Sunday 12 May 2013

Sunday Spotlight: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

My new Sunday Spotlight feature (which actually bears a striking similarity to my old Saturday Spotlight feature) will showcase some of my favourite recent books reviewed for the superb Bookbag site.

After finding out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a girl he met online, Mallory decides that the best way to make her life less complicated is to get rid of the boy, and of the new technology that's the cause of her woes. Finding a list her grandmother wrote as a teen in the Sixties, she decides to go vintage, and live as her grandmother did. Will she find the answer to her modern-day problems in the past?
This is a fun, fairly light, read which I didn't think was quite as good as Leavitt's previous teen novel, the wonderful Sean Griswold's Head, but was still a cut above most contemporary YA books. Mallory is a great narrator, and her younger sister Ginnie and their grandmother are fabulous supporting characters, while the relationships between the three of them, and Ginnie and Mallory's parents, are the strongest part of the book. The dynamics, as Ginnie becomes frustrated with Mallory's attempt to 'go vintage', and both girls have to cope with their grandmother moving into a retirement community and their parents arguing, are definitely believable and worked well. (Although I have to say, I found their mother to be incredibly annoying!) I thought the romance was perhaps slightly less successful, although that may be because I was expecting too much as Sean and Payton in Sean Griswold's Head were one of my favourite recent couples. For me, the love interest in this book wasn't quite as engaging as Sean was, although I still liked him.
Leavitt's writing style is still fresh, easy to read, and she keeps the plot moving at a rapid pace here. I'd happily recommend this to anyone looking for a teen contemporary with a strong narrator, and am looking forward to reading her future books!
(Oh, and one more thing - aren't both covers gorgeous? First is the UK one, second is US - both fabulous!)

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