Review: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

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?

This was my substitute book for February for my debut author challenge after I didn’t like the first one I picked out. For some reason I didn’t think this one sounded very interesting, but I “had” to pick a book for that month and none of the others caught my eye either.

I was wrong.

I’m definitely NOT interested in musical theatre. In fact, I hate musicals (except The Sound of Music). I watched Glee (note the past tense) but I never really liked it that much. I just liked hearing the characters singing songs I already liked, and when they weren’t doing that, I was bored. So, yeah, Devan’s main interest in life, and something that’s a big part of the book, is something I usually make fun of. But I really liked Devan. More than that, I also liked her mom Reece and her mom’s boyfriend Brad and her new friends in Los Angeles. I think Brad might have been my favorite character in the whole book. Reece, given the backstory we knew at the beginning, could have been a Villain, but she wasn’t. She was just a normal woman who made her choices and was living with them.

I liked the relationship that developed between Devan and her mother even though I was very turned off by Devan’s snooping (reading Reece’s email, looking through her room, etc.) I understand why she did it, I just didn’t like that she did.

Things I didn’t like? Devan was a bit of a Mary Sue. Almost everything in Los Angeles came so easily to her. Reece bought her a ton of clothes to start school. There was no doubt Devan would get into the choirs she wanted or that she would get the part she wanted in the musical. As the new girl she fell into a group of friends right away. She mentioned (several times) that no boys had ever been interested in her before, but here, she easily caught the eyes of two boys. It was all just so easy for her. The only thing I felt she really struggled with was her friendship with her friend from Missouri, and there was no real resolution there. But I guess sometimes that’s how it goes.


  1. I like your review. I was totally get into the musical theme in books and liked this book.
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