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Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
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Vintage Veronica

by Erica S. Perl

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There’s a lot that’s by-the-numbers in this book, but the secondary characters are original enough to make up for it. Zoe might be one of my favorite villains in realistic fiction. Perl does an excellent job of making her terrifyingly, unpredictably evil, despite being a 19-year-old store clerk. (Full review at http://www.parenthetical.net/2010/12/07/review-vintage-veronica-by-erica-s-perl/) ( )
  SamMusher | Mar 30, 2013 |
When I first read the plot summary for VINTAGE VERONICA, I classified it as a cute and didn't really expect it to have any depth, but that first impression was entirely off! Erica Perl has written a novel full of quirky characters that captured my heart and has managed to tell a story that the Veronica in all of us can relate to.

The setting and characters of VV were colorful and utterly unforgettable. The only way that I can really describe the feel of the book as is off beat. The easiest way I can describe the novel is by referencing Ellen Page films, like JUNO and WHIP IT. The characters in those films are quirky and seem to stick in your mind as if held there by superglue. Veronica is the star of the novel, but I was most drawn to Len, the mysterious and awkward stock boy. He is so much more than what he seems when the reader is briefly introduced to him at the beginning of the novel. I loved discovering the magic of Len as Veronica spends more time with him. I really liked that he isn't the normal heartthrob character or the tortured bad boy; he's just Len - and that's all he needs to be.

Given that I adore Len, it is understandable that I'm a fan of the romance between him and Veronica. However, it wasn't simply my feelings about Len's character that pulled me into their love story, it was the truthfulness. Len and Veronica's relationship is not perfect, but it is awkward, painful, and so, so tender. There are some romances that take you by storm and you are so totally enraptured in one another that there really isn't very much awkwardness. This is not the case in VV, partly because Veronica tries so hard to keep a cool head about the whole situation and doesn't allow herself to be overwhelmed by her feelings, in the beginning at least. And when one overanalyzes as much as Veronica, there is always going to be some uncomfortable moments. I think that in real life, people generally fit into that second category, so I found this love story particularly touching. ( )
  thehidingspot | Mar 31, 2012 |
Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo.com

Fifteen-year-old vintage fashionista Veronica Walsh is not a people person. Luckily, she's found the ideal summer job sorting through Dollar-a-Pound's clothing pile, deciding which items make it to the main floor of the resale clothing shop and pretty much avoiding all contact with the human race.

Veronica believes herself content in isolation, until she comes across two snarky yet engaging sales girls on break.

When Zoe and Ginger encourage her to spy on their equally self-contained (but in their opinion somewhat shady) co-worker, Len (aka "The Nail"), Veronica can't resist. Unfortunately, Veronica finds herself liking Len, and soon feels the pangs of conscience over her own less-than-honorable intentions.

Can Veronica regain her integrity, maintain a budding romance, *and* win the approval of her newfound friends?

VINTAGE VERONICA is one of my favorite reads from 2010, and for someone incapable of naming a favorite because there are just so many great books in the world, I think that says a lot. I loved this book! I loved the details about vintage fashion, the Dollar-a-Pound's quirky staff, scenes depicting store regulars picking through The Pile to find their own personal gems, and the parallel discovery Veronica makes of the human "gems" populating her world. ( )
  GeniusJen | Apr 23, 2011 |
Veronica Walsh works at a consignment shop, sorting antique clothing all day and avoiding having to interact with people. The job is perfect for her because, while she loves fashion, she is also fat, and her experience with people has not endeared them to her.

But Veronica’s life begins to change the day Zoe and Ginger, two intensely cool salesgirls, begin to talk to her, and she begins to cross paths with Len, a silent, frustratingly slooow coworker. Veronica thinks she’s got the three of them figured out, but as her friendship with Len grows, she begins to see that she does not know people—or herself—as well as she once thought…

VINTAGE VERONICA is a top-notch light-hearted coming-of-age YA contemporary novel. With excellent characterization, a fantastic setting, and a heartfelt lesson that everyone can relate to, VINTAGE VERONICA is truly delightful.

Erica Perl has gotten the authentic and appealing teen voice down pat. Veronica may claim that she’d rather spend time with fabrics than people, but if so, then she is a shrewd observer in her self-imposed naivety. The way she describes the consignment shop makes the place feel like the only place you’d ever want to work, a building filled with ancient machinery, quirky coworkers, and the most interesting customers and clothing you’ll ever encounter.

This is not a book about self-esteem, body image, losing weight, and the like, for which I am thankful. Veronica does make note of her size, but instead chooses to devote more of her attention—and, to our delight, her narrative—to the observances of her workplace. She is intelligent and fashion-savvy, and yet has the insecurities and desires that every 15-year-old girl wants, despite what she says: friends, a boy who will love her the way she is. Therefore, she ends up making the same mistakes that other people make for the sake of social interaction, and then eventually learning from those mistakes.

VINTAGE VERONICA contains a wonderful cast of minor characters that you feel like you know a lot about just from Veronica’s descriptions. Len is an unusual love interest, with his slowness and love of reptiles. The development of Veronica and Len’s romance felt just a bit unnaturally quick to me, for two people who have so many issues. But that was the only part of the book that I felt was overly dramatic. Len may be an unusual love interest, but he is also kind of adorable, for those of us who have a soft spot for dorky, geeky guys.

Overall, VINTAGE VERONICA was a pleasure to read from cover to cover. It reminded me of the best kind of contemporary novels I remember loving as a teen: good writing, a smart and appealing protagonist, and a feel-good lesson at the end of the day. ( )
  stephxsu | Dec 19, 2010 |
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. ( )
  ylin.0621 | May 19, 2010 |
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But her story is filled with emotions (and language!) that are both earthy and real, and a romance that’s as complicated as it is sweet.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Ilene Cooper
 
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I'm sure you don't know me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375859233, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After getting a job at a vintage clothing shop and quickly bonding with two older girls, fifteen-year-old Veronica finds herself making bad decisions in order to keep their friendship.

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