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Going Vintage Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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As the blurb on the book describes basically what happens in the first two chapters, I had no idea where this story was going, but I really enjoyed where it went.
Each chapter in this book starts with a list, usually introducing the theme of the chapter to come, drawing you into the next chapter. I really liked the beautiful writing style which slowed the pace down more than in a usual contemporary fiction book like this but I think that the slow pace fit the story well and it gave the characters time to develop fully.
With regards to characters, I think that they were all interesting, and the fact that there were a lot of secrets made them more developed than I was expecting. I particularly liked Ginnie who, despite being only fourteen years old, seems to be the wisest person in her family and the parental role that she takes on is hilarious at points. Oliver, Mallory's ex's cousin, as a love interest was strange at first but I think that this was addressed in the novel.
I am extremely happy with the way this book ended. It wasn't the fairytale ending that I expected and I am glad that Mallory had developed and was a stronger person by the end.
Overall, I loved the themes in this book. It really made me think about the problems that technology cause in relationships nowadays, but also, it made me wonder if I could do what Mallory does, and not use any technology at all. I would recommend this book as I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is a thought-provoking and enjoyable plot.
I'm waiting for the next Darren Shan book so I wanted a fairly quick stand alone book that I could read today to fill the space and this one caught my eye. It's not my usual pick but it sounded interesting so I decided to give it a go.
Mallory and Jeremy seem to be made for each other, until she finds his 'Authentic Life' profile online and discovers a whole other life he's created for himself, sure it's just a game, but the emails between him and his virtual 'wife' are very real. Betrayed and hurt Mallory breaks up with him and swears off all modern technology, it just causes problems she can do without. She finds a list her grandma made when she was 16 and Mallory decides life was so much simpler back then and it was time to bring those times back.
Vintage style really is in fashion at the moment, and I love the clothes - if I could afford them I would wear them a lot, but anyway back to the book. Mallory is not your average character, she has fire in her belly and she makes mistakes, she actually comes across as very human, realistic.
At the start of the book I wasn't sure if I liked her or not, I was more intrigued than anything but as the book progressed and I got to know her I came to really like her, and her quirks. She's trying to figure out what she wants in life and who she wants to be which I think a lot of teen readers can relate to.
We also meet Ginnie, Mallory's sister, she's like me in many ways, super active and sporty, a bit shy, and tries to help others before herself, she also has a bit of a temper mixed with a sweet side. She really lets us see another side of Mallory and in some ways an outside perspective on the story. As the book is told from Mallory's point of view it can be one sided, but her sister gives us a bridge to how others see things.
I found myself reading this quite quickly and wanted to see how it would all play out, especially once Oliver got involved, I wasn't sure if I wanted another romance twist to the story but he is there for more than that, he brings humour and fun into it and also helps Mallory realise what she can be.
Very well written and beautifully created this book is a must read for 2013. Great fun and will also make you think about how much we rely on computers and technology. Super sweet, I will be looking for more by this author.
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.
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This was a sweet, gentle read, with witty dialogue and a quirky tone.Read more