July 31, 2013

The Reece Malcolm List - Amy Spalding

The Reece Malcolm List - Amy Spalding
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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? (modified from Goodreads)

It will probably come as no surprise that I liked The Reece Malcolm List. The book has a lot of appealing elements – (1) a quirky, fashionable, main character who (2) attends a performing arts high school, (3) has a penchant for making lists and (4) a mother who writes novels for a living. The combination of these elements reminded me of a Disney Channel original movie, what with its lively vibe, charming characters and family-based tale.

Devan, our main character, is quirky, with an eye for fashion and gifted with an incredible voice. Her mother, Reece Malcolm, has penned many a novel, but is pretty clueless when Devan becomes her responsibility. Her mother’s boyfriend, Brad, is a character I liked instantly, as he knows exactly how to handle Devan and Reece (and he’s British). There are Devan’s new friends from her school, among them a guy she likes and girl who doesn’t really like her (or acts like it anyway). I liked reading about everyone, but my favorites are Devan and her mother.

The matter of Devan’s relationship with her mother is really the heart of this book. Sure, there were other parts of the plot (like the romance, a new group of friends and a new home), but this was the part that really affected me. It started as a struggle, borne of a lack of familiarity. It felt jarring that a role that had been empty for most of their lives (Reece’s daughter, Devon’s mother) was suddenly being filled by a stranger. As they started to learn more about each other and how to deal with each other, the foundation of their relationship was being laid out. It was heartwarming to discover their true sentiments towards each other, and to watch as they tentatively began to embrace their mother-daughter relationship. Spalding did an admirable job of developing their relationship realistically, and that was definitely a strong point of this novel.

The only thing that really didn’t strike me as necessary in this novel was the romance. It was interesting to read, and both guys that liked Devan were great characters on their own. But I didn’t like the way the romance was approached, nor did I like how it all played out in the end. This is, however, more of a personal preference than anything else, as I know there are a number of people who really did like this aspect of the book.

The Reece Malcolm List was entertaining, and written with a lot of heart. I found myself smiling as I read it, particularly whenever I encountered a reference to something I was familiar with. But I also found myself feeling for Devan and Reece as they attempt to build a relationship after years of not really knowing one another. While the romance didn’t do it for me, and I felt an odd disconnect from Devan at points, I would say that The Reece Malcolm List is well worth a read.


  1. A Disney channel original movie? SOLD. ;) This book sounds so so cute, and with the mother-daughter strongpoint in this book, it's a must-read for sure. It's a shame that the romance didn't work out for you, but I'm glad you highly enjoyed this one anyway. I need this book in my life! Thanks for the fabulous review, Alexa!

  2. I totally agree (on many points)!
    One - Totally a great Disney channel movie!! Haha :)
    Two - I LOVED Reece & Devan's relationship and them getting to know each other.
    Three - I didn't really care for the romance either. I actually felt uncomfortable with the guys in this book and just didn't feel for them and I agree... I didn't really like the way it was handled!

  3. This sounds right up my alley. I love a good feel-good novel. Sounds like something I would like to take as a holiday book.
    Nice Review,
    Jo from http://alittlereadingtherapy.blogspot.co.uk/

  4. While I love a good romance, I also love when books are centered around families, especially when it's not the everyday kind of family so I need to pick this one ASAP! Great review Alexa!

  5. This sounds super cute. It might be exactly what I've been looking for lately. Great review, Alexa! :)

  6. I have had this one on my list for quite a while. I'm afraid that I won't enjoy it as much because of the theater aspect - no interest in that sort of thing. But reviews I've read have been so good that I'm keeping it on the list. Good you enjoyed it :-)

  7. Yay! I'm glad you liked this one! I've had this one for quite some time now, and don't know why I haven't read it! I really need to get on the ball!

  8. Couldn't agree more. I loved the family element of this story a lot, but the romance just didn't do it for me. I really liked the book overall, but found myself wanting to rush through the stuff that didn't involve Reece and Devan's relationship.

  9. Ugh I hated the romance as well. I actually found the adults really well-done (not always the case in YA!) and preferred their moments the most especially those with Brad.

  10. Hmm now that you have me thinking about it, I think I agree with you that the romance wasn't really necessary. I did get a little frustrated, like WHY AREN'T YOU TWO TOGETHER ALREADY! But that aside... :) Yep, this book is great :)


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