Rating:

alex approximately book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It was several lifetimes ago that I was a teenager, and a mostly unsuccessful one, at that. My interests were not necessarily those of others of my age. My high school was really, really BIG on diversity in all things, so we all managed to fit in there, somewhere, somehow.

I wasn’t exactly sure I’d be able to successfully climb into Bailey’s head for the length of the book, but I found it surprisingly easy, as a matter of fact.

Bailey’s home life has been truly unusual, especially since her parents were divorced. Mom, a high-powered lawyer, stayed in the Washington DC area, where she joined a new firm, and sort of half-heartedly made a home for Bailey. However, trouble followed from a lawsuit that Mom defended, and Bailey ended up in the cross-fire. Once put back together again, she decided to move to California to live with her Dad. It had to be easier there, where no one knew her or her Mom. Dad had a rather low-key, but good-paying job as a CPA, in the surfing community located on the Pacific Ocean.

Bailey’s Dad helps her land a job as a summer intern at the Cavern Palace Museum, where she meets a ‘cool’ sort of guy named Porter Roth, who is part of the security staff at the Museum. Almost more importantly, she gains another new friend, as well. Grace will be a stalwart addition to Bailey’s later teen years. Before long, the mutual attraction between Bailey and Porter brings them together away from the Museum, and she learns of the surfing tradition of his family. His father and grandfather had been champions, and now his younger sister, Lana, is about to embark on a season of competition.

Bailey loves old (classic) movies, and knows them all, nearly line by line. With this terrific interest, she engages in an e-mail back-and-forth with Porter Roth, a boy in California. Neither knows the real ID of the other. Bailey is ‘Mink’ while Porter is ‘Alex’. We learn about this fairly early on, but neither of them do.

For all the wrong reasons, Bailey things another young man is ‘Alex’ but he really should be named TROUBLE!!! In reality, his name is Davy, and his desire is to be a ‘bad boy’.

During the long summer, Bailey and Porter become closer as friends, while still maintaining their regular daily activities. Eventually, Bailey begins to think Porter might be Alex, after all, but he doesn’t seem to reciprocate. Finally with the help of Bailey’s dad, his lady friend, Wanda – a local police officer – and Porter’s family, all is made clear, and the two head off to their respective college years. They’ve formed a bond that will not easily be broken, as the two display wisdom and maturity beyond their years.

Alex, Approximately is a very readable, very enjoyable tale suitable for most ages, actually, from teens on up. It certainly held my interest!


First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.