Book Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage coverGoing Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Goodreads | Amazon
Release Date: March 26th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: n/a

Goodreads description: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

Mallory is a junior. She’s got a boyfriend named Jeremy. They make out so much that she has to come up with excuses to take breaks. During one of these breaks she discovers something bad about her boyfriend on Friendspace (read: basically Facebook). He is a cyberscum cheater. While playing a game, he made a “deep connection” to another player. He exchanges sweet words with said player and talks of love. Mallory is filled with rage and jealousy. She defames him on his own page, for all their mutual friends and cyber acquaintances to see, then she ditches him.

From there, Mal goes to her grandma’s old house. She and her father are cleaning it out. She discovers interesting pieces of her grandmother’s past. The mementos and notebooks she finds convince her that times were simpler when her grandma was in high school (in 1962). She decides to nix technology and embrace simplicity. She temporarily kisses her computer and cell phone goodbye. She also decides to follow a list her grandma made, giving her something to focus on.

“If Jeremy didn’t have a computer or the Internet, he wouldn’t have met BubbleYum. If I didn’t have this cell phone, strangers couldn’t text me threats. Technology is the reason my life is falling apart.” My voice rises. I’ve never felt this passionate about anything before

This book could have been cute, but it was too messy for me. There was too much going on. Mallory didn’t even seem to like Jeremy much, and Jeremy didn’t seem like a very good boyfriend. He never laughed at her jokes, she just followed what he did. It seems like she just wanted a boyfriend.While she was understandably hurt when he cheated on her, it still seemed like a “what’s wrong with me?” sort of worry rather than she actually missed the connection she had with him.

Her reaction to the cheating is to take a break from the cyber social scene, which I can understand. People need to unwind, and strangers were texting her hateful messages while people were calling her names on Friendspace. Who wouldn’t want to take a break from that? But her clinging to the idea that the 1960’s were a simpler and better time is immature. She obviously didn’t know much about the time period. She expects her list to help her, but she doesn’t even stick to the list. It was nice to see her sister, Ginnie’s response to her tech ban. She was able to view it more realistically but unfortunately, it didn’t help Mallory any.

I think the worst part of the book for me was Mallory’s family. In carrying with the technology theme, while using her mom’s computer during her own ban, she discovers her mom has a blog. A huge blog, with sponsors, where she shares secrets of her family’s life. Secrets you wouldn’t want anyone, let alone thousands of strangers to know. Her mom thinks she’s a cool, connected mom that her girls can turn to, but this blog is a horrible mistreatment of trust. I was almost too enraged to keep reading but I wanted to see a family explosion about it-which didn’t happen. Technology strikes again!

Overall, this book had some fluff that was enjoyable. The romance was cute and if nothing else Leavitt writes good make out scenes. Mallory did learn about herself through the list, but she could have easily done it without a list. She learned that she was wrong about the 1960’s and her grandma having it easy. I feel like the list itself was pretty pointless and her week without technology didn’t do much for her. The book didn’t leave me with any lasting feelings. I wouldn’t reread it and I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone as anything other than a quick read with little substance. It isn’t a bad book, but it was frustrating and didn’t rate as special for me.

     author’s twitter and website

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