Book: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt, Audible, Inc, November 2013
Book Info: Purchased audiobook, Running time: 8 hrs, 3 mins. Read by: Ali Ahn. Also available in hardcover or e-book, 320 pages from Bloomsbury USA Childrens
About the book:
When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat on you online).
She sets out to complete grandma’s list: Run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy’s cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she’ll get it done. Somehow. Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.
Going Vintage is such a fun retro read – a perfect blend of past and present that is sugary sweet. The main character Mallory wants to go back to the 60s when life was slower paced and gossip didn’t spread like wildfire online. Mallory is fond of lists, and in that spirit I’m Going Checklist-style with my review:
What’s so awesome about Going Vintage?
- Retro 60s fabulousity – When Mallory’s boyfriend cheats on her with a Cyber wife in an online game, she breaks up with him on Friendspace in a very public way. After online gossip gets to her she swears off technology to live life as it was in 1962 when her grandmother was in college. Mallory wants to dress, eat, and behave just as her grandmother did and has a list of goals to achieve. There’s a lot to be said for the simpler life but it also presents a lot of challenges for Mallory.
- Swell Sisters – Mallory’s little sister Ginnie is fabulous and totally onboard with the going vintage plan. She even takes all technology out of Mallory’s room to keep her on track. They have a fun, partners in crime relationship, even though Ginnie wouldn’t mind getting out of her sisters shadow.
- Living Tech-Free – Rotary phones, asking the gas station for directions instead of using GPS, no online resources for homework, and staying off the phone and Friendspace makes it seem like Mallory has fallen off the grid. This book reminds me how much I disliked rotary phones and sharing one phone with a household.
- Crushes with vintage appeal – Oliver is the cousin of Mallory’s ex, which is a little awkward. He has a quirky way about him and style of dress that is all his own. He doesn’t try to impress, like Mallory’s ex, but just does his own thing. He reminds me a bit of Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door, smart and comfortable in his own skin.
- Family Secrets – Besides Mallory’s boy drama and vintage plan, some family members are behaving very peculiarly. Some sister sleuthing is required to solve this mystery and make things right.
- Grandma doesn’t want to go back to the future – Grandma doesn’t think 1962 was all that great in fact, and has embraced current technology. Fun role reversal!
- Smells like Teen Spirit – Pep club! In true 1962 spirit, Mallory wants to start a pep club, complete with parade floats and cheering for the underdog teams. No matter that her school doesn’t have a pep club, she will start one, and she will be secretary.
- “Sir, in the Donald Duck shirt, don’t fall overboard. Those hippos look hungry” – Jungle cruise jokes! Going Vintage is set in Orange, right in Disneyland territory. The sisters and their parents go to Disneyland and have their own DL inside jokes.
- Pretty in Pink – Mallory doesn’t sew (or have a date) but she’s determined to have a vintage 1962 dress to wear to the Homecoming dance. Luckily grandma still has a sewing machine, but even she thinks Mallory should wear something more contemporary.
Like Lindsey Leavitt’s, Sean Griswold’s Head, this book is very cute. I liked the premise, the characters, the setting, the family and romantic relationships, and the message. The writing is light, breezy and fast-paced and I have to kick myself for waiting so long to read this one. But, even though the book came out in March, the audiobook is a new release so I guess it worked out.
I listened to the audiobook, performed by Ali Ahn, a new-to-me narrator. I’m a new fan of Ahn, and I think she set the right tone for the story, sounds age appropriate, and reads with a nice brisk pace. Ahn uses different voices for all the characters, and I never had trouble telling them apart. Ginnie and Mallory sounded distinct and the guy characters sounded believable as well. Ahn’s reading is cheery and not over the top dramatic. If you haven’t read this book yet, I think the audiobook is really entertaining. The only thing you don’t get in the audio is seeing the list formats in print, but I’m not sure that’s a deal breaker. And yes, it’s more low-tech to read the actual book if you want to go “vintage” yourself.
So, this was another fun read from Lindsey Leavitt, and I’m sure I’ll re-read it when I need a comfort read in the future. Leavitt’s next book is called The Chapel Wars, about a girl who receives a Las Vegas wedding chapel in her Grandpa’s will.
Going Vintage is a YA Fiction Cybils nominee.