Monday, 11 March 2013

Review: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Publisher: Entangled 
Publication date: 5th February 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars.


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?

Fresh, funny and tinged with heartache, The Reece Malcolm List tells the story of Devan, a girl still discovering her place in the world. Devan has always been on the move her entire life, her last place she was finally able to find a close friend in Justine. But then unexpectedly her dad is killed, she was never close to her dad but he still was still her only real family. Tracey was her step-mum, but there had always been that bitterness between them. So three months after her father’s death, Devan’s biological mother’s lawyer turns up with the announcement that she will be living with her mother. Devan hasn’t heard a peep from her mother in her sixteen years so she doesn’t really know what to expect. Who is the real Reece Malcolm? 

My first impression of Reece Malcolm was that she didn’t give two hoots about Devan; she didn’t even make the trip over to pick her up from St Louis, sent her lawyer instead and then didn’t even acknowledge Devan when she came to pick her up. But her aloofness and distance did simmer down pretty quickly, she did everything a normal parent is expected to do, but she never made it out that she wanted to do it. She was nice enough but not the best communicator; she was always one to make rash comments which came across quite hurtful without thinking things through. But Brad her boyfriend definitely made up for her behaviour, he was down to earth, charming and always thought of Devan. 

 I enjoyed the journey we went on with Devan discovering who Reece Malcolm was. It was funny how she had to find out bits of information through Google searching, observing her mother’s behaviour and snooping around. I wanted Devan to form a strong relationship with her mother who had abandoned her for 16 years with no explanation and at points we did see that coming through, but I’d rather have preferred Devan and her mother to be honest with each other in the beginning instead of keeping their ideas cooped up, eventually we knew it would lead to a big blow up. But I guess it was all necessary for them to realise the truth. 

Devan was a solid protagonist that I didn’t have a hard time connecting to, she was talented in the performing arts and she just needed stability in her life to keep her grounded. She wasn’t afraid of doing things which went against the grain even if it meant having no friends, and I admired her honest voice, it made her situation appear more realistic. Of course there were stumbling blocks along the way with a love quadrangle developing, (why is it always the case when a person is single you do nothing about it, but then when you’re with someone you suddenly show interest). The guy that Devan admired really wasn’t my cup of tea, he was indecisive, and how he always ran to Devan in time of need when he had a girlfriend made me root for the other guy. I supposed the way things resolved themselves between these characters would sit well with the majority of readers, but the behaviour of this guy didn’t leave the greatest impression on me.

However The Reece Malcolm list was solidified with a great set of secondary characters. They brought their own drama and cheerfulness which could perk you up very quickly. I liked how I’d started off with my initial favourites but was quick to change sides as the book progressed. 

Amy Spalding’s The Reece Malcolm list is definitely one debut novel to look out for this year, it delves into several issues Devan had to face in a realistic way, but also brought a lot of fun along the way.

27 comments:

  1. I've really been looking forward to this, so I'm glad to read another positive review, Jas. I'm looking forward to getting to know Devan!

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  2. I'm not a big fan of contemporary novels but I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Jasprit! Devan sounds like a drop of fresh water after all those sugary drinks :D

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part, Jasprit! I picked it up this past weekend and am really looking forward to reading it, so I can't wait to compare notes! It sounds fantastic!(:

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  4. Yay for solid MCs! I agree with Keertana ^ I'm glad you enjoyed this :) I'm so looking forward to this one! Great review :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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  5. A love quadrangle? NO JASPRIT! NO MORE LOVE GEOMETRY! Let's just have a love line for once yeah? Just a straight line between TWO people, no angles, no additional points, just two people trying to figure things out. That's hard enough without adding a third person to the mix:) Still, I do like the sound of Devan even if I think the indecisive boy she likes might bother me, so I'm keeping this on my "maybe" list:) Lovely review my friend!

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  6. Yay! I love when the secondary characters are good. I'm also super glad that you enjoyed this, Jasprit. Fabulous review! (:

    Loves,
    Megan@The Book Babe

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  7. The front cover for this is so cute! And the blurb really managed to capture my interest straight away.

    I haven't read anything like this before, and I will definitely be adding The Reece Malcolm List to my TBR. Devan sounds like a really great protag. and I love how you found her to be a solid character. And yay for the awesome secondary characters! In soo many books the secondary characters lack in some way, so it's really brilliant that this is not the case for this book!

