Mallory is with Jeremy, as usual, and they are making out --- also as usual. She's in his bedroom because her parents will not allow any boy in her bedroom, even if she only wants to display her amazing athlete bobblehead collection. They've been smooching so intensely that Mallory actually needs a bit of a break. She sends Jeremy off to the kitchen to find a snack consisting of chips, salsa and cream cheese. Meanwhile, she's offered to "help" him write his philosophy paper (which means Mallory will write it for him,) so she opens up his computer to get a bit of a head start on her research.
"This story includes subtle elements of romance plus plenty of humor and a few nifty twists and turns. In addition, author Lindsey Leavitt adds thought-provoking layers, making this book a pleasingly nuanced coming-of-age tale."
Jeremy's Friendspace profile page just happens to be open, which causes Mallory to smile fondly at his profile photo, depicting Jeremy and his cousin Oliver preparing to toss Mallory into a swimming pool. She toys with the idea of adding a cutesy note to his page but decides to resist. Just then, she notices something peculiar. It seems Jeremy was online the night before at nine, which is when he was supposedly playing basketball. Obviously, he was lying to Mallory in order to play Authentic Life, the virtual game on Friendspace that Jeremy is addicted to playing. Mallory doesn't quite get his fascination: you create an online character that looks like you, find virtual buddies, work at a virtual job and furnish and live in a virtual house with virtual pets. However, Jeremy loves it so much that he has been known to slip away from Mallory on the pretext of checking his email in order to play Authentic Life.
Mallory can't quite resist entering Jeremy's Authentic Life site. She sees him on a virtual trip to Mount Rushmore and on a trip to the moon...not to mention at the side of a red-haired, black-corseted girl avatar named "BubbleYum." Hmm. In fact, BubbleYum appears in most of Jeremy's photos. When Mallory checks out Jeremy's Authentic Life profile page, his avatar is holding the avatar-hand of BubbleYum --- and his status declares he is "married!" Mallory's world splits apart with the thunderbolt realization that Jeremy has been cheating on her with a virtual wife. She clicks on Jeremy's Authentic Life messages. Shaking with rage and sorrow, she can't believe what she's seeing: affectionate messages to and from Jeremy, in which he and BubbleYum talk about everything going on both in their virtual lives and in their real lives (albeit without mention of Jeremy's real-life girlfriend.) Mallory wonders why Jeremy needed this connection and why she wasn't enough for him. When Jeremy reappears with the snacks, she sends him downstairs for milk so she can tweak his Authentic Life profile. She substitutes a photo of Jeremy and Mallory for the previous photo, erases "married" and keys in "confused." Then, she adds a message to Jeremy's Friendspace page: "JEREMY MUI IS A LYING TOOL." Brushed by a startled Jeremy, she leaves for home.
When Mallory helps her dad sort through her grandmother's belongings, she finds an intriguing list that Grandma wrote when she was 16. The list includes goals such as "run for pep squad secretary" and "sew a dress for homecoming." Inspired by her grandmother's list, plus the recent virtual Jeremy betrayal, Mallory decides to adopt the listed goals for herself, while experiencing as much of her grandmother's life in 1962 as she possibly can. That means she will not only start a pep squad at her school, but she'll have to give up all techie trappings, such as her cellphone and computer. Is that even possible?
GOING VINTAGE is pure reading pleasure, starring the witty and endearing Mallory in a well-paced plot. This story includes subtle elements of romance plus plenty of humor and a few nifty twists and turns. In addition, author Lindsey Leavitt adds thought-provoking layers, making this book a pleasingly nuanced coming-of-age tale.
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on March 25, 2013