Going Vintage – Lindsey Leavitt

Mallory finds out that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her virtually through an online game. So, after finding a list written by her grandmother back in the 60s, Mallory decides to ditch all technology and life a simpler life by completing the five items on her grandmother’s list. But school, friends, family, and a certain cute cousin of her ex might get in her way.

What I Liked:

This was such a great concept for a book. Ditching technology and living life as it would have been lived in the sixties. I loved the whole idea of it, and I loved that it wasn’t an easy thing for Mallory to just do. Not just because of giving up social media and her cell phone, but because her class assignments required online work, and everything needed to be typed to be handed in. Because no one carries around maps anymore, since there are online maps and GPS systems. And there is no such thing as digital music (or even CDs)!

I also enjoyed that Mallory’s ex, Jeremy, was sometimes a total tool and other times not all that bad, so you could kind of see that he was a cheater, but also that there was a reason Mallory had liked him. And Oliver was a great new love interest…although he was Jeremy’s cousin, Mallory and Oliver didn’t really know each other before the book began, so it was nice to see them develop a friendship.

What I Didn’t Like:

Mallory. So, this girl sets out to finish a list of five items from the 60s. First, it was annoying that she thought the 60s were so innocent and carefree…she seemed to have no grasp on the concept that times are hard no matter when. Second, of the 5 items on the list, Mallory does not actually complete a single one of them. Her grandmother completes one, her sister completes one, Oliver mostly completes one, Mallory fudges the “rules” to make one fit her life (even though it doesn’t), and the last one (spoilers) is doing something dangerous…Mallory goes to Homecoming without a date (scandalous!!!), spends about 20 minutes at the dance before asking her parents to come pick her up, and she considers that doing something brave and dangerous.

Because, you know, no girl in the history of ever has attended a dance without a date before.

She spent a large amount of time patting herself on the back for being so ambitious and proactive, and she hardly did anything through the entire book. She goes “offline” for a total of less than 2 weeks, and in that time she relapses once.

I thought the concept of this book was great, but the execution didn’t quite live up to my hopes. I would have loved to see a very strong female in this role, taking the idea to heart and sticking it out for a long period of time (six months, maybe?) I would have loved to see creativity (she bends the rules and has her sister download old tv shows which they watch together) in how she managed to live in the sixties. I think the potential could have been awesome for this story, and I can’t help but think that had Mallory’s sister Ginny been the main character, the whole book would have been way more interesting.

Really interesting premise, but the wrong character to pull it off.

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