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 and foremost, Going Vintage‘s cover is too cute . Totally Sixties chic. And you know me, I can’t resist lovely covers. This one, in particular, does a great job of giving off the exact vibe of the novel.
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Mallory takes on a challenge she made for herself back when she was a teenager and throws all forms of technology out the window, along with every outfit she owns that can’t pass off as a Sixties getup. And it sure doesn’t help that now her boyfriend of thirteen months and her have split, the closest thing to a friend she has is her younger sister. Despite how miserable Mallory may sound, her time warp leads her to new discoveries about herself and the people she never cared to get to know before disentangling herself from her ex’s web.
Mallory thinks The List will work wonders to bring her newly retired grandmother and herself closer as a family, but soon enough she finds that the past isn’t all it’s made up to be and that it’ll take more than just a piece of paper to fix things. The relationship between Mallory and her grandmother is a complicated one that unravels slowly and beautifully through shared experiences and secrets revealed. I loved the way things unfolded and how there was so much more going on outside of the grandmother that Mallory thought she’d known.
Mallory’s family relationships aren’t the only problem at hand, not when she seems to keep finding herself starstruck by her ex boyfriend’s cousin, Oliver. Oliver is carefree, honest, has been deemed a Try-Hard-Hipster numerous times, and doesn’t laugh unless something’s actually funny; the exact opposite from her ex, Jeremy, but she can’t help feel like it’s wrong to be getting so close to him just weeks after the breakup. Oliver’s understanding of Mallory’s situation and unwavering friendship was admirable, and I was smitten from the moment he put on his first bow tie.
The friendship between Mallory and her younger sister Ginnie is heartwarming, and the honesty between them is something that should be coveted by all sisters. No matter who was up against her, Ginnie was the one person who never turned her back on Mallory and always made an effort to help out with the cause, as inconvenient as it might have been for her. Love, love, love that. Ginnie’s the real deal.
The fact that Mallory dumps her boyfriend for emotionally cheating on her with an online gamer who goes by BubblyYum is both parts unfortunate and hilarious, and makes Going Vintage so much more enjoyable. Characters like Ginnie and Oliver are sarcastic and witty, though never the same, and keeps things upbeat. The humor in Going Vintage is what really makes the novel, casting it aside to what might have been a gloomy, repetitive protestant tale, otherwise.
I have to give Leavitt credit for knowing her Sixties. There’s plenty of dresses, songs, bike-riding, and other fun aspects in the novel that almost make you believe Mallory managed to transport herself back in time. As we all know, The Sixties was a perplexing time for everyone—not just teenagers— and she couldn’t have picked a funner era to play with.
Going Vintage is a quick quirky read about heartbreak, second chances, and finding yourself, and leaves you with a lot of lessons of your own to figure out. Great for those of you looking for a lighthearted blast from the past.