Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book review: "Going Vintage" by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, will be out March 26, 2013

When Mallory finds out her boyfriend Jeremy has an online girlfriend, named BubbleYum no less, she is humiliated, shocked, and hurt. When the situation starts to snowball out of control and she is a target of abuse  on Friendspace (the fictional equivalent of Facebook), Mallory decides to completely swear off technology, especially after finding a list her grandmother wrote in 1962 at the beginning of her own junior year of high school: become the secretary of the pep club (for Mallory this means starting one first), sew a homecoming dress (after learning to sew), find a steady (not necessarily for herself—swearing off boys), host a soiree, and do something dangerous. But accomplishing everything on the list, along with her other responsibilities, without any technology that was available in 1962 is no easy task as it turns out. She enlists help from her sister, and accidentally gets the help of Jeremy's hipster cousin, but it's her connection with her grandmother that proves to be the most difficult to make.

This is a fun, upbeat addition to teen literature. Mallory is a very likable person, and very funny, even if she is sometimes squashed by others (i.e. Jeremy). I was amazed at how well she handled the whole Friendspace fiasco, especially after she started receiving threatening text messages from strangers who apparently are all Team Jeremy. She never lets anything bother her to the point of despair, bouncing back from everything that is thrown from her. I loved her determination to stick to the rules she gives herself, with of course the help from her sister Ginnie. She really tries to get into the period, which by the way readers will also start to get a feel for from all the information Leavitt gives us through the story.

There are so many subplots to the story, mostly dealing with Mallory's relationships with others (her mother, sister, grandmother, dad, and Oliver, who happens to be Jeremy's cousin), and yet it all flowed together so smoothly. I rooted for her every step of the way. Her "going vintage" is a journey of self-discovery, making her realize her own self-worth yet also seeing that she is not always the reason for another person's actions or emotions. She can be so very clueless, but it's part of what I liked about her. (Cluelessness also seems to run in the family, as her parents were pretty good at that too.)

If you're looking for a pick-me-up, look no further than Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt. Light and fun with some depth and great characters, it's got everything going for it.

Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book for review via NetGalley.

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