This YA romance (352 pages) was published in February of 2013 by Entangled Teen. The book takes you to a performing arts school in L.A.. Melissa read The Reece Malcolm List and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.
This novel follows in the great literary tradition of stories that begin with the death of a parent — and then author Amy Spalding takes the plot in pleasingly unexpected directions.
When 16-year-old Devan’s father dies, she’s exported to Los Angeles to live with her mother, a best-selling author she’s never met. Devan is a list-maker, and in her journal, she keeps a heartbreakingly meager list of the facts she knows about her mom, a.k.a., Reece Malcolm:
After a bumpy start in her new home, Devan enrolls in the performing arts school and begins to find her way: She makes friends, explores the arena of cute boys, and pursues her passion for singing.
But nothing is ever simple as we’d like it to be, and her conflicting bouts of confidence and insecurity perfectly encapsulate the agony of adolescence. She’s confused about her romantic feelings; she lashes out at the people she cares about the most; she yearns for female friends she can trust.
This light read plumbs emotional depths without clonking you over the head with its message. It has a genuine sweetness and optimism about it, and is, ultimately, about finding where and how to belong in the world.
He’s wearing a totally normal T-shirt from the mall or whatever, but it hangs on him like the shirt has fulfilled its sole mission in life. — Amy Spalding
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.