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!" :)
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! :)