Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Going Vintage by Lindsay Leavitt | Book Review
AUTHOR: Lindsey Leavitt
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Bloomsbury / March 2013
Goodreads / Author's Website
Can I just say that sometimes it's nice to read a book that's just pure fun? Don't get me wrong, I love books that deal with emotional issues and important events, but sometimes I like just picking up a book and reading it to clear my mind. Going Vintage was the perfect book for that. It's sweet, has some likeable characters and it was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
Sixteen year old Mallory is pretty happy with her life. Sure she moved to a new town, but she has some friends, is super close to her sister and is has been dating Jeremy for the past year. When Mallory finds out that Jeremy's been cheating on her with an online girlfriend in one of those role playing games she's kind of heartbroken. She finds her grandmother's old journal from high school and decides that the 1960s were an easier time and that her heartache is all because of technology. Obviously she swears off any and all technology that wasn't around in 1962 and decides to make a list of goals for herself based on the one her grandmother wrote. She needs to run for prep club secretary, find a steady, host a dinner party and sew a homecoming dress. Of course things go wrong, her sister gets in the way her grandma's too busy to help and her ex boyfriend's super cute cousin definitely complicates the situation.
Going Vintage was everything I hoped it would be. It was super light, but super fun and it was just one of those books where I could let the little things go. Mallory as a character was a littttle bit annoying. It's not like she was a totally unrealistic teenager, it's probably because she's too much like a honest to goodness teen. She's pretty self centered and doesn't really think her actions through. But I didn't mind her, she was doing her best to get by and she had just broken up with her first boyfriend. What actually bothered me was her total lack of comprehension of the sixties, like feminism, Vietnam, JFK; she seemed to think that this was a simple era without a lot of drama for a high school student when it was kind of an earth shaking time. That's just the history nerd in me talking though.
A downside in this novel for me was a lack of female friendships, but Mallory does have her younger sister. I really did love how close the two were and how the acted as a united front in their family unit. I also loved how sassy her sister was; like she called Mallory on her shit, but was also super supportive. I love reading about strong sibling relationships, partly because it's so rare in YA. As for the rest of the family, they exist. They care. They're not the perfect family, but that seems pretty realistic to me. Mallory's parents both really care even if they don't always show it in the right ways and the mother/daughter bickering was kind of spot on. The Grandma was also great; I loved that Mallory had another close relative she could turn to.
Oliver, Jeremy's cousin, and the new love interest is super sweet. He's totally the type I would have fallen for in high school, or you know, now. Kind of hipstery, but he really just doesn't care about what people think of him. Enthusiastic and helpful, the all round good guy. He was just really sweet and I found myself going aww a lot. He wasn't the most well drawn character and I didn't necessarily get why they were drawn to each other; the romance isn't exactly explained it just happens, you know? But it was super cute which was what I was looking for.
I liked that the romance aspect was included, but I appreciated that most of the book focused on Mallory. She needed time to figure out who she was outside of a relationship and what her interests were and Leavitt let her have it. Sure she crushed and enjoyed spending time with Oliver, but she was very clear on her list. Okay so maybe focusing on a list written in 1962 isn't the path to self fulfillment, but I liked that she was trying to take charge of her own life.
Overall, Going Vintage was a totally light, fun read. It's kind of perfect for this time of year don't you think? Sure it's not a mind blowing, stick with you, characters that will change your life kind of book, but it doesn't have to be. It's a fun YA contemporary with some likeable characters and moments. I don't regret buying it for a second.