Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt (UK cover)

Title: Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (4th April 2013)

Mallory loves her boyfriend and she’s sure he loves her back. Until she accidentally logs on to his Authentic Life profile, that is.

He’s been cheating on her … online!

Mallory’s relationship is ruined and the internet is to blame.

And then Mallory finds a list, written by her grandma as a teenager. Things were so much simpler in the 1960s – it was all about sewing dresses and planning dinner parties.

Maybe it’s time for Mallory to go vintage…

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt is a stand-alone novel. It tells the story of Mallory who discovers by accident that her boyfriend Jeremy has a completely different fake life on Authentic Life – he even has a cyberwife! When she breaks up with him, Mallory decides to break with modern technology and live a simpler life based on a list she discovers, that her Grandma wrote in the early 1960s. Going vintage isn’t as easy as Mallory thinks it is.

Going Vintage is a really fun read, perfect for the spring/summer.The story is narrated by Mallory, and I really liked the way that every chapter in the book started with a list written by her. I thought these lists were really fun, but also they gave some interesting insights into Mallory herself that the narrative did not. I really admired Leavitt’s choice to have Jeremy’s act of cheating be emotional rather than physical. Emotional cheating can be rather hard to define, and the definition can quite often be a personal one. I thought Leavitt did a good job conveying both Mallory’s betrayed reaction, but also Jeremy’s bewilderment.

One of the aspects I really enjoyed about Going Vintage was that there was more going on under the surface than there appeared. Leavitt did a good job at interweaving different plot threads through the story, so that there were actually three different stories being told. I also think that Leavitt did a good job with the secondary characters.

Mallory has a younger sister called Ginnie who helps her fulfil the items on the list she finds. I really liked Ginnie as a character, but I had a couple of issues with her. First, to me she read as an older more experienced sister. There are times in the book where Mallory turns to her for advice and guidance, and I don’t really think her being the younger sister works. My second issue with her was she seemed a little too perfect. However, I do think Leavitt did a good job writing the relationship between them. Leavitt also does a good job at fleshing out the parents, but also not spending too much time on them.

Of course where would this book be without the boys? Jeremy and his cousin Oliver. To be honest, I found Jeremy a bit vague. There are three main things I know about him, he has a cousin Oliver, he likes Mallory although he doesn’t necessarily get her, and he spends a lot of time on Friendspace/Authentic Life. Oliver is in many ways just as mysterious, but he has a bigger presence in the book. Although he is Jeremy’s cousin he and Mallory become friends during the course of Mallory completing the list. And he is a good friend to Mallory, though things do get a little complicated…

On the whole I really enjoyed Going Vintage and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of contemporary young adult fiction. There are things which didn’t particularly appeal to me about the book, but it was a good read.

5 thoughts on “Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

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