GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt
320 pages, hardcover
Available March 26, 2013
Review copy provided by publisher
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club presient–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.
Positive: Teen angst. And I mean this in the best possible way. In a true-to-life young adult novel, there’s got to be some teen angst because, well, it’s part of being a teen. If handled well, the angst itself doesn’t overwhelm the story, merely provides a catalyst or conflict. When Mallory finds her boyfriend has been cheating on her with an online hootchie named BubbleYum, she reacts without thinking and goes on to call him on it via Friendspace. Of course, being a part of the wired generation, everyone at school knows about it and is talking about it within seconds of the post. Mallory’s in the spotlight because of technology. So, what does she do? Decides technology is evil and that she’s purging it from her life, at least until the hubbub dies down.
Positive: Going vintage. Inspired by her grandmother’s list of goals for 1962, Mallory ditches technology and immerses herself in the 60’s, which she considers a simpler, easier time. It’s a bold plan, one that leads to some crazy shenanigans and completely awesome clothing choices. Reality can be a serious bitch sometimes, especially when everyone in the world knows your business as soon as you mention it online. Teens these days have it tough, what with their private selves living public lives. Unless their parents are complete luddites and have banned technology from their world, teens these days are immersed in social media. From Tumblr and Snapchat to Twitter and YouTube (to quote one of my students, “Only old people use Facebook anymore.” You can feel the derision oozing off that statement, can’t you?), their lives are played out for a much larger audience than teens just ten years ago. I can imagine it might be nice to escape into a less public world in this day and age.
Positive: Family. Mallory’s family is a huge presence in this story, which makes it all the more awesome. No absentee parents (or dead ones, for that matter). A family that cares about one another and, despite some squabbles and snarking, supports one another despite one particular member going a bit off the deep end.
Wish: More books like this. For one, this is a standalone. For two, it’s sweet, adorable, funny and completely enjoyable. Much like her other story, SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD, GOING VINTAGE is going on my list of favorite YA books, one I’m telling my librarian friends that they need to add to our collection.
Overall: Leavitt expertly weaves a fabulously written story of exploration and discovery, betrayal and love found that’s highly recommended and entertaining.
Available for pre-order on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble
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