Vintage Veronica Book Poster Image

Vintage Veronica

(i)

 

Overweight teen finds her voice, learns a friendship lesson.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Important lessons about self-esteem and the value of true friendship. Veronica learns that no friendship is worth silencing her true feelings.

Positive role models

Veronica works hard to undo the damage that her behavior has caused. She aligns herself with mean girls just because she's happy to have some attention from them, but soon realizes that she can trust herself and stand up for herself and those who are true friends.

Violence

Some mild shouting and name calling.

Sex

Some mild innuendo. Lenny kisses Veronica's bra. A character lies about somebody having an STD. A couple of mild slang references to sex and oral sex.

Language

Most of the characters are older teens and there are several uses of "f---k" as an expletive, not a verb. Also, "s--t," "bitch," "asshole," "dyke," "Jesus," and "Goddamn" are used. Sex is referred to as "banging," and one character refers to "blowing" someone. A character is called a "cripple."

Consumerism

Chuck Taylor shoes and the Weight Watchers program and frozen meals are mentioned several times. Other brands are mentioned in passing.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Main characters talk about the fact that a secondary character smokes a lot of pot. Veronica smokes pot one time. A story is told in which a character's mom, who is home from rehab, killed two people in a drunk driving accident.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Veronica struggles with being overweight. She feels her fit mother "cringes" at the sight of her. Veronica and a teen boy share some intimate moments, but the sexuality is not gratuitous or too extreme. Characters swear quite a bit, and Veronica tries marijuana once with a secondary character, who is portrayed as a loser because of his drug use. Veronica learns lessons about friendship, honesty, and self-esteem.

What's the story?

Fifteen-year-old Veronica Walsh's summer job at a consignment store is a dream come true because, not only is she the first one to see the cast-off treasures from bygone eras that suit her personal style, but she can also hide on the fourth floor away from customers and co-workers. Veronica is overweight, with a mother that frequently reminds her of that, and she has no friends since a recent falling out. Content to remain friendless, she hides away upstairs until two mean girls who work on the sales floor strike up a "friendship" with her and convince her to spy on Lenny, the odd stock boy. At first, Veronica is pleased that the girls are even talking to her, so when she and Lenny hit it off Veronica wants to keep that a secret in order to stay friends with Zoe and Ginger. She soon realizes that attention from them isn't worth giving up on the first true friend she's had in way too long.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Vintage Veronica is an excellent read with a great lesson for anyone who has ever wanted to fit in. Teens will be able to relate to Veronica's fear about falling out of favor with the cooler girls, and they'll cheer for her when she finally uses her true voice.

Veronica's inner dialogue gives us a peek inside her self-deprecating, sweet,
and silly mind. We see how difficult it is for her to go with her gut and stand
up to Zoe and Ginger. We also see how hard it is for her to understand why Lenny
seems to like her so much. By the end of the book, though, Veronica is inspiring
as she transforms from a girl who hides away on the 4th floor, too afraid to be
herself for fear of ridicule and rejection, to a self-assured young woman who is
ready to come out into the light of day and be herself, no matter what. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about fitting in. Have you ever done something you weren't proud of in order to fit in?

  • Veronica has a hard time trusting herself. Why do you think that is? How does that impact her friendships?

  • Many times in the book, Veronica's inner voice tells her the right thing to do or say, but she ignores it. Do you listen to your inner voice? Why or why not?

Book details

Author:Erica S. Perl
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Knopf
Publication date:March 9, 2010
Number of pages:288
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17

This review of Vintage Veronica was written by

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Quality

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bydestintolove May 6, 2010

teens should read, not 12 and under.

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