Read: January 12, 2013
Published: March 26, 2013 by Bloomsbury
Category: Contemporary Young Adult
1) This is a book about a girl named Mallory who discovers that her boyfriend and first love, Jeremy has been cheating on her with an online girlfriend. She is not happy.
2) Mallory decides that technology is the root of all her problems, and that life was easier before cell phones, the internet and social media. In her mind that means the 1960s, when her grandmother was a teen.
3) Mallory finds a list her grandmother wrote when she was in high school, and sets out to complete it, because things were so much simpler back then - run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous.
4) This is a book about a girl who grows up because she looses her first love.
5) A sweet romance develops in this book. However, it is in no means the center of the story, because Going Vintage is about Mallory finding herself.
When I started Going Vintage, I was immediately worried about Mallory's relationship with Jeremy. They didn't appear to communicate with anything besides their lips (I don't mean talking), Jeremy kept trying to push Mallory's physical boundaries, and Mallory was doing Jeremy's homework for him (this a huge pet peeve of mine). But though I saw numerous red flags right away, everything was subtle enough that I could easily imagine it being overlooked by a young girl in love for the first time.
Thankfully, Mallory does not overlook the fact that, for months, Jeremy has been having a relationship with a girl he met playing a virtual game. When Mallory's break-up with Jeremy blows up online, she decides that technology is the reason everything has gotten so out of control for her. After finding a list that her grandmother made when she was a teen, Mallory decides that life was much easier in the early 1960s so she cuts out technology, changes her wardrobe and recreates that 'better' time. The only thing is that Mallory doesn't really think through what this will mean practically.
Although it is clear to the reader that Mallory's blame is a tad misplaced, I love that Mallory is not afraid to commit to something she believes in. It was actually fun to watch her attempt to avoid cell phones, computers and digital alarm clocks, while navigating school work, family and friends. And of course, Mallory begin to figure out that perhaps, it's not technology at all that has caused all of her problems.
Mallory is extremely likable. She is earnest and dedicated to getting over Jeremy and making her life better. I love that she goes a little overboard in the process, because that makes her both flawed and relatable. She has a normal family, parents and a sister with their own problems, who all play a role in her life. There are no mean girls or clichés in this story.
It is only when Mallory looses Jeremy that she begins to see how much her life was wrapped up in their relationship, and how unhealthy that was. When Jeremy is gone, Mallory realizes that she has no hobbies, is not involved in extra curricular activities, and doesn't have any close girl friends. She has really done nothing for herself since she started high school.
Mallory also discovers that there are better guys out there. One of the sweetest parts of Going Vintage is Oliver, the boy with whom Mallory builds a new relationship that is very different from what she had with Jeremy. I love that the process is slow and that both Oliver and Mallory make a few mistakes along the way. Although I would have liked even more between them, I think the amount that we get is just right for this book, which is really about Mallory finding herself and not about Mallory finding a new boyfriend.
However, I do wish that we'd seen Mallory develop some closer female friendships. I know this book is about Mallory working on herself, but deep friendships are also an important and necessary part of life. Even at the end when Mallory has come to a better understanding of herself and her family, she seemed a bit lonely of that bond. I hope it's something she puts on her next list!
Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone
Don't miss Sean Griswold's Head, also by Lindsey Leavitt
*Received from NetGallery in exchange for a honest review.