April 1st 2013
Sixteen-year-old Mallory loves her boyfriend, Jeremy. Or at least likes him more than she's ever liked any other boy. She's sure he feels the same way. Until she happens upon his online Authentic Life game and discovers he's cheating on her ...online Mallory's life is falling apart and technology is the cause. And then she finds a list, written by her grandma when she was Mallory's age. All her grandma had to worry about was sewing dresses and planning dinner parties. Things were so much simpler in the 1960s. And there's nothing on the list that Mallory couldn't do herself. Maybe it's time for Mallory to go vintage and find the answers to her modern-day problems.
If I had to sum up Going Vintage in one word, it would be cute. Like, downright-adorable-if-it-were-a-person-I'd-pinch-their-cheeks-CUTE. It wasn't amazing, but it was very enjoyable and I really loved the concept behind it. Probably one of the more (if not most) original YA contemps that I've read - though to be fair I haven't really read all that many.
I liked Mallory a lot. When we meet her in the book, it's just before she finds out that her boyfriend Jeremy has been cheating on her with a cyberwife, meaning that we get to see how she felt about him before as well as everything after. It took me a while to get to like Mallory, not because she's unlikeable, but just because... I don't even really know. I just didn't connect with her straight away. It might just be because I rarely read books where the main character has a boyfriend at the start of the book who they've been with for a year and who they love. However, I completely thought that her reaction to Jeremy's cyberwife was justified and even though the while anti-technology 1960's thing might have seemed like a step too far, it was really fun to read about.
I cannot imagine life without technology. Especially after reading this and seeing how much Mallory struggled with it at first. But I do think it makes a good pint about how much technology has become part of our lives and how hard we would find it/how different it would be to live without it after becoming so used to it. I'm not saying technology is a bad thing (I wouldn't even be here [on this blog, not in general] if it wasn't for technology) but it did make me realise how dependent I am on the internet and just having the convenience of these things. I have the utmost admiration for Mallory though for being able to pull it off! I would've caved after, like, an hour.
Also, the fact that it was specifically the 60's that she was trying to emanate made it that much better. I hadn't known before that everything she was trying to do was based on a list she'd found from her grandmothers sophomore year. I don't know that much about the 60's in America so it was interesting from that perspective, as well as it just being cute and a refreshing way to go about reinventing yourself. Though it's not that Mallory intended that with the 60's thing, it just sort of happened along the way as a result of it and the people she met because of it.
Speaking of people, I loved Oliver. He's the slightly hipster-y love interest and Douchebag Jeremy's cousin, and Mallory's opinion of him at first is not all that great, but after getting to know him through Pep Club (the club she had to create so she could be its secretary - it was on the list) we realise that he's actually a pretty great guy. And even though the love story isn't central, it is very cute. My favourite character (and relationship) in the book was without a doubt Mallory's younger sister Ginny. She was just awesome and it kind of made me wish that I had that good of a relationship with my sister. She's clever and witty and a soccer sports star and only, like, 14 and she's so down to earth and realistic about stuff and I want to be her friend a little bit.
Going Vintage was a super cute read that's perfect for passing the time on a sunny day, and though I didn't quite enjoy it as much as I did Sean Griswold's Head, it's still sweet and funny and a little bit romantic which is all I really need in a contemp.