The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
When Devan’s father dies, her world is turned upside down. Not because they were exceptionally close, but because he was the only parent she had, the only parent she knew. That is, until she receives a notice telling her to pack her bags, and jet set to California where she’ll live with Reece Malcolm.
Reece Malcolm, who graduated from New York University and a best-selling author, is Devan’s biological mother. Devan doesn’t know much, anything really, about Reece. Before she knows it, Devan’s life revolves around a top-notch school of performing arts, a whole new set of friends, and even a few romantic escapades – but not around the mother she so desperately wants to know.
In the hopes of getting to know Reece better, as a friend and as a mother, Devan takes matters into her own hands. She collects tidbits and factoids about her mom and starts The Reece Malcolm List – a list of all the things she knows about her mom. But besides the list, Devan snoops around looking for any clue of who this slightly older version of herself truly is. But the most she snoops, and the longer the list grows Devan realizes that she’s no closer to cracking the hard shell that is her mother.
The Reece Malcolm List, written by author Amy Spalding, is a fun debut full of lots of dramatics and lots of heart.
Spalding’s writing is simply strong. Seamlessly, she weaves a story that isn’t bogged down by over the tops words and over the top descriptions. Instead, she weaves a story that is contemporary, realistic, and highly relatable.
As strong as the writing is, what really makes The Reece Malcolm List such a great read are the characters that fill the pages. Devan is a great leading lady. She’s grounded yet dramatic. She’s inquisitive to the point of being sneaky. But what makes her so super relatable is the fact that she’s unsure – of her surroundings, of her new school, friends, and life, of her mother, and even of herself. We all know what that feels like, to be so unsure of something it’s actually scary.
Besides that, I really enjoyed how Devan was a true shining star. I loved how she had a talent that was all her own, not passed down from either one of her parents. And it’s that talent that helps her stand on her own two feet, despite the many setbacks she encounters.
I really liked Reece Malcolm despite the many reasons not to. She was a quirky character who, just like her daughter, is still trying to figure life out. Reece wasn’t a perfect character, nor was she a perfect mother, but she was real. As much as my teenage self easily identified with Devan, my adult self identified with Reece.
I loved the setting of The Reece Malcolm List. Even more than this, I loved how author Spalding’s not overly done descriptions transported me right into the center of the Devan’s life. And I thought that Devan’s performing arts school was a pitch perfect backdrop to Devan’s life and her thematics.
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding is a great satisfying read that isn’t only contemporary, it’s real.