8 March 2010

Review: VERY LeFREAK by Rachel Cohn ****

Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?
Rachel Cohn makes her Knopf solo debut with this funny, touching, and surely recognizable story about a girl and the technology habit that threatens everything.

The main reason why I bought the book and gave this book a chance was the awesome book trailer, which I loved. I expected to love this book so I was quite surprised when I just couldn't get into it at first ... I found the first part of the book rather boring and I didn't really like any of the characters and I kept thinking, "Whoa, this Very chick's got some serious issues." I was very close to giving up on this book, but I knew that if I gave up on it, then I'd never pick it up again and I thought that maybe writing a bad review once it a while would do me good. Buuuuut in the second part, the book really picked up and I ended up loving it! Why? Read on. ;)

When we first meet Very (real name Veronica), she spends all her time connected to various devices and she's obsessed with El Virus, her online buddy/crush who's been completely MIA for a couple of weeks and Very can't wait to hear from him. She also does some stupid things so her friends (Jennifer aka Lavinia) and Bryan are really worried about her. Thus they make her give up all her gadgets for a couple of weeks. Very is coping more or less successfully with her predicament when all of a sudden she finds out that Bryan deleted all the stuff on her laptop ... Very gets *very, very* angry and a very naked attack ensues aaaaand our Very ends up at ESCAPE, which stands for Emergency Services for Computer-Addicted Persons Everywhere, which marks the second part of the book.

From here on, we eventually get to meet the real Very and get to the bottom of her issues. At ESCAPE, Very makes some new friends and gets into needlepoint and bedazzling and clothes washing and basically discovers that life without technology isn't all that bad. During her sessions with the counsellor Keisha, Very also openly discusses growing up all over the place with a very liberal mother and why she feels guilty for her death, about not knowing her father, about her sexuality, about being hurt and hurting people etc. I felt that Very really grew as a character and I loved how she really tried to be a better person and strived to resist the temptations both of the people and technology variety. But just when she's about to complete her recovery, two very important people in her life show up and Very has to choose which path she will take. There were quite a exciting few twists & turns in the end, but I was happy with Very's choice.

I wasn't too fond of the third person narration, but the narrative voice was fantastic so I could easily overlook that minor flaw (which is totally personal preference). The plot isn't exactly gripping (at least not until the end), but the great narration and character development make this book really easy to read once you get into it. Also, I find it quite funny how I went from being quite irritated by Very to really liking her (as well as Lavinia and Aunt Edith) and rooting for her in the end! I thought she was a great character and I love how she grew throughout the story.

Lastly, there are three things I want to say:
  • the trailer is great, but the book has so much more to offer;
  • if you're participating in the GLBT Challenge, then you might want to add this book to your list - just saying ;)
  • I can't get the Le Freak song out of my head now, haha! "Oooh, freak out! Le freak, c'est chic!" :)

overall rating:

plot: 4/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 3/5

ps: I've no idea what's with all the four star reviews lately, but coincidentally I've just been reading great books! :)

19 comments:

prophecygirl said...

Great review! It sounds like it's a good job you carried on reading it :)

I love the trailer too, and am looking forward to reading this one day.

P said...

I really want to read this! I looked it up last week though and it's a bit too expensive for me at the moment so I'll have to give it a couple of months.

Adriana said...

I've seen this book a few times, but never really knew what it was about. It sounds interesting.

Melissa said...

Brilliant review...I never knew what to expect from this book, but I think I may actually give it a go now :)

Kirthi said...

Wow, nice review! I have a friend named Rachel Cohn who loves to write, this book be a great book to give her!

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Oh, thanks for this great review - I think I'm definitely going to get this now!

Emidy said...

Excellent review! The whole concept of this story sounds interesting to me - I'll have to check this one out!

Emidy
from Une Parole

elizabeth said...

Great review! Sounds like an interesting story.

Michelle said...

I like the sound of this one. I just wish they'd done something better with that cover lol. That picture if from a wedding dress editorial and blah, it doesn't fit at all with how fun this book sounds. Nonetheless, I'd still read this one for sure given the premise and author etc.

Thanks for your review! :D

Leah said...

I actually liked the trailer even though, as a rule, I find book trailers pointless. This sounds lie a great read, though!

robby (once upon a book blog) said...

I really love Rachel Cohn and I have an ARC of this book. I'm most likely going to read it next week. You've got me all excited now. :D

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thank you for this review. You highlighted aspects I had not heard of. This is by far the best review I have seen of this book yet. Bravo darling! Bravo!

Emily said...

Looks like we had very similar views on this book! I'm glad that I like the character in the end - I was really thinking I wouldn't. It was one that took a while to get into, but enjoyable once you do. Great review!

Lauren said...

Excellent review. I've always found the thought of this one interesting but all the detail you've gone into has made me *really* want to read it.

Oh, and thanks for the GLBT challenge tip-off too!

Lea said...

Awesome review! It sounds like the second half made the novel worth the effort! :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Awesome review! I never really knew what this book was about before, but it sounds really good!!

Jessica Lawlor said...

This one looks really interesting!

Rhiana said...

Oh this sounds like it is more than I originally thought. Great review!

Shanise said...

Though I absolutely loved Very's choice at the end, I was actually more interested in the first part and about the last two or three chapters of the second part. I loved Lavinia's character and could not stand Bryan's.
I was really satisfied with this book. I hope Rachel Cohn continues to write more mature books like this one. :)

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