Thursday, April 25, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Book:  Going Vintage
Author:  Lindsay Leavitt
Date:  now available
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

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.

Initial reaction
Oh my gosh!  I just knew I was going to love this book!  And I did!!!

Cover story
The cover on this one is perfect and I think the title is catchy.  Just look at that font!  And all the vintage stuff!  And the carpet!!!  This one is a winner for me.

What’s the Story?
Just as the cover and description suggest, this is a lighthearted contemporary about a teenage girl who swears off of all technology after her boyfriend cheats on her with a cyberspace girl.  She discovers her grandmother’s 1962 yearbook and decides that she wants a time when life was simpler.  Funny and lighthearted, right?

Right, but my gosh, this book is so much more than that!  There are all sorts of plot additions where the characters learn so much about other people and about themselves!  There’s a huge surprise dropped near the end of the book that left my mouth hanging open and that totally secured in my mind that Lindsey Leavitt is a genius when it comes to making a compellingly readable contemporary that is both fun and weighty.  Exhibit A:  Sean Griswold’s Head.  Then Going Vintage offers even more proof.  I’m pretty sure this book just made Lindsey Leavitt a member of my Have-to-Read author’s list.

I really liked Mallory.  She was just a regular girl who was having a hard time trying to figure out what to do next.  It was so easy to identify with her, because every teenage girl, and grown-up girl, for that matter, has faced this sort of situation.  Her sister, Ginny, was so, so funny!  Honestly, I didn’t really see what Mallory liked about Jeremy, but Oliver was a totally different story!  He was perfect!  He was sort of geeky, but a real hipster and it was nice to see the smart guy be the hero for a change instead of the athlete.  It was obvious to me that he had liked Mallory for quite some time, and he was so cute!  Oliver is now one of my favorite book boyfriends!

I love the way that Lindsey Leavitt can address heavier issues without making the book feel like it’s about a heavy issue.  She makes the story feel real life.  Because real life has fun, messy and ordinary all mixed up together all the time and that’s what this book does.  It has characters trying to clumsily figure life out and making mistakes sometimes, but getting it totally right at other times.  It’s perfect simply because it’s not.

This book is definitely going to become a book that I recommend to lots of kids in my library.

The Soundtrack

A book called Going Vintage has to have a vintage soundtrack, right?

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka

Big Girls Don’t Cry by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

All Alone Am I by Brenda Lee

Can’t Help Falling in Love with You by Elvis Presley

Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

From Me to You by The Beatles

The Final Grade
My final grade for this one is an A.  It’s a sweet read that manages to hold a lot of substance on the inside.  This book made me smile and finish the last page with a satisfied sigh.

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