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review 2015-02-23 03:56
Going Vintage - Lindsey Leavitt

When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma’s list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy’s cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she’ll get it done. Somehow.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

This is the adorable story of Mallory, a teen who discovers her seemingly perfect boyfriend has been cheating on her with a girl he knows through an online alternate-life game (a Second Life kind of thing). Around this time, she's also helping move her grandmother to a retirement community. Packing up her grandmother's things, she comes across a notebook where her grandmother at the age of 16 had written up a list of goals for that year: run for pep-squad secretary, host a soiree, get a boyfriend, sew a homecoming dress, and do something dangerous. Mallory is floored at how quaint and idyllic this life sounds, so she decides to take on the list herself, giving up all technology in favor of things only available in 1962, hoping that "going vintage" will help her get better perspective on her life. But grandma's got some secrets about that time, secrets that show no era is / was perfect, everyone's got their dramas to work through and grow from.

 

I can't decide if it's right that I'm having fun. I'm going vintage but not so vintage that I need to dress in black and mourn the loss of my past life. I've seen people laugh at funerals, so why not be giddy post-breakup? Especially around a guy who makes life feel effortless, like a meteor could crash into his car and we would just shrug and take the bus.

Mallory in Going Vintage

 

While this has all the things that make for a great "fluffy" read -- mild drama, witty banter, breezy & fun romance -- there is also a good moral to the story, though it's not anything that beats the reader over the head... it's just something that has you thinking in the process of taking in this cute story that looks at how innocent that HS drama looks when you get older, makes you almost nostalgic for it after you get into heavier adult struggles!

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-07-18 17:10
The Chapel Wars: Review and Feedback
The Chapel Wars - Lindsey Leavitt

I really liked this book a lot. The romance was interesting and rather deep and I did not expect that going in. The book was not all about the romance and I like books like that a lot. It gave us a interesting premise that was based in the world of weddings and getting married. 

 

The lead character of Holly was so cool to because she felt like she was 30 years old when in reality she was only 17 years old. She had so much pressure and drama thanks to her grandfather request that I felt like it aged the book up and I enjoyed that. 

 

It was also more of a self discovery book to me and it basically asked the question what if your dream needed to end and how would you go on. I liked that because in life like what happen to Dax and Holly dreams change or need to change. 

 

I thought the romeo and juliet type romance was a tad predictable but It had enough of unexpected twists and the ending really made me enjoy that I gave it such a high rating.

 

If you like a cute romance with dynamic characters that is more then just a romance book check out this book!

 

Check out my non-spolier video  review below!

 http://youtu.be/pjO6J6ZBNA4

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review 2014-06-12 10:28
The Chapel Wars - Lindsey Leavitt

Short review:

This was a really fun/interesting book. 

Holly loses her grandfather, and she inherits the chapel. She meets Dax, falls in love and so on. :)

Holly was a nice character, though I felt she was a bit strange at times. How she acted/did, sometimes I was thinking she was over 20, but at other times I thought she was 12. 
I also find it silly that she got ownership of the chapel. While sure she inherits it, she still isn't an adult and someone should supervise/have ownership until she turns 18 or until she is at least done with school/college and all that. So that was a bit unrealistic. 

I didn't like her relationship with Dax, throughout the book I felt like they just didn't fit together, and I didn't like all the sneakiness. It felt too much like Romeo and Juliet at times and it also got a bit boring.

Dax, urgh, I really didn't like him for most of the book. At times he was nice, but at other times I just felt he was hiding something, or plotting something bad.

Then we have Dax's granddad, oh my gosh, he was a total prick and mean. Also one reason why this book only gets 3 stars, instead of 4 or 5.

But I liked the weddings and how hard Holly tried to save her chapel.

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2014-05-15 00:00
The Chapel Wars
The Chapel Wars - Lindsey Leavitt I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Lindsey Leavitt's Chapel Wars.

This book has the best dialogue I've read in a while. The interaction between siblings & parents has the ring of truth. It feels like overhearing the conversation.

Eccentric Grandpa dies & leaves the Las Vegas wedding chapel to his 17 year old granddaughter. He also leaves behind a massive debt with a deadline.

Even though Holly & her friends make a gallant effort to make the changes in the Chapel to bring in the money to save it, the debt still hovers.

As if that weren't enough to overload Holly's plate, there's an ongoing feud between the cheesy chapel next door. Grandpa's letter instructs her to personally deliver a letter to their mortal enemy's grandson, Dax. Sparks fly.

"The need to cocoon was something I could better explain to a girlfriend or even a sister who was not Lenore. Surely most females understood the importance of wrapping oneself in a large duvet for a solid five hours with nachos & a high-quality series about homesteaders."

I rate this a solid four star throughout & highly recommend this light-hearted story.

http://www.facebook.com/InJoyfulBookReviews

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599907887?ie=UTF8&creativeASIN=1599907887&linkCode=xm2&tag=injoslifethin-20
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review 2014-05-12 10:54
Whitewashing the 60s
Going Vintage - Lindsey Leavitt
"‘Don’t whine to your spouse about your daily troubles. He’s had a harder day providing for you and your children.’ This is what you’re aspiring to? To be some guy’s house slave?”

