Beyond just the Dollar a Pound vintage clothing store, you can see that the people in it are all a handful of characters that have their quirks and pet peeves. Veronica is a plump girl who thinks she is doing fine all on her own until her mother encourages her to meet other people and make friends. She sure does meet people and make friends thanks to Zoe and Ginger who think they pretty much run the store in the fitting room areas.
However, when they let Veronica in on a secret, confirming their suspicions that Claire and a boy named Lenny are running a stolen goods ring, Veronica feels that she has won friends and have some people to laugh with instead of people laughing at her. Now she is let in on a Secret Spy Girl pact and has to update Zoe and Ginger about Lenny’s activities. She even follows him to his house and confronts him!
But there is so much more about Lenny that none of the Secret Spy Girl trio know. Is accusing Lenny of stealing something to be taken seriously?
Each chapter has a fun illustration of vintage clothing pieces, like a pink flannel pajama top, or an embroidered full skirt. Sometimes one might think that Veronica’s character is patterned after the author herself who is equally obsessed with vintage clothing too.
What I also like about the book is that I can closely picture what’s going on, I have a close vision of what the Clothing Bonanza store looks like, how slim Veronica’s mother is, and I can almost hear Lenny’s voice as he argues in his backyard as he buries beloved Dep.
Did I like reading the book? I would have to say yes, because it touches on what most of us want to feel, and that is having to stop being lonely. Here, Veronica wants to belong, even if it means spending some time with two snotty girls, which at first she thinks is cool because she gets to have “friends”. But as the friendship between her and Zoe and Ginger take unexpected turns, she finds out who the real friends can be, and they usually show up in the unexpected persons of Bill and Lenny, and of course, her Mom. Because Veronica prefers to spend most of her time in Employees Only!, she does not know what she is missing to where the real action is in terms of vintage clothing.
Also, just like any teen, Veronica does have a rocky relationship with her Mom because they tend to see things in a different light, but the key to resolving this is through some good old, honest girl talk.
Erica Perl’s writing style is a relief, such that it is very easy to read. It is suitable for teens and young adults who want a refreshing, easy read. I would not recommend it to pre-teens however, because there is a makeout scene in the middle of the book and f***k appears too often in the conflict scenes. There are also behavioural problems that may not be good examples for preteens but I feel that it is important to show because these actions contribute to the characterization in the book.
About the Author
Erica S. Perl is a third generation connoisseur of vintage clothing, fabric, and collectibles. She honed her thrifting skills at the fertile resale bins of Vermont, Louisiana, New York and Massachusetts. Erica was inspired to write about Vintage Veronica after consigning some items at the Garment District, the legendary Cambridge, Massachusetts second hand store. Although fans of the Garment District will likely recognize the influence of some of the store’s customs and characters, Vintage Veronica is mostly a work of fiction.
A former trial lawyer, Erica lives in Washington, D.C.
Vintage Veronica is her first novel.
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