I’m sort of obsessed with the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. A lot of my favorite movies come from that era. I love the dresses. Interesting enough, do you know that Banana Republic has a Mad Men inspired collection? And it was the one time in history America had a semi glamorous president. Grant it, the whole Mr. President Marilyn Monroe episode sort of soiled that but whatever. So yeah, a YA novel that has a heroine who wants to go back to that era. I thought, hey that could be interesting and requested it from Net Galley. Though the fact it’s from Net Galley did not affect my opinion of this book.
General Summary: After her boyfriend cheats on her in the cyber world, Mallory decides to swear off modern technology and live life like it was in the 1960’s. Of course, this has mixed results.
This book had a lot going for it and could’ve easily been rated on the higher side of life. Unfortunately, some things bumped it’s score to a slightly above average read.
I could praise this book for it’s plot. I loved the idea. A girl swearing off technology after a bad break up it makes sense enough. And I loved how the idea was connected to her grandma. YA books are notorious for ignoring family. Additionally, I also loved Mallory for the most part. She wasn’t perfect, she knew it, and had interesting taste in snacks (milk toast sounds disgusting, but oddly enough I sort of want to try it). Also, I loved all the Disney Land scenes. Any book that features Disney Land gets half a star from me.
So what went wrong?
Well, the supporting cast for one thing.
I really could not stand Mallory’s family. I talk about this more in the worst section feature of the review, but they were pretty much insufferable. And yes, I get that family’s can be awful and all that. But they were borderline unrealistic. Also, Mallory made some really poor choices and her consequences should’ve been reflected it.
Another big problem I had with this book is how the love interests were treated. First we have Jeremy who is completely unrealistic. He reminds me of one of those boyfriends you’d see in a Lifetime movie. You know, total jerk with little motivations for his douchey actions. And then the resolution they had at the end where Mallory was the bigger person and could forgive. Gag me.
Then you have Oliver. You know I should like Oliver and I do, but he doesn’t seem realistic. And it’s not because of insta love. There’s actual build up to this relationship, their interactions though they just don’t ring genuine. He honestly reminds me of Chad Michael Murray’s character in A Cinderella Story. He looks the part, says the right things, but you wonder is this really a guy talking because he sounds like such a girl.
Best Feature: The 1960’s: I loved learning about all things the 60’s. The culinary information was really interesting as well as some of the details about fashion. I wish thought that some of the less savory details about the decade were mentioned. Sure, they talked about the inequality between gender a little bit. But there were other things about the decade that were worth talking about too.
Worst Feature: Annoying Relatives. The supporting characters in this book really were aggravating. I was going to give it a higher rating. But God, the mother character, the grandmother character, and sometimes even the sister got on my nerves. I guess I should be happy that they played such a prominent role in the book because usually YA ignores family all together. But God, that mother was way too much. Seriously, writing about your kids and their love lives on a secret blog. And then the Grandma has a secret like you see on Days of Our Lives and everyone just accepts it. Sigh….I needed alcohol to believe a lot of this.
Appropriateness: It’s pretty clean on the teenage drinking, cursing, and sex stuff. However, I had some issues with morality issues on this book. Particularly when it came to cheating. In the book the character writes a paper by virtually cutting and pasting five papers and slightly “rewording” them to make them her own. Does she face consequences? No. Also, it doesn’t help matters that at the beginning of the book she was “helping” her ex boyfriend write his own paper. I’m sorry but this sort of thing makes me feel icky inside.
Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, why not this would be a cute movie. Here’s who I’d cast:
Oliver: Harry Shum JR because he’s a cutie just like Oliver is.
Overall Rating: Six out of ten hoop skirts. I really liked this one, but there were some things about it that were just plain aggravating.