Ginnie hops out of her seat. “I hope you’re not romanticizing this too much. That prefeminist movement crap is scary.”

“What do you know about the feminist movement?” Um, what did I know? I’d meant to read some books on that too, but when I thought of old feminists, I thought of armpit hair and bra burning and lots of angry, political yelling, which is not nearly as fun as party dresses and school clubs.

This book is vapid, at best. It's cute, sure, if you don't really want to think about it too much. There was a lot lacking from this book, mainly, depth. The main character comes off as a whiny, selfish child who can't stop crying, instead of an actual young woman growing up and trying to overcome her heartbreak in a realistic way. It tries too hard to be cute, and the "vintage" premise was executed so halfheartedly that there was really no fucking point.

There is a love triangle involving two cousins, a insipid, whiny 12-going-on-16 main character, who can't stop thinking about ME ME ME ME ME ME. Her sister. Her mother. Her grandmother. They need to pay more attention to poor wittle Mallory.

If she has time? Doesn’t she get what I’m telling her? [Grandma] has changed, and not for the better. I know she’s still dealing with the loss of Grandpa, but we’re all dealing with something, and she should be more aware of that. More aware of me.

This is what I want to do to the main character.



This is the story of a girl who decides that life would be REALLY, REALLY AWESOME IF SHE WENT VINTAGE. That is, live life as she would if she had been a teenager living in 1962.

Let's see, let me rack my brain. What was life like in the 1960s?!

- Sexual inequality! Women made 2 cents (a rough estimation) for every dollar a man made. Why hello, there, Don Draper, how you doin'?!
- Segregation! If you're black, get back! To the back of the bus, that is. Don't touch the white-only drinking fountains!
- War movements! The Vietnam war and shit, give peace a chaaaaaaaance, man! All those war protests in Berkeley and throughout the country? Whatever.

Mallory? Fuck all that shit. For her, the 1960s means wearing pretty vintage clothing and be secretary of a pep club! Not the president, just the secretary. That's the woman's place, after all!

The Summary:

"I am so over this decade, this century.”
“I don’t think this century is your problem.”
“You’re right. Technology is the problem.”
“But you’re using technology right now,” Ginnie says.
I hold my phone out, giving the gadget a look of severe disgust. I switch to speaker, so I don’t have to get too close to The Battery-Operated Evil. “Yep. And do you know what cell phones cause? Cancer....And people die texting while driving. They’re villainous contraptions. Computers? Oh man, Internet predators lurk, lurk, online."

Mallory has the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. Jeremy is a dream come true, even if his cousin, Oliver is pretty awesome, too! I mean, right in the beginnig, we get this lovely little passage about dear ole Oliver.

I don’t know much about Oliver, but who does? I think that mysterious aloofness is part of his image. He was nice enough to give me a birthday card that night with a twenty-dollar gift card to Outback. Outback? That’s the way to get in good with your cousin’s girl.

It's not like it's a hint that Oliver's going to be the future love interest while she's still dating Jeremy or anything, no! *rolls eyes*

AAAAANYWAY. Jeremy's the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. I mean, he's good-looking, he makes fun of how much she eats.

“Really? You’re hungry?” he asks. “Even after Pizza Hut?”
“That was lunchtime.”
"You had two slices. I swear, on the weekends you eat more than the entire wrestling team.”

He makes her do his homework for him. This guy is a keeper. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.

So it comes as a total blow when Jeremy does something like cheat on Mallory with an online girlfriend. That's right, Jeremy the Amazing Asian Tool has a SimCity-like account, where he's been slutting it out with an avatar named BubbleYum. Mallory is furious. She "hacks" into his "FriendSpace" account, exposes him for the cheating cheater he is, and breaks up with him. And then she gets tons of hate messages blaming HER for their breakup.

Clearly, technology is to blame. Evil, evil technology.

“If Jeremy didn’t have a computer or the Internet, he wouldn’t have met BubbleYum. If I didn’t have this cell phone, strangers couldn’t text me threats. Technology is the reason my life is falling apart.” My voice rises. I’ve never felt this passionate about anything before—the world, or my world at least, is suddenly so much clearer, like everything before was a big surface float, and now, for the first time, I’m diving into the deep end of life.

Uh huh. So dramatic. Much passion. Wow. Solution = go back to the past, specifically, 1962. Mallory finds a list that her 16-year old grandmother made in 1962, and seeks to emulate it.

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

Uh. Ok. It doesn't quite turn out as planned, because the only thing Mallory has down pat is the clothes. Sixties dresses are so cute! Other stuff...doesn't work quite well. For one thing, she really didn't think the situation through at all. Like how the fuck is she supposed to give up the Internet when she SIGNED UP FOR A CLASS ABOUT THE INTERNET.

“You knew when you signed up for the class that most of this unit involves the Internet.”
I feel close to tears. When I made my oath, I didn’t think about schoolwork or other justified reasons to use technology.

