Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: Vintage Veronica

Summary: Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart. -- Knopf

I know this sounds terribly shallow, but I first picked up VINTAGE VERONICA by Erica S. Peel because I thought the cover was gorgeous. And then after I read the book's description, I thought the book sounded cute too. I am happy to say that the book was very good, and it did live up to its adorable cover.

VINTAGE VERONICA is a young adult book about an overweight girl named Veronica who spends her summer working at a vintage clothing store. Based on the cover and the description, I thought this book might be somewhat light and chick lit-ish. And it was a cute and funny story about an interesting fifteen year-old. However, I was pleasantly surprised that VINTAGE VERONICA ended up being much deeper than I was expecting. Over the course of a summer, Veronica learns a great deal about herself, as well as a guy and some so-called friends. I thought it was a fantastic read!

Veronica is just a terrific character, and I loved her. She's not gorgeous or popular (in fact, she's kind of a social outcast), but she is extremely real. And she's also very insightful, sarcastic and funny. One of the most special things about Veronica is her fashion savvy. She happens to love vintage clothes and has quite the talent for finding treasure and altering them for her own use. In fact, some of my favorite descriptions in this book were of Veronica's unique fashion ensembles.

As a mother, I loved the overall messages in VINTAGE VERONICA. I liked that Veronica seemed to be relatively content with her appearance and she didn't fixate on changing herself (despite her mother's subtle and sometimes not-so subtle remarks.) She realizes that she can express her own sense of style while at the same time staying true to herself. She also learns a lot about the value of friends and the importance of what's inside a person rather than their outward appearance. In addition, Veronica learns the hard way about the trappings of peer pressure and that first impressions aren't always what they seem.

Despite loving many of the overall messages of this story, VINTAGE VERONICA is definitely a YA book. I wouldn't want my 10 year old daughter to read it for a few more years because there are some adult topics and situations in this story. There is also some bad language, but nothing I'm sure that kids aren't hearing and saying all the time. I also think that some of Veronica's sarcasm and humor would be lost on a younger reader.

VINTAGE VERONICA is author Erica S. Perl's first YA novel -- she has previously written some successful children's books including CHICKEN BUTT. Needless to say, I'm quite impressed with her writing and especially her character development; and I think teen girls are going to love and relate to Veronica. I can't wait to see what Ms. Perl has for us next.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

I love the cover too and the book sounds wonderful! I can relate to characters like Veronica since I was anything but popular back in the day.

Alee said...

Sounds really good, and the cover is so cute! I admit I do the same thing, and I've found some great reads that way!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I pick up books for the same reason!

Jenny Girl said...

I would pick this up for the cover too so you are not alone :)
Sounds like a great book for us older YA readers. And finally a character who has some real life issues, i.e. weight.
Thank you for the lovely review.

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

I don't think that sounds shallow at all, because the first thing I thought when I clicked on your review was "oooh, pretty cover!"

Anonymous said...

I read about this book a few weeks ago and thought I had put it on my wishlist. Apparently not, but I've done it now. Thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

I'm glad to hear the story is deeper than you'd think from the cover and the publisher's description. Sounds like a good one to keep in mind for The Girl when she's a bit older.

Diary of an Eccentric