Teen Tuesday – Going Vintage with Lindsey Leavitt

goingvintageLindsey Leavitt’s release party last week for her new YA novel, Going Vintage, was a “blast from the past!”  She was entertaining and informative, sharing advice and stories from her writing career.  Since my fellow blogger, Steve, will be posting about the event this week—with pictures!—I’ll leave the details to him.  In the meantime, here’s my review of Going Vintage:

Thanks to an online discovery, Mallory leaves behind the trappings of the 21st century to live like it’s 1962.  No cellphone, no computer, no iPod. . . why would a girl do this to herself?  No digital alarm clock, no backpack, no hoodies. . . could a bad break-up be behind all this?  You bet!  Since Mallory and Jeremy have been together longer than most celebrity marriages, she’s more than shocked and betrayed.  No longer part of a couple, she suddenly has to redefine and reconnect herself in a way that doesn’t involve texting, instant messages or updates.

Discovering a wish list her grandmother wrote when she was in high school, Mallory decides to tackle the list the way her grandmother would, sort of.  It seems that living like it’s 1962 was easier back in 1962—and now Mallory’s going to need a lot of help if she hopes to sew a homecoming dress, throw a dinner party and become pep club secretary.  Luckily, she has her talented, though distracted, grandmother, her younger sister, Ginnie, who’s perhaps a little too enthusiastic, and Oliver.  He’s the hip and popular man about campus who’s the new pep club president and unfortunately, ex-boyfriend Jeremy’s cousin, which means Jeremy’s never too far behind.

Going Vintage doesn’t merely explore the after effects of a romantic relationship and the possibilities of a new one, but Mallory’s family relationships as well: her conflicts with her mom, her similarities with her dad, her changing relationship with her grandmother, and the rock solid bond she shares with her sister.  In spite of her pain, Mallory’s voice is humorous and engaging and while she manages to flub up a few times, she remains a likeable and forgivable character.

The family dramas and post break-up angst are handled with a gentle touch and the California city of Orange provided such a delightful hometown setting that some readers may feel compelled to pack their bags.  A sweet and thoughtful study on first love, loss and how to heal a broken heart, Going Vintage shows that across generations the stress of growing up remains the same, “the only things that change are the stage props.”  So pop off those penny loafers, grab a malt, and sip your way through this fun confection.

Fans of Going Vintage may also want to check out Lindsey Leavitt’s first young adult novel, Sean Griswold’s Head or her trilogy, Princess for Hire.

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