Published Entangled Teen, 5 February 2013
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?
Things you should know about me:
1. I got an A in Performing Arts in high school but I cannot carry a tune to save my life. But I can cry on cue and am naturally over dramatic about everything.
2. I LOVE musical theatre. I was the girl dancing in the stalls when I went to see Fame who then sprained her ankle when she fell down the steps from dancing too enthusiastically.
3. I like guyliner and good hair.
The Reece Malcolm List is the kind of book you don’t realise you’ve been waiting for until you turn the last page and burst into a frankly mediocre* performance of At Last. (*excruciatingly bad) Because FINALLY. AT LAST! Now everybody dance.
Things I love about this book:
1. The characters are all so authentic and Spalding really nails what friendships in high school are like. Some of them are fleeting but others remain a certainty. I loved how the characters were layered and acted like actual teenagers and not parodies of teenagers who eat thesaurus’s for breakfast. Like give me a break.
2. Reece is hands down the best ‘mom’ character I’ve read in a long time. She’s grouchy and awkward and doesn’t like crowds of people. She’s a little bit of a bitch with her directness and sometimes scathing humor but MY GOD do I want to be her friend. I get that she doesn’t like shopping and on some people I find that trait unforgivable BUT she is awesome so I am willing to let that slide. It’s refreshing to read about an adult that doesn’t totally have all her shit together
3. Devan is such an engaging protagonist. It was heart-warming to see her unapologetically and rightfully own her talent because damn can that girl sing. Also, can you please invite me to your next performance? Her enthusiasm for performing is infectious, like her passion for it is somehow imbibed into the pages of the book so you get infected to. I will give you cold hard cash if you didn’t finish this book and immediately want to do a leap or jazz hands or randomly burst into song.
4. Performing arts school is my ultimate fantasy. In my head people break into song halfway through class and dance around the corridors. I know this is probably a slight exaggeration but still, any book that delves into the competitiveness and highly strung atmosphere of performing arts is a book that I want to read. Along with an amazing cast of supporting characters the book progressed at an engaging rate and I never once felt my attention slip.
5. Brad. I don’t want to say much about this guy because like a fine wine he needs to be savoured. But I will tell you this; he has GOOD hair. He can cook. He has an accent. He is my new book boyfriend.
Spalding steps out onto the contemporary stage with a show stopping debut that is witty, original and super fun without losing any of its storytelling depth. Her writing is snappy and fresh with dialogue that hits all the right notes. I can't wait to see what she does next.