Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Reece Malcolm List: Review

Title: The Reece Malcolm List
Author: Amy Spalding
ISBN: 1620612402
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published Date: February 5th 2013
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Links: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 idea of a girl forming a list to find out more about her long lost mother had me hooked from the start. It sounded very interesting, and well the cover helped as well obviously, it was very beautiful.

Devan only found out about her mother by accident a year ago, then a few months later her father dies and she's shipped to live with her. Devan has no idea how she should act around her mother, what to say or what to do, so she remains polite and at times works on being invisible, that is, when she's not looking all over for clues as to who her mother really is. It doesn't help that her mother won't talk much or that she couldn't have come in a worst timing as her boyfriend had just moved in. Devan is always scared of the idea of being sent away that she never talks about what's going on with her to anyone, she bottles it up and attempts to get well with Reece. She also has a great time at school. Making new friends was never easy before, but now she has a group of them and gets to do the one thing she loves more than anything: Sing. But how long can she keep up the good behavior? How long can she keep a strong face with all the drama and guy trouble ensuing? How long does it take for all of the events of the past few months to finally break her down?

I really enjoyed the premise of the book. It was a new twist to the whole 'child finding long-lost parent' idea, though I had hoped it would end up being better than this. Devan is one of those unique characters because she doesn't actually act out. She was abandoned by her real mother, ignored by her father and treated horribly by her step-mom,  she has grounds to be upset and act out. However, she's overly polite, keeping everything in and unable to talk to anyone about the goings on in her life. Her only let out is music, which she relishes in. The group of people she gets to meet at school are branched out I guess. The idea of her and Elijah was a bit ridiculous in my opinion, I didn't get it. On the other hand, Sai wasn't any good either, sometimes I just wanted to punch him for his stupidity. To be honest only Mira and Trevor seemed realistic and believable enough in my opinion. You can't just go to a new school and have best friends straight away, Trevor in a way was going with self-preservation, and Mira was obviously allowed to be wary of the new kid who seems to be surprised that everyone thinks she's really good at singing - when it's obvious she knows it too.

I didn't like the dialogues so much and the character development in my opinion was a bit lacking. I guess as a sixteen year old Devan would have a few words she'd use involuntarily, however the repeated use of 'like' and 'totally' started to annoy me. I mean, sure it could have been on purpose since Reece had used them occasionally to mock Devan, but still, it made her sound very stupid. I had also hoped for more out of her confrontation with Reece. After all, when you read a book about a child that was given up years ago and finds her real mother, you're always on the lookout for when the kid finally breaks down and asks why they were given up,  what happened, at some point the curiosity would win out. I thought that part could use a little more work. Reece as a character was complicated, I get that, but the scenes with them together could have used some work. The ending didn't feel the least bit heartfelt or emotional enough especially with all the awful things that had happened to Devan. I had so many high expectations but was sadly disappointed in the end.

The writing is very flowing and it is a very quick read, yet being inside Devan's head the whole time wasn't such a fun experience. At times she would get annoying since she was repetitive and didn't react normally to many things.

All in all, a fun, quick read. Just not one of my absolute favorites.

Rating: 2.5/5


  1. awww, too bad you didn't like this book as much. I totally get about the instant friends thing, it is unrealistic. Also the big blow out? you always expect a pretty good one especially with a premise like that so I understand your disappointment. And bottling things up? I would have gone crazy. I don't like it when people keep things to themselves and not say what they really feel so I am sure Devin would have annoyed me.

    great and honest review Aliaa!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Thanks! She really annoyed me too! I had high hopes.