Review Blog

Mar 18 2013

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

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Entangled Teen, 2013. ISBN: 9781620612408.
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Themes include: Family relations; Grief/Loss; Romance; Friendship; Identity. The Reece Malcolm List can best be described a pretty typical YA novel aimed at girls, but it does what it does so well, that it's hard to fault it for being a little too predictable and for Devan being a little too perfect.
Devan's father died three months ago, and as the book starts, she's winging her way to Los Angeles to live with her mother, Reece Malcolm, a woman Devan has never met or been told about. Reece Malcolm (for almost the entire book, Devan refers to her mother using both names) is a well-known novelist, and is reclusive and mysterious. I was totally caught up in Devan's quest to learn anything and everything about this woman, who is not easy to live with or in any way motherly. Devan is a very quiet, solitary girl, although her love of and talent for singing is one thing she isn't shy or modest about. It's the one part of her life she can control and these sections of the novel provide readers with a glimpse into the lives of teenagers who love show choirs, musical theatre, and performance. A bit like 'Glee' - but not really. I liked Devan's mish-mash of friends and her acceptance into this tight group. Devan and Reece Malcolm's relationship is more bumpy, more unexpected, and more challenging. I liked Reece. She is a flawed yet wonderfully unique character. I especially enjoyed Brad's inclusion in this strange family situation. The love story plot works well and Devan's potential suitors are both interesting and worthy. I think teenage girls will love this.
Trisha Buckley

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