The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding is realistic teen fiction, but on the lighter side. It deals mostly with family dynamics.
Devan's father dies, she is sent to California to live with Reece
Malcolm, the mother she has never even met. Reece Malcolm, a successful
author, is so reclusive that Devan can't even find out much about her
from the Internet, so she starts keeping a short list of the things she
knows about Reece Malcolm. Upon arrival in California, Devan learns many
things about Reece -- including that she is willing to give Devan a new
wardrobe and get her into a performing arts school so Devan can follow
her dream of a career in musical theatre. But no matter how much Devan
learns about her mother, she can't help thinking that Reece didn't want
her in the first place, and probably doesn't want her now. Will Devan
and Reece manage to become a real family, or is sixteen years of
separation too great a barrier to overcome? Also cooking, Sondheim, and kissing.
This debut novel has a
lot of good points -- the voice is spot on, the characters are
well-rounded, and the pacing is good. The plot is so similar to One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies
by Sonya Sones that I almost felt at times that I had read it before,
but the style, characters, and secondary plot lines help differentiate
it from that book. I think young teens will really enjoy this story, as
will all readers who enjoy YA lit of this variety.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)