Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
Vintage Veronica is very different from the current marketed YA novels because for one thing it does not involve any paranormal creatures. The novel begins with this comical approach with the louder or grander the situation is, the more humorous it becomes. The prologue starts this off with a pow with a childhood trauma—children can be very cruel at times—with a solemn promise to never trust anyone ever again.
Fast forward several years, Veronica works in the consignation section shifting through clothes for “The Pile” or “The Real Deal”. Think Plato’s Closet—selling old clothes. Not all those old clothes are good clothes though and all those clothes go into “The Pile”. The good ones go to “The Real Deal” in racks where Lenny, aka The Nail aka D.BW., trolleys over. See Veronica has always been a little creeped out by Len and Zoe and Ginger feel the same way. When this idea of Len stealing clothes hits the fan, Veronica finds herself in a very awkward situation: in front of Len’s house. And wait, did she just get invited in? Dun, dun, dun—what does that spell for our charming heroine? Well definitely something she never expected to happen, but of course the readers are hoping for (wink wink).
Veronica’s voice, which I’ve heard is hard to connect with, was not an issue on my end. There are times, however, when she goes off tangent into this anecdotes that leads no where, but in general it is fairly straightforward. The plot may seem simple but lays an underlying message to just be comfortable in your own skin and not everyone is like that—that childhood friend who turned against you, the Dad that always promises, the Mom that is always disappointed with you just being you.
Veronica, like many of the other characters, is a caricature; extremes of one persona or another. Zoe the mean Amazonian woman is all curves; Ginger with ever-changing hair and frequent giggles; Bill with the Hippie ponytail and pipe; Veronica with her large dresses and bowling shoes; and Lenny with his limp and pale skin and hair. By mere appearances only readers can gauge their personalities from low self-esteems, to the sickly, and to the dude-that-was-heavy honesty.
While Vintage Veronica is a refreshing contemporary novel where the heroine does not undergo a drastic weight loss, it needs a few refinements. The ending seems very open-ended, Len’s story half unfinished, the situation with the job unclear, and the relationship with Dad vague. I do warn, however, before picking up this novel for yourself or another that there are many “F” bombs laid out.
There was also this one line that put me off very much: “She has very short bangs, tight pigtails, and several chins. She’s smiling so hard that her eyes are almost closed like she’s Chinese or something” (page 46). I’m not sure if I should take offense in that or just laugh—I guess it will just depend on the reader, I just have one comment: Miley! I'm just going to go with that.
Overall, Vintage Veronica is a contemporary fiction with a sense of style.
It's different. I happen to like the naked book better: It's bright orange underneath the cover, which just makes me smile!
P.S. Trying out a new reviewing style: like or dislike? You'll still find the grade at the very bottom on my labels (rounded to the first digit).