I’ve been looking forward to reading The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding ever since first seeing the synopsis. A mother the protagonist has never met! Performing arts school! Cute boys! I am happy to say that this book more than lived up to all my high hopes.
So, when Devan’s dad dies she has to move to L.A. to live with the mother she has never met. Who just so happens to be a best selling author. Ever since finding out who her mother is, Devan has kept a list of facts. As the book unfolds and she gets to know more and more, she keeps the list going. (You know, this is where the whole The Reece Malcolm List title thing comes in.) You guys, the growing relationship and lingering tension between Devan and her mother throughout the book is FABULOUS. Like, pure awkward-are-you-my-mother-why-are-you-buying-me-pity-ice-cream-thanks-for-calling-me-your-biggest-mistake-wow-maybe-you-do-care-about-me-after-all chaos.
Devan is also a ridiculously talented singer who is thrilled to have the opportunity to flourish at a distinguished performing arts school. For the first time in her life, she has friends and boys that are interested in her. I loved LOVED seeing her come to life as the book progressed. She grew up in a small town without the opportunity to really show her talents (and boy can I attest to the fact that choirs and the performing arts don’t really make you a popular kid in high school in this part of the country).
When she moves to L.A., her personal style makes her a quirky fashionista instead of a weirdo. Her talent makes her respected and meeting people who share her interests gives her a chance to show her personality. And yeah, for the first time, boys are interested. And she is definitely interested in them!
You guys, the way Devan handled the men in her life basically made her one of my all time favorite protagonists in YA contemporary. She is really interested in one of her good friends, but he has a girlfriend so she agrees to date the guy that is showing interest in her. Then, she ends up in a long, revealing phone call with the other boy, realizes he is basically THE ONE regardless of anything else and immediately goes home and breaks up with the guy she had been dating.
Um, can you say AWESOME? Holy bananas, you guys. A female in YA who actually knows her heart and makes decisions instead of waffling back and forth between two guys for an entire book. Amy Spalding, I could kiss your feet.
Unfortunately, the fact that the main love interest had a girlfriend for the majority of The Reece Malcolm List is the one glaring issue that left me a little meh. He is pretty clearly interested in Devan from the beginning, so the fact that he ends up with another girl seems more like a glaring plot device than something this guy would actually do. He is pretty wonderful, but it is really hard to respect a character that plays the ‘idiot’ card so hard. Sigh, too bad.
Basically, regardless of dumb boy behavior, The Reece Malcolm List is pretty spectacular. Devan is an insanely amazing character, and her interactions with her mother, her friends and herself all made me love her more and more. You have got to meet this girl for yourselves, y’all!
To Sum it Up:
- Awkward-but-wonderful mother daughter tension runs high throughout, you guys. The play-by-play is amazing. You can’t help but love Reece Malcolm even though you want to punch her throat for not being in Devan’s life growing up.
- Devan is THE COOLEST. No joke. I would pay her to be my friend.
- +10 bonus points for a performing arts school that is awesome instead of ridiculous.