When Mallory discovers her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a virtual “wife”, it isn’t long before the gossip has spread across social media. The internet has ruined her life. When she’s sorting through her Grandma’s belongings, she finds a list from 1962, a list that gives her an idea. She is going to shun modern technology and live as her Grandma did, in a simpler time. She will follow the list and change her life. But going back in time isn’t as simple as it seems.
Junior Year: Back-to-School Resolutions:
1. Run for pep squad secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
Going Vintage is a lovely, simple yet heart-warming book about something the everyday things that happen in a teenager’s life. Although Mallory’s Grandma does point out there’s never any easy time to be a teenager, the internet does pose a special set of problems. Everyone knows your business every moment of the day, should you share it, but there is a general acceptance that you should. I think we’d all like to back away from the drama of social media now and again, and as Mallory does so, she learns the middle ground. Living in the 60s wasn’t all peachy and the internet isn’t all bad.
It’s hard to remember how we coped before the internet, or even before the spread of smartphones which made it portable. For today’s teenager’s life without the internet is a foreign world. It’s amusing to see Mallory suddenly realise things she took for granted aren’t as easy anymore; from researching her homework to finding an address. And communication is hard when all her friends are texting, updating statuses or chatting online. No one takes the time to talk or hang out in person any more but that communication isn’t as fulfilling as the kind she discovers.
I’m not quite sure why there was the need to change Facebook to Friendspace or Second Life to Authentic Life. It’s clear what they’re referring to and there’s nothing in the story that would potentially infringing. Plenty of books manage to incorporate real life social networks no problem. Facebook is such a big part of many people’s lives now, it’s as normal a thing to include in fiction as The Times newspaper.
I liked that all the drama in the book was really centred around everyday events. It does start off with a break up but it’s no life or death situation and Mallory soon comes to understand that her reality and what was in her head were maybe not the same things. Jeremy was a pretty average teenage boy and, whilst Oliver turns out amazingly insightful for his years, everything that happens seems pretty believable.
There is a lot on family life which was nice to see. Mallory has a great friendship with her younger sister, who she ropes into her plan. Part of The List is fuelled by her recent bad experience with the internet but another is to get a bit closer to her Grandma, who Mallory eventually realises is a real person with real problems. Her parents made me smile, because being 40, even if Mallory thinks that’s old, does not mean they stop loving and fighting and being a couple. Their PDAs might be embarrassing but I loved them for it.
Also reviewed @ The Book Barbies
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