Second Look: GOING VINTAGE by Lindsay Leavitt

Going VintageThe Story: Mallory is fed up. After accidentally discovering her boyfriend, Jeremy, has been digitally whispering sweet nothings to a secret online girlfriend, Mallory has had it with boys. When she stumbles upon an old to-do list that belonged to her grandmother in high school, she decides to “go vintage” and complete all the items on her grandmother’s list. So she decides to make the following resolutions:

  1. Run for Pep Squad secretary (of course, she’ll have to figure out how to start a pep club at her school first)
  2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
  3. Sew a dress for homecoming
  4. Find a steady
  5. Do something dangerous

Finding a steady could be tricky, given her rage and avoidance of the male species. But, fortunately, her younger sister, Ginny, is on board and willing to help Mallory complete her list in time. Who else is willing to help? Jeremy’s cousin Oliver, who always smells REALLY GOOD.

The Low Down: With “vintage” being all the rage right now, this book is sure to have lots of appeal. The thing I liked about Mallory is that she was all consumed by her idea, never wavering from her ultimate goal of completing her list. Going so far as to swear off all technology (they didn’t have Facebook or cell phones in 1962, ya know!) is particularly bold, but since technology ruined her life, she’s determined to cut it out for good (or, at least until she completes her list).

While this isn’t a clean, fluffy, pre-teen romance (there is some sexual talk and language, if memory serves), it’s suitable for a wide variety of readers. Fans of vintage eras will enjoy the treasured finds Mallory comes across to reach her goal and will be able to appreciate the hunt for TRUE vintage (not faux vintage) materials. Romance fans will enjoy the banter between Mallory and Oliver, and enjoy the possible progression of their friendship. And, my personal favorite, man-haters will want to tar and feather Jeremy in the first 15 pages. W

While Going Vintage wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, it’s still a cute read. The characters are likeable, although some of the relationships were a little curious. The story is also a little outlandish, only because I can’t imagine any teenager wanting to give up every technological device just because he/she got burned by someone online. But even if I can’t relate to Mallory’s thought process, I can understand it, and I think most other readers will too. Even if Mallory’s plans are a little unconventional, there is a moral that comes through in the end.

The Bottom Line: Going Vintage is a fun, contemporary romance that most teen readers of all ages can enjoy. To it’s credit, it lacks the serious emotional complexities about a lot of deeper romance novels. Even though it’s fraught with drama, it’s fun, not frustrating, to follow as Mallory tries to complete her list.



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