March 20, 2013

Book Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt

Copy Obtained: Netgalley

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.

First you need to know that the thought of giving up my cell phone, laptop or notebook makes me start to shake! I am firmly attached to my electronics.  Sadly, so is my 5 year old! So when Mallory decides to give it all up, I felt my blood pressure going up.  There's no way I could do it I thought! Yes, yes I am that sad....

Ok now that I have that out - about the book.  I really enjoyed it.  It was a quick fun read.  I haven't read a realistic book in a bit, so it was a nice change of pace for me.  I normally stay clear of realistic fiction because I need to escape reality! And because so many times I find them unrealistic and that's all I can focus on.  Thankfully I didn't find that with Mallory and this book.

The story starts with Mallory breaking up with her boyfriend.  Does she go a bit overboard?  I didn't think so.  I think for a 16 year old girl she handled it very realistically.  I'm sitting in a room with 25 8th grade girls, and I can see them doing exactly what Mallory did!  Now it did take a twist when she gets so upset she swears off technology and declares it a huge part of the problem and decides to head back to 1962 - an easier time.  Now that was a bit overboard but not crazy so.  I could see some girls doing that.  And trust me there have been times I think my life would be easier if I could go "off the grid" more.  And I liked how it forced her to look at what was really important and focus on the here and now. 

Basically what this book boils down to is a girl figuring out how to trust herself and be ok with who she is.  I like that.  More girls need to do that.  And thankfully the ending stuck with that.  I can't tell you what happens (of course), but I was very pleased with the ending.  The choices Mallory makes and the lessons she learns gave me a soft spot for her.  And from not being so sure about how strong she is at the beginning of the book - I knew, by the end, she'd be just fine.

Ok I do have one issue.  I was often confused by the description of Oliver - a boy that helps her. He was suppose to be trendy but yet quirky and very much himself I believe.  But at times I had a hard time really visualizing him with the descriptions given.  Maybe it's because I'm old and not in high school.  This wasn't a big deal, but it did bug me a little.  

Over-all it was a good book with likable characters, and interesting concept and a nice little message about trusting yourself and your own instincts.  I would definitely hand it to my daughter to read.

Final Thought: Actually made me think about shutting down the electronics for awhile!
Best stick-with-you image
Best for readers: Who like to see a girl take control on her own life
Best for ages:  14+

For the Guys? Nope not at all.  Definately one for the girls!


  1. I somehow couldn't get all the way through this one. Do you think it would be okay for middle school? No language, nothing "instructive"? I need some more romances!

    1. Upper middle school yes - like 7th and 8th. But I have 5th graders and it's not one I'd give to many of them.

  2. Great review. I love how you boiled it down. Much appreciated.

  3. I didn't love this one as much as Sean Griswold's Head, but it was good fun as well!

  4. The cover and concept are great! I don't know if I could give up my computer or smartphone, but sometimes I wish I could.

  5. Sounds fun - I do love a cute contemporary.

  6. Sounds like a fun idea for a story. Maybe I'll check this one out.