September 19, 2013

Review: Going Vintage

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Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Grade: A-
Summary: 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 president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

The Good: I love the whole premise of the book.  Vintage and retro are two of my favorite things.  It was so much fun hearing about all the stuff from the 1960s.  Mallory was an awesome character with an awesome name (seriously, how many Mallorys have you heard of?).  The idea of following her grandmother's list was cute.  Oliver was a great character, too.  Sometimes a bit too perfect, but he could've been a total jerk like Jeremy, so too perfect isn't so awful on second thought.  His eventual relationship with Mallory develops well.  It's based a lot on their conversations, and I think that's cute and how it should be.  I think Going Vintage was also a real eye-opener about how much we use technology.  Mallory pretty much quits cold turkey, and so she loses touch with her friends, can't work on a school assignment, can't even look up information at a library, etc.  There's a huge part about Mallory's grandmother that left me completely shocked, although in rereading the book, I caught little hints of it coming.  I loved that whole plot point.  Most people fantasize about how perfect the 1950s and 60s were (me included), and they weren't as amazing as we make them out to be.  Mallory's grandma's storyline displayed that in a great, realistic way.  Finally, I quite enjoyed Mallory's lists and how they started chapters and ended the book.

The Bad: The beginning was a bit shaky.  Ginnie, Mallory's sister, really annoyed me.  Her choices, her personality...that girl was just frustrating.  So was their mother, frankly.  There's a major spoiler about her and she got off a bit too easy in the end.

The Ugly: A bit of language, all PG-13 or TV-14 levels.  Mentions of sex, but all in sort of classy ways.  Mentions of drugs, although I don't believe the main characters ever did them.

The Verdict: Yeah, the book is a bit of a fluff read, but it's great!  Not everything we read has to be deep and cause us to think.  And actually, Going Vintage IS thought-provoking.  So it's a must-read. :)

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