The Low Down: Devan Mitchell is finally getting the reunion she wanted. Well, except for the dad dying unexpectedly part. But here she is, winging her way to Los Angeles, where she’s going to see her mom. For the first time, since, well, birth.
Reece Malcolm is her mom, yes, that Reece Malcolm – the famous author. Once Reece finds out that Devan is a singer and totally into show choirs and musical theater, she gets her into a prestigious high school that specializes in the performing arts.
First Devan meets a fellow newbie, Sai, who has also recently moved from St. Louis. They bond instantly over singing and show tunes. Devan is smitten. Much to her surprise, she makes some new friends easily, and is happy in California.
Still trying to figure out her relationship with her mother is going to take some work. Will her mom think it’s worth it?
Best Thang ‘Bout It: This is going to sound silly, but I like that Reece isn’t totally likable. Isn’t that more normal? Yet you can tell there are loving feelings buried underneath. Plus I enjoyed the dynamic between Devan and Mira. Again, the reality of someone plopping into their established social circle has to ruffle some feathers. The Elijah storyline works well, too. (*Shrugs* It happens!)
If you are into performing, singing, musicals and all of the backstage stuff that goes along with that, this is for you.
I’m Cranky Because: I was in choir for seven years. I did select choir. I am a HUGE lover of musicals. When I was a kid, pre-teen, teenager, young adult, *ahem* occasionally now, I would take the Broadway cast album of Bye Bye, Birdie or West Side Story or The Sound of Music and play them over and over again, singing along and making up hideous choreography. I was in all my high school’s musicals, too; so I get that part of the book. So that’s why it was so baffling to me – why didn’t I enjoy all the talk? Maybe it seemed limiting, like this book was intended for a very select group of readers? Maybe it was because I have never seen Merrily We Roll Along? For whatever reason, I have to say it got a little “one-note.” I enjoyed the regular back-and-forth between the characters much better, like between Brad and Reece.
My other “complaint?” Things seemed to happen so easily for Devan; I actually like the surrounding characters better than I liked her. The conflicts in the book were real, but there was not a lot of substance to them. I needed a little bit more.
The Bottom Line: It’s a good book about knowing who you are – no matter where you came from. Or grew up with.
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding was published February 5, 2013 by Entangled Teen. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Nothing of note.