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The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

Friday, March 15, 2013

Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: Kindle e-book
Rating: 3/5

Sixteen year old Devan's life is thrown upside down when her dad passes suddenly and she finds herself on a plane bound for Los Angeles where she is due to meet her mother for the first time. Devan knows very little about her mother who just happens to be Reece Malcolm, a bestselling author and a bit of a recluse. So, she starts to compile a list of facts about Reece found through snooping and Googling. In the meantime, she must adapt to life at a competitive performing arts school. 

This was a nice, good old fashioned YA story. I don't think I've read one this young in a while and it was refreshing. The premise was solid and the characters were well thought out. Reece was spiky and unpredictable enough to increase reader sympathy towards Devan- even though she was quite annoying at times but in a cute way like most sixteen year olds. Brad, Kate and Vaughan all provided a sense of humanity and grounding to the story- I wish they had been in it a little more. Finally, Devan's new friends were interesting enough to keep the story going but did not overshadow Devan. I like that they called Devan out for her 'aw shucks, little old me?' routine. I'm of the Rachel Berry school of thought - if you have such a great talent, don't be afraid to let it shine. Be a little precocious, especially when you're sixteen at a performing arts school! The only problem I had was with Sai. I didn't get his character -perhaps if we met his dad it would have been easier to understand where his angst was coming from but he came across as a bit of a wet blanket to be honest. 

However, I mostly enjoyed the fact that half of the story was structured around the school musical. I think this was very brave on Amy Spalding's part because it could be hugely alienating but musical theatre is obviously close to her heart. If you dislike Fame/Glee/Smash et al. I would suggest giving this one a miss. Yet, in the wake of the success of Les Mis on the big screen, I guess this couldn't have come out at a better time - I'm sure there are lots of young people who got their first taste this way (although hopefully they went home and bought an original cast version of the soundtrack). Oh and to pick a Sondheim musical too, like I said, very brave Amy Spalding. I salute you. 

When I finished this book, I felt the way I do after watching something like Monte Carlo (with Selena Gomez) or The Princess Diaries. It was a solid, proper teen book with nice characters. Brava, Amy Spalding. 

Now You Know by Leslie Kritzer, Erin Mackey, Vanessa Williams, Barbara Cook on Grooveshark


  1. I recently added this one to my TBR list, so it's nice to read a good review of it. Thanks! :)

  2. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


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