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review with us, Jasprit. I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. :)

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  8. ooh this sounds like a cute book, and lemme say how much I just love the cover! Devan is a character id love to meet as well! Lovely review, dear!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  9. I have this coming up for review soon and I am looking forward to something fresh and funny. I love that it has great secondary characters, not thrilled with the quadrangle but I can live with it. I just want something upbeat!

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  10. This one's definitely on my TBR! Thanks for the lovely review.

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  11. Normally I won't go for a story with mother-daughter relation as the main theme, but I really like this one. I'll buy this one and read it when the time is right. I think I'll like it. Great review :)

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  12. Jasprit, I'm quite glad that you reviewed this book because I've been curious about it for awhile now. This seems like a cute read about a girl's quest to discover her real mother, but it seems kind of typical. I'm glad to hear that the Devan's spunkiness was able to keep your interest though. Beautiful review! Maybe I'll consider checking it out if I'm looking for a quick contemporary read. :)

    P.S. - A love quadrangle?!?! ...no.. words... ;)

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  13. why is it always the case when a person is single you do nothing about it, but then when you’re with someone you suddenly show interest

    Right?! This annoys me, too. I'm a little hesitant now with the mention of a quadrangle, but I still look forward to giving this a go one day. I know most people have been impressed and I'm glad you enjoyed it overall, too. :) Great review, Jasprit!

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  14. Ahh even though it might sound good and interesting I'm not going through love quadrangle ever again. I've read one book with it and the level of my frustration was too high. Great review Jasprit!

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  15. I wanted to read this book because the book focuses on the mother-daughter relationship and that is quite rare nowadays, but the whole love quadrangle is putting me off. I can't even stand a love triangle, I'm definitely not going to be able to handle a love quadrangle! Still, I'm glad to hear that you could connect with Devan! Lovely review, Jasprit! :)

    By the way, you're reading Ditched! I'm interested in seeing what you think of it. I hated the book with a passion, which is really rare for me!

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  16. Woah, a love quadrangle? Hm. This book sounds like a really great read! I'm glad you connected with Devan right away. Hopefully, that means I will, too! I also really love colorful secondary characters that are fleshed out. I think I'll have to pick this one up soon! Thanks for the wonderful review, Jasprit! :)

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  17. It's so weird, I have a copy of this but I had absolutely no idea what it was about. The story sounds even better than I'd hoped.
    Hah, once again the secondary characters save the day. I love an author who appreciates the power of supporting characters, and obviously Amy Spalding does. I should probably make time to read my copy.
    Great review, hon.

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  18. I only ordered this yesterday because it sounded like a cute story so I'm glad to see a good review from you Jasprit! I like that even though it has heartache it's also a cheerful read too. I'm pretty intrigued by this love quadrangle! Not sure if it'll be hit or miss with me but I hope Amy Spalding can pull it off :) lovely review!

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  19. I'm glad you enjoyed this one Jasprit. Sounds like you had lots of fun and switching favourites with the characters is always the best bit of the read.

    Fab review! :)

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  20. I like the growth in both Devan and Reece in the story. It's wonderful that you had an easy time connecting with Devan - I admired her honest voice too. Loved your review, Jasprit :)

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  21. I love a book with great secondary characters, though this sounds quite heart wrenching, and I don't know how I feel about a love quadrangle :) Great review Jaspirit.

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  22. This looks so good, so I'm glad you did enjoy it overall! The quadrangle does sound concerning; triangles are bad enough, and I agree, no-one does anything when a person is single but suddenly they're with someone and all hell breaks loose. It sounds like Devan and her mother should have been honest with each other from the start. I'm very curious as to why she suddenly abandoned her daughter. Overall this does sound like a lovely mix of serious and fun. Wonderfuly review, Jasprit! :)

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  23. While it's a shame that Reece and Devan didn't connect in quite the way you would have wanted them too, it's great to hear that Devan and the cast of secondary characters really shined in this book. I think that a book focusing on this type of thing would be a total flop if the reader couldn't sympathize with the protagonist.

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  24. I just don't feel like picking up this book and even though it sounds pretty good I think I'm going to avoid it.

    Thanks for the great review though :)

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  25. Sorry the characters didn't connect like you wanted, but glad that it was fresh and funny.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  26. I wasn't sure about this one either - I've heard a lot of different things about it so I decided not to pick it. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more but great review x

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  27. I enjoyed this one -- though there was too much performing arts stuff for my taste, I thought the story was unexpected in some ways that I really enjoyed!

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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