by Lindsey Leavitt
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 26th 2013
Book source: bought
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Review: So, Mallory and Jeremy are supposed to be working on a paper together, Mallory clicks on to Jeremy’s bedroom computer and what does she find…BubbleYum. Not the kind you chew and spit out (though I’m sure she would love to), nope, the kind you “marry” and profess your love to online despite your real live girlfriend sitting in your computer chair.
In this world of fast paced, electronic interactions on twitter and facebook, it is so easy to see how said “boyfriend” Jeremy could get away with trying to have an alter ego AND an alter avatar girlfriend out there in cyberspace. Rather than go crazy stalker chick, Mallory pulls a move of her own and goes vintage. No computers, no cell phones, no reminders of what happened posted on her FB wall. She’s getting on her seersucker dress, hopping on a bike and getting even in her own way. The brilliant idea comes while Mallory and her dad are cleaning out grandma’s things after a move from her cute cottage to a retirement home. Grandma’s life, summed up in a list, was so simple back then…go steady, make pep club, sew her own prom dress. No evil technological distractions.
There were so many things I loved about this book. Mallory has spunk! She is unique and loves her job sifting through other people’s storage units with her father for vintage/ antique goodies to sell. She fully immerses herself in a social experiment which could result in social suicide…but who cares! Her awesome little sister is there to back her up, and to remove her not so vintage digital alarm clock. The family relationships were realistic and true to life. There’s the super blogger mom who owns and underground couponing/ spill your families dark secrets online “support” blog. And so many families touch bases with each other but don’t know what secrets may lie hidden under years gone by and false facades.
I couldn’t quite connect with Mallory’s Pep Club President, Jeremy’s cousin Oliver. But with a woolen cap, funky glasses and his quirky sense of “who cares”, I can see why he may attract. The interactions between Oliver and Mallory are priceless. There are so many good moral messages in here about why friends without faces can be deceiving and how to be a true friend. Leavitt also ties in an underlying theme of family connectedness and forgiving past mistakes. This is one I would recommend, though maybe not until 16, since there is a bit of content.
Overall, fun and refreshing, just like Lindsey’s YA Sean Griswold’s Head. If you haven’t picked her up on her as an author I say go!!
Content: talk of “giving away pieces” (aka virginity), lots of making out, reference to male parts and teenage pregnancy.
About the Author: Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable little girls. She is married to her high school lab partner and lives in Las Vegas. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series (www.princessforhire.com), SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD and GOING VINTAGE