Saturday, August 24, 2013

Going Vintage YP FIC LEAVITT

Mallory Bradshaw is happy with her current state in life. She is in her junior year of high school, and she has been in a steady relationship with her boyfriend, Jeremy Mui, for a little over a year. All of this changes when, while helping Jeremy with a homework assignment, Mallory discovers his secret life on the Friendspace game, Authentic Life. Jeremy even has a "cyberwife" (screen name BubbleYum), which he has been in contact with outside of the game, with no mention of Mallory or their relationship. Mallory makes a declaration about Jeremy on his FriendSpace page and then goes off the grid.

Mallory is heartbroken and wonders how she will cope with all of her heavy feelings. Then, while helping her father clean out her grandmother's house, she finds a list of accomplishments that her grandmother made when she was sixteen years old (in 1962).

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.

Mallory really enjoys making lists (they are at the beginning of each chapter, by the way), and by also completing this list of five goals, Mallory feels that she can figure out how to accept things and move on. She also decides to give living like it's 1962 a try (no cellphones or computers, especially Friendspace, awesome time in fashion, easier time to be a teen). Mallory's sister, Ginnie, is skeptical but supportive. Ginnie is even willing to fulfill number four, since Mallory does not feel up to it.

The first item on the list requires going before the Associated Student Body with the idea of starting a pep club. The members are ready to veto her idea when Oliver Kimball, Jeremy's cousin, comes to her rescue and talks the ASB into giving Mallory her pep club. Oliver even joins the club, and Mallory makes him the president (she is the secretary, of course). Ginnie also joins that club and also decides to complete item number two, doing tons of research on what food was served at a dinner party in the sixties. They both plan to host the party before the homecoming dance. The third item is a bit tricky, since Mallory has no idea how to sew a dress (or even sew), but she talks her grandmother, Vivian, into helping her. Mallory also wants her grandmother to tell her what is was like to be sixteen, but her grandmother shuts the conversation down each time, leaving Mallory to wonder why her grandmother is not being supportive of her choices. (There is a good reason, by the way, that Mallory does not see coming). Working with Oliver on the pep club (designing and decorating a float for the homecoming parade) gets a bit stressful, though, because he understands Mallory in a way that Jeremy never bothered to, and being Jeremy's cousin, Mallory sees him as "off limits" to think of in romantic terms. As time passes, more and more things come up that threaten Mallory's resolve to continue "going vintage," and so she starts to wonder if maybe "going vintage" is going too far.    

I really, really enjoyed this book. Mallory is sarcastic but focused (and funny, too), and I was rooting for her the whole way to reach her goals, when I wasn't laughing out loud at her thoughts and comments.  I also found it interesting that Lindsey Leavitt brought up the issue of what is considered "cheating" while doing things online. I want to say that I can see where Jeremy is coming from, when he believes that he was not doing anything wrong. I don't agree with him, however, because he crossed the line with the outside emails and lack of mentioning Mallory to his "cyberwife." If it was just innocent fun, Jeremy would have told BubbleYum about Mallory. I also enjoyed Oliver, and the way that he really didn't care what others thought about him (even while dressing up like a member of Motley Crue to play basketball). Oliver was also really supportive of Mallory and her aspirations, and he was willing to call his cousin out on his behavior.

Overall, this book is a enjoyable read that won't take you long to read, will lift your spirits, and have you chuckling out loud.  

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