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lizpatanders

lizpatanders

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The Reece Malcolm List - Amy Spalding I originally posted this review on Consumed by Books.As you’ve all figured out by now, I am willing to give most YA contemporary novels a shot, especially if it’s possible that romance will be involved. The Reece Malcolm List caught my attention when April and Kelly both gave it incredibly positive reviews. It’s obvious why Spalding’s novel has gotten rave reviews—Devan’s voice is incredibly authentic. While I found this book a bit too long and lacking in plot, reading it was an enjoyable experience.Devan’s put in an awkward situation in the beginning of the book: she’s meeting the parent she’s never met after losing one and starting at a new school where there’s a lot of competition surrounding the performing arts. In addition to adjusting to a new family, she’s also meeting new peers and teachers, and there are love interests. Between the musical, the boys, and her mother, it wasn’t clear which was supposed to be the dominant plotline. A lot of little things happened throughout the book, and it lessened the impact of what was supposed to be the major conflict. However, Spalding did a nice job of completing each storyline without it feeling like she was tying things a neat bow.This book focuses a lot on what Devan is feeling. Does the boy she likes care for her as well? Is she totally getting in the way of her mother and her boyfriend? Do her new friends really like her? She’s confident about herself and her talents as a performer, but has a lot of uncertainty about her relationships. A lot of teen and adult readers will relate to this aspect of the book.The performance aspect of this book is fairly serious. Spalding drops the names of a lot of musicals, and readers who don’t care for theater might be a little bored by it. Devan is the type of musician who has potential to make it into a career. I connected with her throughout much of the story, but I think there are other authors who have done a better job of writing about the experience of being a performer.Despite its heavy premise, The Reece Malcolm List is a book that I found enjoyable and even fun, at times. I loved reading a character whose emotions felt deeply familiar and relatable. While I still have minor qualms about the quality of this one, it’d be the perfect read to pass on to a teen who loves musical theater.