Monday, January 6, 2014

REVIEW: GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Genres: YA, Romance, Humor
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5


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.


“Adolescence is the same tragedy being performed again and again. The only things that change are the stage props.”

Oh my friggin’ word. This is exactly the YA novel I’ve been waiting for. No, it’s what I’ve subtly, by means of critical and somewhat snarky reviews, been begging for. Yes, my dear bookworm friends, it has finally arrived. Allow me the opportunity to relish this moment. Deep breath. Okay, I’m probably going to say it more than once, but here goes: this novel here – Going Vintage, written by the exceptionally talented Lindsey Leavitt, is glorious YA perfection! I feel kinda giddy saying it, but it is the plain and simple truth. This book was amazing. It has everything!

Before I break into song and dance, allow me two minutes to just give it to you straight without any frills, bells or whistles. THIS is what you should read next, no matter whether you’re a tween, teen, young adult, new adult, middle-aged bored housewife or smack bang in the middle of your golden years. You’ll love this book because you should and because if you don’t, you are soulless. There, I said it. It has characters that are so spectacularly real and authentic it breaks my heart that they’re only fictional. It has a story with a heartbeat that just wrenches all the feels out of you. But the real deal breaker for me – like it is with every rom com I read - is that it is insanely, ridiculously funny! I can’t sum it up any better than that, but still I’ll try.

I loved, adored, worshipped practically every character in this book. Mallory has one of the strongest female voices I’ve ever come across in YA romance and I felt an almost instant connection to her. She is hilarious, realistic, curious, intelligent, insightful, decisive, and emotionally strong. She’s not popular, but neither is she unpopular, and she doesn’t even try to fit in because that would mean not being her true self. I was in awe of how she dealt with her boyfriend’s betrayal and their eventual break-up. Going Vintage is not only a story about surviving betrayal and the end of a relationship, but it’s also about getting over it and moving on by whichever means necessary. It’s a romance without all the mush and without the constant and never-ending make-out and swoon sessions so prevalent in most teen novels. Even though very little descriptions are offered as to the characters’ physical appearances, I had no trouble sketching them in my mind’s eye as they came alive on each and every page of this magnificently riveting book. The most redeemable quality of Going Vintage for me is the absolutely no frills, no fuss, unpredictable and surprising ending which made me bump my fist in the air and proudly shout a triumphant, “oh yeah”!

I just have to say it again: this work of art had everything in it that I’ve been begging to see in a flipping phenomenal YA novel. It has pizzazz and all around goodness and rainbows and butterflies. I even liked the cheating boyfriend because the author didn’t make him into an arrogant bad-ass, but just a confused boy (who also confused the heck out of me because I wanted to dislike him, but alas…). And no hot blooded female reading this book will be able to resist Oliver’s charm. I’ll bet my last Orea cookie on that. Plus, Mallory’s grandmother is a riot and a sweetheart all in one; not forgetting Mallory’s wise-for-her-age little sister whose larger than life personality cannot be ignored, and Mallory’s awkward, but quirky parents, and the close relationship Mallory has with all these people. Even her weird friends found a spot in my heart.

Going Vintage is a book I’ll read again and again just to make sure I didn’t miss a thing the first time around. It has a fantastic story that would make older readers (much older readers) reminisce about being a teen in the sixties, and it would have younger readers heaving a sigh of relief that they live in the era they do. Imagine a life – even just two weeks - without cyber social networking platforms, no cell phones, no internet, no GPS and no microwaves. Well, let me not say anymore as I’m on the verge of including spoilers because I have so much more I want to say. My point is, folks, I want you to read this book. But if you still think this is not for you, then at least get it for your daughter or granddaughter. Fans of books by Meg Cabot, Eileen Cook and Claire LaZebnik will get a kick out of Going Vintage. I, for one, can’t wait for this author’s next book!



This is one of the songs featured in Going Vintage. It also happens to be one of my all-time favorite Beatles songs, and makes for the perfect background music to bring in that sixties feel.


Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt has over 600 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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, Nevada. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series and Sean Griswold’s Head. She also feels weird writing about herself in third person.

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