Vintage Veronica, by Erica S. Perl

15-year-old Veronica Walsh, star of Erica S. Perl's debut novel Vintage Veronica, has big plans for her summer. She's going to work in the consignment section of Clothing Bonanza, drink mocha smoothies from Mookie's Donut Shop, and (if she's lucky) avoid talking to anyone until September. Veronica is much happier hanging out with clothes than people—unlike her classmates, vintage cardigans and antique bakelite combs never judge her because of her weight. Her plan works perfectly, until two older, charismatic co-workers "adopt" her, providing her with a degree of acceptance and friendship... but one that comes at a price.

There's a lot to love about Vintage Veronica: the colorful background characters, the heroine's salty inner monologue, and the glorious Clothing Bonanza, a multi-level store containing everything from a high-end consignment shop to The Pile, a dollar-a-pound clothing rummage heap. (We so want to shop there. Or live there.) But while we loved the setting, and liked Perl's don't-do-anything-to-belong message, her heroine was less charming. Veronica is simultaneously arrogant and desperate to belong, yet she attributes 100% of her social ostracism to her weight. It was refreshing to encounter a fat heroine who wasn't trying to slim down, but Veronica's habit of blaming everything wrong in her life on her body got old fast. (To hear her tell it, fat girls are treated like Carrie from elementary school onwards.) This trait was neither appealing nor—in an era of widespread childhood obesity—all that plausible, so here's hoping that Perl's next novel is built around a less irritating premise.

[Review based on publisher-provided copy.]
Posted by: Julianka


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