The Reese Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Page Count: 352
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Janice
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?
Hit and Miss
When I read the blurb for The Reese Malcolm List, I was intrigued. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, this could be interesting". And it was. The mother-daughter relationship that builds between Devan and the mother she never knew, Reese Malcolm, was by far the highlight of the entire book. There was awkwardness; there was humor; there were mistakes aplenty and some truly beautiful, touching moments. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of high school drama. I was prepared for that (this is a YA novel, after all) but I didn't expect it to affect me so much.
I think the problem was age. Mine, specifically. It's not something I run into often but every once in a while, a YA book will really make me feel my years, and sadly, this was one of them. The school scenes, and the joys (and pains) of first love that Devan experienced, didn't draw me into the story, but rather, pushed me out of it. No matter how hard I tried - and I did try - I simply couldn't relate to that side of Devan's life. It was terribly frustrating, because I genuinely liked Devan as a character and wanted to enjoy all of her story instead of merely part of it.
Don't let my experience sway you, though. The Reese Malcolm List has real heart, and you may find it is exactly the book for you. Give it a try and see for yourself.
2.5 Stars ★★1/2
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.