Sewing, Steadies & Pep Club: 'Going Vintage' by Lindsey Leavitt
Have you ever wanted to completely disconnect from technology? You know, no Facebook, no e-mail, no Twitter, no phone? Just the thought is kind of overwhelming for most of us. How are you supposed to talk to your friends, keep up on what’s happening in the world, look up directions or watch videos of very adorable, tiny puppies falling asleep (that last one can’t be just me, right?)?
In Going Vintage, Mallory decides to take the no-technology plunge after her boyfriend Jeremy cheats on her…online. While using his computer one day, she discovers that he has a whole different life online, and that life includes a cyberwife with whom he exchanges long, romantic messages. Naturally, Mallory is livid.
When she’s helping her grandma move and sorting through old boxes, she comes across a list of her grandma’s high school goals, which include things like “get a steady” and “become pep club secretary” and “sew a homecoming dress.” Mallory decides that she’d way rather live in a time when her biggest problem was pep club-related, instead of online infidelity-related. So she swears off technology and vows to complete her grandma’s goal list.
But, as it turns out, this is a bit more complicated than Mallory planned. How is she supposed to research (and type) her assignments? And what if her school doesn’t even have a pep club? And how is she supposed to learn to sew before homecoming?
So Mallory’s got problems. But, luckily, she’s also got a great support system: her grandma (even if she is acting kind of weird), her sister Ginnie (who’s a real stickler for following the “no technology” rules), and Oliver, Jeremy’s cousin. As Mallory tries to find answers to all of her questions (like, what’s up with her grandma? And what’s up with her parents? And is Oliver just really, really into pep club or is he into her?), she ends up learning a lot about herself as well.
-When Mallory’s upset over Jeremy’s betrayal, Ginnie makes her this concoction called Milk Toast. It involves lots of butter, toast, milk and poached eggs. The existence of this dish shocked me so much that I’m still thinking about it. Is this a thing? Have any of you ever eaten milk toast? Do I need to eat milk toast? Please share any milk toast related experiences in the comments. I’m a curious girl.
-I know I’m always talking about how romance is basically my reason to live, but I also enjoy books that have other things going on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some swooning in Going Vintage, but it’s a relatively small part of the plot. The book’s more about Mallory defining herself without a guy around and figuring out what her “thing” is, which I really loved!
-Okay, so I just said romance isn’t a big part of the plot, but I was still pretty in love with Oliver. What a babe! He’s funny and smart and he totally respects Mallory.
–Going Vintage features a lot of sewing and clothing details. I loved reading about Mallory’s vintage prom dress, which I imagined looking like Iona’s dress in Pretty in Pink (even though it was described completely differently).
-Mallory’s relationship with her grandma is really sweet, and Mallory learns a lot from her. Namely that the 50s/60s definitely weren’t perfect, and that people then had problems that were just as big as our problems today. I particularly loved this, because it really annoys me whenever people say they should’ve been born in the 50’s because, like, do you love being stuck in traditional gender roles and dealing with segregation? I’ll stick with the technological, medical and social advances of 2013, thanks. Grumpy lady rant over.
-If you enjoyed Going Vintage, be sure to check out Lindsey Leavitt’s other books, Sean Griswold’s Head and the Princess For Hire series.
What about you guys? Have you read Going Vintage? Do you wish you could quit technology? HAVE YOU EATEN MILK TOAST? Pressing questions all. Let me know in the comments! And, as always, I love to hear your suggestions for books to feature in Young Adult Education! In fact, a lovely reader recommended Going Vintage to me! Leave me a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @KerryAnn.
Pretty in Pink image via The Gloss