And she throws a fucking fit when her sister Ginnie actually makes her follow through on her promise and bans her from using technology. Who cares about historical accuracy, anyway!

I check out the Industrial Revolution books, but don’t bother with the sixties stuff. I’m worried history will only discredit my sunshiny hypothesis.

And another Post-it note where my alarm clock used to be.
LED digital alarm clocks weren’t available until the mid-seventies, and they sure didn’t have docking stations.
NOT AUTHENTIC.
Ginnie’s handwriting is on another note on my now computer-less desk.
Personal computer? Please.
NOT AUTHENTIC.

My sister, my insane sister, has removed every bit of technology not available fifty years ago, which basically is all technology in my room. Like my phone. Not my cell, but the cordless landline. Now I have no contact with the outside world.Uh huh. Way to make a plan and not follow through with it. Not to mention, Mallory cheats on both her "vintage" vow and her paper---she plagiarizes from the Internet.

I type Industrial Revolution right onto the main page search engine, and instantly a million possibilities pop up. Thank you. Thank you. Ask and you shall receive. I could probably type in Completed Industrial Revolution Paper and find five reports to combine into one.

So really, what's the fucking point?

It's ok, though, no matter what she does, dear Oliver will always thinks she's so quirky and beautiful and adorkable.

“Because I like being around you.” He’s still looking out the window, and I wonder if he’s focusing on one object when he says this and what that object is. “I probably shouldn’t, but I do. And I can’t say why. I mean, I can think of a bunch of reasons why.”



Mallory:

The way he describes me, like I’m this vapid girl who doesn’t care about deeper things … that’s so off.

Except, it's not off. Mallory behaves like an idiot child.



She cries over hula figures. To clarify, these things you put on your dashboard.



Reaction (over-reaction?): "He has three hula girls on the dash, three more in the back. I wonder what they think behind those vacant smiles, their plastic shells. These are women who will never wear a shirt, who must spend their existence dancing on demand. There’s something so sad about that, about me, about this situation, that the tears come hot and fast."

Mallory is immature. She doesn't think things through. Her reaction to the most minor fucking thing is to pat herself on the back.

I should push a little more than usual, make this something worthwhile. I’m here already, right?
Wow, so this is what follow-through feels like.

She sets a challenge for herself, to "go vintage" only she constantly whines about it, and constantly cheats on it. And her "living dangerously?"

I just need to figure out living dangerously, which might involve eating the cream cheese and sausage mixture Ginnie is presently concocting.
I can do something dangerous.
Or I can take a sewing class at the community center.

Pfffffffffft. To take a phrase from my friend Emily May. This is Sunday School rebellion. It's sad, pathetic, and so insipid it's not even cute.

She doesn't really want to think about the deeper side of the sixties, all she wants to see is the pretty pretty clothes and simple times. She hates it when people don't pay attention to HER. She expects people like her mother and grandmother to know just how she's feeling, and leave her alone when she wants to be left alone and give her attention when she wants it.

“It doesn’t sound fine. Are you sure you don’t want to talk?”
“No,” I say flatly. “It’s okay. I’m okay. Don’t worry.”
Mom pinches her glossed lips together. “If there’s any way I can help—”
“You can’t,” I say.

Her Mother:

She thinks she has a right to know my everything just because she had a forty-hour natural labor with me. My life would be so much easier if she would have just taken that stupid epidural.



There is a constant attempt at vilifying her own mother that I just don't quite get. From what I read, her mother is just the right amount of attentive, only our dear little Sally Mallory here can't see it. She shames her mother for her looks.

When we walk into a store, guys always check out my mom first, taking in her tight body and large chest before noticing that she’s in her forties, not twenties.

Her mother is a hard working mom who is the family breadwinner. She is a caring mom, and Mallory, in her selfish way, can't see it. She constantly complain about her mom not understanding her, when she's doing everything she can to shut her out whenever her mother asks her any sort of question about her life. Mallory comes off as nothing more but a selfish, stubborn, childish girl.

The Romance: There is a love triangle between Mallory, her ex-boyfriend Jeremy, and his cousin, Oliver.

Why am I thinking about Jeremy?
I’m not.
Why am I thinking about Oliver?
I’m not.

She is. She constantly thinks about Jeremy after their breakup, which is annoying, but believable.

I look down at my wedge, and notice the head of lettuce looks like Jeremy’s head, that the bits of bacon could easily be his eyes, the tomatoes his mouth, and—

But meanwhile, she's got feelings for Oliver, too. Jeremy is doing everything he can to get Mallory back, while Oliver plays the kind, understanding, all sorts of supportive friend who wants to be something more.

In order for me to understand the romance, I have to support the characters. I liked Oliver, despite his "hipster" ways, but I can't, for the life of me, understand why the fuck he's in love with the utter birdbrain that is Mallory.

Overall: this book is the equivalent of a 6-year old refusing to eat bacon for a week after reading Charlotte's Web, and the main character has the same mental age. Not recommended.

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