|The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding|
February 5, 2013
Source: NetGalley for honest review
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?
I've been debating how to rate this book ever since I finished it. Throughout the book, it was a solid 4 stars, if not 4-1/2 stars. The ending was so well written and was a solid 5 stars. But what also impacted me about this book is that the story stayed with me for days afterward. These characters and their story were not easily forgotten. So with that said, I'm going with 4-1/2 stars. Now onto my review...
My Highlights List from The Reece Malcolm List:
1. The Los Angeles setting: Being from L.A., I was thrilled to read the areas described in the book and know where they were and what the author was talking about. I could relate to the setting and felt that much closer to the characters.
2. The writing: I liked Ms. Spalding's ability to convey Devan's character, her feelings, her insecurities, throughout the novel. She also didn't limit us to just another teen romance novel. This book was about so many things: Devan adjusting to life after her father's death and meeting her mother for the first time, all the insecurities that come with that, adjusting to a new city/state, changing schools and meeting new people, budding romance and relationships, and so much more. There were secrets to uncover, and felt like I was right there alongside Devan. Ms. Spalding kept the pace flowing and I felt engaged with the novel the entire time. I found it surprisingly difficult to put this book down.
3. The characters: I loved the realness and relatability of Devan. Reece grew on me as we uncovered her mysterious depths, and by the end I really liked her. Brad was a breath of fresh air. Devan's friends at school were a total mix and I liked how they engaged each other (or ignored, or avoided, or fought, or comforted each other, depending on the day). There are a couple of swoony boys for Devan to deal with as well. But there were no perfect people. They all had faults and made mistakes. Even by the end, they were still resolving things, but that is one thing I appreciated. They felt real and had to deal with their problems.
4. The ending: I loved the ending. Ms. Spalding was able to confront Devan's issues, give her a sense of peace, yet leave a little something out there that wasn't perfectly resolved. This, too, felt real yet happy enough for someone like me who loves a HEA. I was very touched by this lovely novel.
The Reece Malcolm List is a truly engaging, contemporary young adult novel, set within the confines of Los Angeles and musical theatre, and involving family, friendship, and fledgling first love. Amy Spalding wrote a wonderful, touching debut.