Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding


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?

The Reece Malcolm List is a coming-of-age novel that appeals to YA contemporary fans of various backgrounds. As the author, Amy Spalding, writes about growing up and adjusting to new environments, she also dabbles into what it's like to find yourself amidst the halls of high school.

What made this book stand out from other YA books are the friendships formed throughout its plot. The main character, Devan, used to be what some would call a "loner" in her old school. Upon moving, she gains a bunch of friends. Why? It's because of their shared interests and experiences. If there's anything that I learned from the friendships in this novels, it's that real and sincere relationships (both platonic and romantic) stem from a shared understand and passion about anything. For Devan, her new friends formed from their shared love of theatre, performing, and music. 

The second aspect of this novel that I enjoyed the most was the dynamic of Devan and her mother. Amy Spalding crafted a mother-daughter relationship that was not sugarcoated. She encapsulated teenage angst, doubt, and frustration within Devan, while portraying her mother as a figure who took a very little part in the preceding years of Devan's life. And when Devan reunited with her mom, it wasn't melodramatic. In fact, I find a scarce number of their conversations together melodramatic because they felt so real. 

If you're looking for a YA novel that has a realistic mother-daughter portrayal with a hint of comedy and a whole lot of theatre kids, then pick up The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding. 

“It's hard to do that, to completely let go of who you are, even for only a few minutes. I'm not even completely sure of who I am sometimes and I still find myself hanging on to me when I act.” 
― Amy SpaldingThe Reece Malcolm List

*photo is from Goodreads

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