Going Vintage — Lindsey Leavitt

Bloomsbury, March 2013

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When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy cheats on her with an online girlfriend, she decides that in order to de-Jeremy her life she needs to de-modernize her life too. When Mallory finds a list her grandmother wrote before she was going into her junior year of high school, Mallory decides to finish the same list, to go back to simpler times. 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

However, she soon discovers that nothing is ever simple. Events from the past soon color Mallory’s present, add in a cute pep club president and things get complicated quickly.

Review: Going Vintage surprised me. I enjoyed the book more than I thought I was going to. I liked the idea of going back and trying to relive another decade. It’s a different take on a realistic romance. I thought it was going to be just another bubbly, fluffy book and in some ways it was. There isn’t a lot of tough material. The little bit of tough material that is talked about was smoothed over pretty quickly and seemed to play out in a superficial, perfect way. However, there are strong messages about finding yourself and not letting yourself get drowned by someone else’s interests and expectations of you. It is pretty 90s-eque girl power. I liked that the book really centered around Mallory and her quest to find herself and find her own interests.

What I can’t decide if I liked or disliked about the book is the love interest. While on the surface, I thought Oliver was adorable and fun to read about. He might have possibly been a little too perfect, but that’s a common theme in YA lit right now. My problem was that the love interest kind of counteracted all of the soul search Mallory was doing to find herself. Even though she did find herself, it still was with the help of a boy. When the whole idea of “going vintage” was to not having to worry about boys, having Oliver there almost ruined the girl power theme that I enjoyed so much.

Another main focus of the book was Mallory’s relationship with her sister, which unfortunately fell kind of flat for me. Ginny is a one dimensional character. I found her hard to relate to and stereotypical of younger siblings. What I did like was her relationship with her Grandmother, although I wanted that to be a bit more flushed out as well.

Even with the problems that I had with it. I still really enjoyed the novel and the overall message that it sent.

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