Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
Release date: March 9, 2010
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.
When I first started reading Vintage Veronica I just wanted to stop, I couldn't get attached to the characters and the plot dragged. It may have been because I went in expecting something different. Luckily, it improved a lot the more I read and by the end I was really into it.
Veronica was...unique. At first I was surprised by her up-front attitude about her weight and other people, but I grew to like her and her personality. Veronica knew how to stand up for herself and normally did just that. I could understand her reluctance to trust people after being burned too many times. Perl presented an overweight character that, by the end, could see the light of just being happy with who you are. While working at the vintage clothing shop Veronica met a lot of people that changed her life- some for the better and some...not for the better.
The characters in this book were great. The two males that worked at Clothing Bonanza, Bill and Len- I loved them both for different reasons. Bill may not have been the best influence but he was a sweet guy that was honest to Veronica, and one of the first people to befriend her. Len was sweet and just amazing to Veronica. She needed a guy that told her she was beautiful and meant it. Zoe and Ginger, the Florons, were... pretty much evil. Their personalities flip-flopped and at times I hated them and others liked them. By the end I hated Zoe, but Ginger, well Ginger was just a very confused girl. Veronica's parents had a very minimal role. Her father was mentioned in passing and her father only two or three times. I really would have liked to see more of them. Although I would have liked to see more substance behind all the characters, even Veronica, Perl's original cast of characters added a lot to the story.
The plot was original, albeit not particularly well orchestrated. The beginning was confusing and quite slow, but as the plot developed I got more into the story. I love realistic fiction, so even though I couldn't really relate to Veronica I enjoyed reading about her work in the clothing shop. There were quite a few sub plots that added a lot to the book. Len's lizards, for example. The last few chapters were my favorite though, and made me really glad I kept reading. Although there were quite a few loose ends (i.e. where was Claire? What happened with Veronica visiting her dad?), the ending was mainly satisfying.
My main complaint about Vintage Veronica was the writing style, it took a little getting used to, and that's why I think I enjoyed the book the more I read it. Perl's way of writing is unique and her extremely random use of curse words surprised me. I don't have a problem with language in novels, but I wasn't really expecting it in Vintage Veronica! Although it looks like it may be suited for a younger audience, I wouldn't recommend it to them simply because of all the bad language.
Overall, Vintage Veronica was a cute debut, that left a little to be desired. Veronica was an original, unique main character that many readers will love. I'm excited for more by Erica S. Perl as I know she has it in her to write even better.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars