The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

Thank you so much to my friend Maggie of Young Adult Anonymous for giving me a signed copy of Amy Spalding’s debut novel, The Reece Malcolm List. I kept hearing good things about this contemporary YA novel so I was pretty excited to read it.

The Reece Malcolm List Signed

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

The Reece Malcolm ListThings 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?

I felt like I read this book at just the right time. I just came back from L.A. when I read this more than a month ago and I was able to appreciate all the references to L.A. in the book. I got excited whenever I recognized any of the places or things mentioned – like having a burger from In N Out, which is something that I always make a point of having whenever I visit L.A. I’m a fan of musicals although I’m not as into the whole thing as Devan is – I mean I would like to be but I obviously don’t have her talent. I just enjoy watching musicals and I try to watch as many as I can. I wish I was more familiar with Merrily We Roll Along because that was the musical featured in the book. I probably would have appreciated Devan’s rehearsals more if I’ve seen Merrily We Roll Along on stage or if I knew the songs. I also love having karaoke sessions (we call it videoke back home in Manila) with my friends though because I like to sing even if I’m all heart and no talent. So I could totally relate to the karaoke scene in the book, I find it interesting that for a seriously talented singer like Devan, a fun karaoke session lets her unwind.

I liked reading about the characters and how Devan slowly got to know them – her theater friends, her love interests, her mom and even her mom’s boyfriend. There were interesting characters and dynamics within the novel. I really, really enjoyed reading this book and I felt like I would have fallen in love with it if it just had a little more emotional depth. I felt like there was enough room to draw upon the characters’ feelings – maybe more grief or anger from Devan over all the bad things that have happened in her life. I guess I was expecting something like that since her father passed away and she suddenly has to move in with a mom she has never met. I think that this novel is a very good debut and I’m definitely curious about Amy Spalding’s next book – it’s just that I wanted more than the overall lighthearted tone presented in The Reece Malcolm List. If you’re a fan of contemporary YA, then you should definitely check this one out. I’m not surprised that I’ve seen so many rave reviews for it because it’s a really fun read.

Other reviews:
Young Adult Anonymous
Good Books and Good Wine
The Allure of Books

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13 thoughts on “The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

  1. Hi! My name is Kayla and I love your website. Although I don’t read the same genre of books as you, we have something in common: we LOVE reading! Anyways, i’m about to start my own blog/website where I not only post book reviews and talk about books, but I’ll be posting recipes, my short stories, my photography, and more. Basically, it will be a place where I can express my interests and passions. Would you please follow/subscribe to my blog? I am trying to make it popular! Anyways, the url is http://www.tulipsandbulldogs.blogspot.com if you want to follow 🙂

  2. I’m currently reading this book, and I like it a lot! Like you, I think I’m hoping for more emotional depth to it, but I’m enjoying it for what it is. I love the musical theater references a whole lot! And it makes me happy that the musical primarily featured is Merrily We Roll Along – it’s such a good show!

    • I saw your instagram post about the book! I have a feeling you’ll enjoy reading this, let’s see if the lack of emotional depth becomes an issue for you as well. You might like it more than I did since it looks like you’re familiar with Merrily We Roll Along. 😀

  3. Ahh, that’s too bad that it didn’t have more depth, considering the major heartbreak in Devon’s life. I will keep that in mind and pick it up for it’s lighthearted side. Thanks for the review.

    • Holly, I think you’ll enjoy reading this if you’re in the mood for something light and fun. Like maybe if you’re feeling slumpish or something like that. Let me know when you get around to reading it. 🙂

    • Me too, I enjoy reading short books but this one could definitely have been longer. I want to reread it just to see all those L.A. references again. Mmmm Umami Burger! I wouldn’t mind having one of those again – even the ketchup was great. 😛

    • Allison, I think this book got some buzz from the blogosphere even before it came out. I remember I kept hearing about it on Twitter. Good to know you enjoyed reading it as well! I’m hoping Amy Spalding’s next novel will be even better.

  4. Pingback: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West | Chachic's Book Nook

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