accepted into the top choirs of the school.   But none of that seems to make up for the fact that Devan doesn't think Reece can stand her at all.

The best parts of the story was the relationship between Devan and Reece.  I think the story would have been better if it had focused more on that aspect.  A good chunk of the middle of the story is about seemingly unimportant teen details with boys, clothes, and friends.  I was actually kind of bored for about 100 pages or so.  I think the author was trying to throw in things that teens like to read about, but it took away from the story arc of the mother and daughter too much for me.   I did enjoy the ending, though.  This was a nice easy contemporary read!

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