Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just Finished Reading … Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage
by Lindsey Leavitt
To be published by Bloomsbury Teen
on March 26, 2013

Source: e-ARC via NetGalley for possible review.

Connect with the author: blog :  Facebook : Twitter.



Summary (adapted from Goodreads:) 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). 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.

My take:  This book really put a smile on my face. I must admit, I started it with a small amount of trepidation. I'd heard great things about Sean Griswold's Head, an earlier book by this author, but after the first chapter of Going Vintage I began to worry about the premise, afraid I might get some lecture about the evils of modern technology. Not at all -- Going Vintage was sweet, thought-provoking, and just a whole lot of fun.

One of the things I really liked about Going Vintage is that Mallory, the main character, isn't a typical YA character at all. No supernatural powers, no amnesia, no superhuman fighting skills. She's not super-smart, super-gorgeous, or super-anything: athletic, talented, ambitious, popular, unpopular, rebellious etc. etc. She's just a regular girl who's trying to figure her life out. When she discovers that her boyfriend is (virtually) cheating, she blames the internet and swears off modern technology entirely. No computer, no cell phone, nada. This did seem a tad impulsive and farfetched, but Mallory's family also runs a business reselling old stuff, and they're in the process of packing up her grandma's house and moving her to a condo, so Mallory does have a preoccupation with the past, and thus decides that everything in the 1960s must have been simpler and better.

I think that lot of people get caught up in the whole "grass is greener" idea and fail to appreciate what they have, so I was getting myself all worked up over Mallory's somewhat harebrained theory. My kids love watching old Brady Bunch episodes, but I never fail to point out to them that all six of those Brady kids share one bathroom. The horror! (Then again, Mrs. Brady seems to do nothing but pose around in groovy clothes and watch Alice do all the housework.) I shouldn't have been worried. Going Vintage definitely challenges Mallory's idea that the 60s was all perfect and idyllic, looking at both technology and social issues then and now.

But Going Vintage isn't just about the 1960s versus the 2010s. It's about keeping secrets from those you love, about figuring out where you belong in the world, and about family. I've vented before about all those dysfunctional YA parents, and I was thrilled to see that Mallory has a realistic, present, multi-generational family. Mallory's sister, Ginnie, was a fantastic, hilarious character, and I loved the relationship between the two of them. Mallory's grandmother was complex and interesting in a way that older adults usually aren't allowed to be in YA. Mallory's parents have a hot and cold relationship that their daughters don't entirely understand.

And then there are the boys: one boy that Mallory ended up with just because he showed up and wanted to be her boyfriend, and another boy that we get to see her slowly connect with, first as friends, and then as possibly more. This part of the book was absolutely charming and I'm officially adding Oliver Kimball to my list of YA Boys I Wish I'd Known In High School. Their relationship was just a perfect blend of adolescent awkwardness and the magic of first love.

I definitely recommend Going Vintage to fans of contemporary YA, of stories about sisters, of stories about love and empowerment.

29 comments:

  1. I definitely still recommend Sean Griswold's Head over this book but this one was still fun. I think Leavitt really excels at family and it shows here-her parents, sister, and grandmother all rang so true while also being interesting on their own. Love that you remind your kids about the Brady Bunch sharing one bathroom :)

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  2. I love the premise of this book, but I was hesitant to read it. I wasn't sure if it would live up to my expectations. I'm glad that it was good though and I will eventually pick it up. Great review!!

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  3. Yay, I'm glad that you liked it. I really want to read it, and now I can't wait.

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  4. I have heard some awesome things about this book. Nice review :)

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  5. Wow, I thought the book looked cute, but I really had no idea it was so good. I love the premise, and I love that the issues of then vs now is thoroughly examined. I sooo want to read this now. Great review!

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  6. I loved Sean Griswold's Head and I'm looking forward to reading this one too. Levitt does a great job of portraying the awkwardness of being a teenager while not going over the top. Family was also a big factor with SGH.

    Nice review Jen.

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  7. really, really great review! I enjoyed this one so much as well. I loved that Mallory wasn't over the top. She seemed like a great average kind of teenager and I also liked that that let other characters share the spotlight a little more too. Like Oliver. Oh, I loved his character!!! Ginnie was so great too. I loved her relationship with Mallory since I'm like that with my sister too :)
    Wonderful review!!

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  8. I'm glad to hear you liked this! I added this book to my TBR list because it sounded like a cute and simple contemporary YA. You're review sold me!

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  9. Okay, just yesterday I had no interest in this book. Then after reading 3 reviews, including yours, within a 24 hour time period, I've decided that I must read this. It sounds so cute and fun. Plus, Mallory sounds like a great character.

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  10. This is a great review, and I totally agree! I really loved this book and especially Mallory. I especially loved that she and her family and her life felt real. And I know she goes a little overboard in her desire to get over Jeremy, but that also makes her more relatable. I like what you said about the "grass is greener" concept. Oh and Oliver. I AGREE. He is pretty awesome. You will really like Sean Griswold's Head too!

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  11. I really have been wanting to read this, it sounds pretty cute! I now actually want to read it a bit more than before..lol *sigh*
    Great review Jen!

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  12. I love all Lindseys book and I'm so glad to see hopping reviews for this book!!! I'm very excited to get my hands on it!!! :D Fabulous review Jen! Keep up the fun!

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  13. Mallory being normal sounds like a breath of fresh air. Don't get me wrong, I love a paranormal or troubled mc as well, but they can tend to give me a complex after a while, lol.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  14. Great review! This is definitely on my to-read list.

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  15. I'm so excited about this book. It totally looks like something I will love!

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  16. This was already on my list, but now it is a definite must read! Thanks for the review!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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  17. Yes! I so want to read this one! With every positive review, I find myself wanting it more and more. I love a good, cute YA read and this one sounds like a keeper! And it's a contemporary! Win! :)

    I'm definitely putting this on my "buy" list!

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  18. This is definitely one of my favorite covers, and it sounds cute. Might have to actually give this one a try!

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  19. The thing I loved about this book was Mallory and Ginnie's relationship. Too often in stories like this the little sister is someone the older sister needs to take care of. I love that that's not the case with Ginnie! And their parents are so dysfunctional but that makes the book and relationships in it believable. Loved this. Great review!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  20. We don't get enough books with regular, normal characters. That fact alone makes me want to read it.

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  21. This really sounds like a good read-- both of the reviews that I've read so far have been complimentary. :) Mallory really sounds quirky and awesome, and Oliver sounds like a total sweetheart. I love the idea of normal characters, don't you? ;) Lovely review, Jen!

    Loves,
    Megan@The Book Babe

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  22. oh I love the sound of the main character she sounds lovable. I can see the appeal of this book, it does sound sweet, adding it to my list!

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  23. This sounds so freaking perfect. I have Sean Griswold's head on my nook and I will have to read it soon!

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  24. I'll have to try this one! I love when there are realistic characters and the parents are not dysfunctional lol. And it would be fun to not use technology once in awhile. I agree about The Brady Bunch though. There's no way they would have all shared one bathroom if it was real life. That's just ridiculous lol.

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  25. I love this review, Jen. I have been seeing this book everywhere, but yours in particular makes is sound like so much fun! Kudos for the Brady Bunch ref, as well as the "BUT THERE ARE SIX IN ONE BATHROOM" warning. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  26. Awesome review Jen, I enjoyed this one but have no plans to relieve any time period that doesn't have internet and smartphones!

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  27. I can't wait to start this book! That 'scrapping-it-all' mentality is something that I could TOTALLY see a teenage girl, upset about a cheating, lying boyfriend, doing (at least for a little while.) I love quirky characters, and I really love funny, quirky families, so I think this book is going to be right up my alley!

    Plus that cover! LOVE IT!

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