Tuesday 11 June 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Things I say to distract Jeremy so I can take a break from making out:
1. I need to go to the bathroom.
2. Oh, did I tell you … (insert funny thing that happened). It has to be genuinely interesting so he doesn’t know that I’m thinking about anything besides This Moment, even though I obviously am, because it’s not like my brain just turns off when we’re kissing. Well, my mom told me once to be careful because guys turn their brains off and certain body parts on, which was so disgusting I’m sorry I brought it up now. 
3. I’m hungry. 
Published by Scholastic in  March 2013
304 pages
Goodreads 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.
Reviewed by Sophie Duffy
This was a sweet, gentle read, with witty dialogue and a quirky tone. The idea is good: going back to a time when life was supposedly simpler without technology. Simpler maybe, but still complicated, what with the whole girl meets boy thing. Nothing’s changed there. This was the point of the book but nicely acted out through Mallory and her grandmother who was her age in 1962.  
‘Pep club’ loses a little (actually a lot) in translation. I had to look it up as I’d never heard of it; we only had netball and cross-country club at our school. It’s some kind of school spirit rah-rah-rah thing. We Brits don’t do pep. Or cheerleading. Majorettes are as close as we get, and they only appear in seaside towns, on carnival day, in the 70s. Ditto ‘Homecoming’. But no doubt pep clubs and homecoming will be winging their way over the Pond in the same way as prom and Glee have done. 
Being a lover of all things vintage (I have a most excellent collection of bone china teacups), I was looking forward to some good old Americana. I’ve read all of Bill Bryson’s books and love the Gilmour Girls so I know all about town squares, motels and quirky shops. Maybe the California setting didn’t quite do it for me. It wasn’t quite … vintage enough. Or may be there just wasn’t enough product placement. I wanted more of the old ‘things’ as well as the concept of going back to basics. 
Where this novel worked best for me was in its relationships, especially between the sisters. I wish I had a sister like that. Funny, sporty, clever. Actually, I think I’d rather be that sister. She’s pretty cool, as they say in America. Don’t they?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love the sound of this one! Shame there's not much product placement - I'd like to hear about more of the old things too! Thanks for the review, it's on my wishlist!


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