Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding


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 was looking for a YA book that wasn't your typical boy-meets-girl kind of thing, and this book seemed to fit the bill.

In The Reece Malcolm List, Devan moves in with her biological mother whom she has never met before. As she learns more and more about her mother, she puts it down in a list in her notebook. In addition to dealing with her mom, she also has to make it work at her new school and with her new friends.

In a way, I guess I was expecting a Sarah Dessen-esque, introspective and emotional novel. This book, for me, was actually more like an episode of Glee. Devan reminds me so much of Rachel Berry. She's competitive, talented and aware of it, and she's a huge fan of musicals. She's what I imagine Rachel Berry was like before Season 1 of Glee.

Devan's new friends are an interesting bunch, however, I didn't really feel a deep connection with any of them. I was more sympathetic to Devan's mother Reece and her boyfriend Brad, though. Reece and Brad felt real and natural, like they were based on real people, so they felt more well-rounded than the other characters.

There were three major storylines throughout the book: Devan's relationship with her mother, Devan's school life and friendships, and Devan's lovelife. I didn't find Devan's lovelife all that compelling. I felt like the story would have been just as strong had the focus just been on Devan and her mother and her schooling. The book's strength really was Devan and Reece's interactions. Everything else seemed to pale in comparison with their scenes together. It was still an enjoyable read, though, especially for the beach when you're looking for something light.

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the e-ARC.


  1. Devan and Reece's interactions felt genuine.
  2. You get a peek of life inside a performing arts school.
  3. It's a light read but not necessarily fluffy.


  1. Some people may not connect with a lot of the characters.

"Pasta's always fine," says my mother, as Brad says, "I can definitely accommodate pasta."

  1. You like musicals.
  2. You like Glee.
  3. You want to read a YA book about the heroine's relationship with her mother.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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