Publishers Weekly Review
A year after her mother divorces to marry a lawyer, Bailey Rydell decides to leave Washington, D.C., to live with her father in California. One of her primary motives for going is to track down Alex, a boy she met online but has never seen in person. Like Bailey, Alex loves old films and, coincidentally enough, he lives in her father's neighborhood. But after Bailey settles in and starts a job at a quirky local museum, her mission to find her "film-buff soul mate" is sidelined as she becomes absorbed in a love-hate relationship with Porter, her arrogant, surfer coworker. As might be expected, Bailey's and Porter's fiery retorts soon kindle passion, and the two start dating despite Bailey's guilt about keeping him a secret from her online pal. In what's essentially a YA version of You've Got Mail, Bennett's (The Anatomical Shape of a Heart) contemporary romance offers sympathetic characters and plenty of drama. Although the climax is forced and predictable, the protagonists' backstories shed light on their respective anxieties, adding depth to their conflicts. Ages 14-up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Bennett's updated homage to You've Got Mail starts with two teens bonding online over their love of classic films. But will they be simpatico in real life? Bailey Rydell, aka "Mink," is a self-described "habitual evader" and an "artful dodger" who lives far away from her online friend "Alex." When Bailey moves across the country to the California town where Alex lives, she worries that "meeting real-life Alex could be great, but it could be one big awkward disappointment." Nonetheless, she begins a methodical search for her friend in the small town of Coronado Cove, but little does she know, a curveball is coming her way. Bennett has skillfully created a modern teen romance with a retro-cool vibe. Nods to Roman Holiday, North by Northwest, and other films appear throughout the novel, and quotes from iconic classic movies frame each chapter. The contrast of a sexy surfer love interest with Bailey's Lana Turner-inspired persona effectively creates tension. Adrenaline-fueled chase scenes, misunderstandings, complicated tragic backstories, and missed opportunities drive the narrative forward. Bennett's charming protagonist is equal parts introverted fashionista and vulnerable yet resilient heroine. There are a few mature references to sex, drugs, and drinking. Steamy romantic scenes capture the anticipation of young love and are carefully crafted to build to the inevitable and satisfying conclusion. VERDICT This contemporary romance is recommended for film buffs who appreciate witty repartee and a touch of the nostalgic. A strong addition to romance collections.-Eva Thaler--Sroussi, Glencoe Public Library, IL © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* You've Got Mail gets a teenage spin in this story of Bailey, classic film buff and product of divorce, who moves across the country to live in a California surfing town with her dad. Bailey's been swapping movie facts with online pal Alex, a boy who happens to live in that same California town. Alex, though, still thinks she lives on the East Coast and doesn't know her real name Bailey's mom is a high-powered divorce attorney, and Bailey is all too familiar with the value of privacy. A summer job at a local museum has Bailey finding a new best friend in spunky, British Grace and a new nemesis in Porter, a security guard and member of a legendary surfer family plagued by tragedy. It's not long before Bailey and Porter's verbal sparring turns into something more, and while it becomes clear to the reader that Porter is Alex, neither he nor Bailey have any idea. Strong character development makes this a must for romance readers: bottled-up Bailey has plenty of secrets in her past, and Porter's family dynamics, plus his Hawaiian background and disintegrating friendship with a troubled fellow surfer, give him depth. There are a lot of different, sometimes dramatic threads here, but the plot never feels overcrowded. Movie quotes kick off each chapter, and the California backdrop is an ideal setting for this uncommonly nuanced summer romance.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist