9 Dec 2013

Review: The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding

The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding
February 5th, 2013 · Entangled Teen
Source: Gifted (thanks Brodie!)
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 352
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?
When I first stumbled upon The Reece Malcolm List, it sounded good though the cover made me hesitate. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and I'm usually pretty good when it comes to these sorts of things but we look to covers for a hint as to what the book is all about and this cover gave off a very cutesy, fluffy vibe. After reading reviews from authors I highly regard and hearing what they had to say, any reservations I had disappeared.

After losing her Dad and being shipped off to live with her biological mother who she’s never met and knows nothing about except for a short list she’s compiled over the years, it’s not hard to feel for Devan. She was never close with her Dad and she’s done the moving school thing countless times but that doesn’t make Devan’s story any easier and my heart went out to her. Though at times frustrating (see: romantic relationship debacles), Devan is a great character and one who I related with. Devan’s greatest passions in life are show choir and musicals which she simply lives for and adores. I loved this aspect and thought it was a perfect addition to the story, plus it was a lot of fun to read about.

I don’t usually talk about parent characters but let’s take a minute to talk about Reece. From her foot-in-mouth syndrome; to her awkwardness; and dislike of big crowds and shopping – she definitely makes for an interesting character. At first I found it hard to understand her, especially with how distant and withdrawn she started out but the more I got to know her, the more I grew to love her.

The mood is perfection and has just the right amount of light-hearted moments mixed in with some heavier, emotional ones. It was also surprisingly moving and managed to tug at my heartstrings. The main reason for this is the mother-daughter relationship between Devan and Reece. Apart from a stepmother who wouldn’t give her the time of day, Devan’s never had a mother and Reece has never had to be one so watching them figure out their relationship and these new roles they've never had to play was just so different to how mother-daughter relationships are usually portrayed in YA which was certainly refreshing. At times painful to watch and others awkward, their relationship is like a rollercoaster and a wild one at that.

I loved The Reece Malcom List; it was heartfelt, memorable (I read this months and months ago and I still remember it well) and SUPER enjoyable. It was already on my to-read list but after such a pleasing debut from Amy Spalding, I’m really excited to read her sophomore novel which released earlier this month, Ink is Thicker Than Water.



  1. Jessica Spotswood told me to read this and I thought about it, getting as far as to adding it to my tbr, but I think I'm going to actually make the effort and read it. It sounds like it might be delightful, I read Amy Spalding's Ink is Thicker that Water. I didn't like that so much but I think it's only because I was expecting something different and I think The Reece Malcom list is a very family orientated story.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  2. I really enjoyed this one ;o) I need to read INK IS THICKER THAN WATER! Great review!