Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

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Source:  Received an eBook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

From Goodreads:

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 Thoughts:


3 stars - A coming of age story with hints of romance

This book is different.  It's an YA book that is sort of a mesh between a coming of age book, teen romance, and figuring out how to come to terms with the mess life threw at you.  The writing style can best be described as random.  What I mean is the story flows in spurts.  Some scenes have lots of detail, dialogue and descriptions and then quite unexpectedly things jump a day or two ahead with a cursory summary.  Sometimes I liked that - it kept the story flowing and the pages turning.  Sometimes I didn't like it - I would scream wait, I want to know more there.  Mostly it worked for this book.

I'm a character driven reader and when I don't really connect, I struggle.  I had some problems with Devon.  She feels so empty to me and almost two different people.  She's reserved and often feels invisible but as soon as she hits the stage or sings she's bold and outgoing.  I think it's meant to be that way because she's really had a difficult childhood.  The book really is her trying to figure out how to go forward after being raised by her father and stepmother and never having met her mother.  The bigger issue has to do with how her step mom treated her and why that is.  I won't say since it's kinda spoilery.  In the end, I do think she gets it together but it took a while for me to like her.

There are two guys, of course there are.  Only one has a chance with Devon but he see her as a friend.  My problem with these guys is that I'm not on either team.  One of them I like better but he did something that made me mad and I never got over it.  The other one had a lot of his own issues and really didn't realize how he felt about Devon until the very end.  I won't even say their names here because they are both very minor characters.  Not sure I like that.

The other main character is Reece, Devon's real mom.  She's quite the character, literally.  I can't really tell you much about her without giving things away.  The story literally is Devon making a list of things she learns about Reece.  Some good, some bad.  I will say that I liked Reece.  She made a lot of mistakes but she was real.  She got upset.  She had no idea how to be a mom.  But she was blunt.  She showed Devon a lot of love.  And she was in love.  That part was cute really.  I loved Brad.

Looking back, I'm not sure I was in the right mood for this book.  I enjoyed it but it's different.  Random.  If you're looking for romance, I think you should look somewhere else.  But if you love those coming of age stories where teens are sorting out their lives with some emotional baggage, then this is your book.     


  1. You know, I really liked Reece Malcolm List, but I know what you're saying about it being random. I did like Devan a lot, and Reece, but BRAD was my FAVORITE! And I didn't really like THE guy, now that I think about it. I liked the other guy.
    Great review, Pal!

  2. This sounds good, but for some reason I never really wanted to read it that much. I am glad that I waited to see some other reviews on it. I think I would like it, but not love it. Great review Val!!

  3. A coworker was just talking to me about this book this morning, she's not loving it so far, but I think it sounds worth reading. Thanks for the review!

  4. I've been looking forward to this one for awhile, and am considering buying it for my Nook, because it just seems like one I'd like. But I really wish that authors wouldn't write multiple love interests into EVERY book. I dated in high school, but I never had two hot guys after me at once! LOL. It just seems unrealistic, because although yeah it happens, it doesn't happen to everyone like YA authors are making it sound. Hmph. Okay, rant over!

    Great review, Valerie! It's too bad you didn't love this one, but you DID like it, and that's a good rec. :)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  5. I'm looking forward to this one. Sounds like a cute story.