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V For Disaster

Carolyn Mackler's Vegan Virgin Valentine reminds Meghan of Gilmore Girls, and why she could never be a vegan (hint: CHEESE). 

V For Disaster

BOOK REPORT for Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler

BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 9
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Gilmore Girls, CHEESE!
Relationship Status: Stay Sweet, And Have A Good Summer!

The Deal: Mara Valentine (the vegan virgin here) is a Type-A, straight A overachiever with a CAPITAL A plans to coast through her senior year ... as much as an overachiever like Mara can coast while working, volunteering as a tutor for 6th graders, serving on every student council committee ever AND competing with her ex-boyfriend for valedictorian. But her older, aimless sister dumps her daughter on Mara and her parents, and Vivian Vale Valentine (otherwise known as "v" -- who's totally NOT a vegan OR a virgin) has other plans.

BFF Charm: Eventually

Dude, Mara is TOTALLY Paris Gellar at the beginning of this book, and lemme tell you, I'd NEVER be BFFs with Paris Gellar. I was all for V from the minute she showed up braless and in a tank top in the middle of a snowy New York winter, with expletives inked all over her hands. But (of course) V pushes Paris ... I mean, Mara ... out of her anal-retentive shell and she ends up more like Rory Gilmore. And Rory Gilmore I'd DEF. be BFFs with. Like yesterday. We could trade books and make lists together. Mara's even going to Yale -- JUST LIKE RORY. She does have a different edge, but I think part of it is I listened to this as an audiobook and I don't like the narrator's voice and she makes Mara sound kind of annoying. I'd also for REAL be BFFs with v. she's awesome.

Swoonworthy Scale: 9

So I didn't think there'd be anything swoonworthy in this book at all. Mara's ex hooks up with V in like the first chapter, but that's not particularly exciting. But then things get all tingly and yummy, including PAGES of those first awkward "I really like you" moments -- making really lame small talk, inching closer on the couch, leaving your hand oh-so-innocently palm-up next to your lap. And then ... y'all, let's just say the title of this book is just TECHNICAL.

Talky Talk: Straight Up

Man, Mackler does not hold back with the swears, so V and Mara actually sound like 17-year-olds trying on big-girl words to sound tough when really they're hurting inside. The adults are all super-lame, especially Mara's 60-ish-year-old parents, so it's a little painful when they come on the scene (like it is for all 17-year-olds out there whenever any adults try to understand).

Bonus Factor: Gilmore Girls

Ok, I already pointed this out, but Mara's totally Paris Gellar and then more Rory Gilmore. Like, I think Carolyn Mackler did a 7-season-straight DVD binge when she ran into writer's block with this book. Not that I mind -- I love Gilmore Girls. The snow, the fast talkin', the coffee, the small New England town, the nerdiness. That's all here except for the fast talkin' and the wacky-but-rad single mom.

Bonus Factor: CHEESE!

There's no way I could be a vegan because I LOVE CHEESE. Sadly for Mara, she does too. She loves it so much, she thinks about it almost as much as she thinks about James, the hot owner of the cafe where she works. She even dreams about eating grilled cheese sandwiches (I EAT cheese, and I sometimes dream about eating grilled cheese sandwiches).

Casting Call:

Alexis Bledel as Mara Valentine

Um, duh. I was going to cast Liza Weil (Paris Geller) as Mara, but I think Alexis at her most intense, spastic Rory could handle early Mara and would keep moviegoers from fleeing the movie en masse (I totally almost abandoned this book after the first page, when Mara describes herself in detail, down to her height and bra size ... as well as her extracurriculars and GPA).

Samaire Armstrong as V

This girl definitely has the attitude to pull off V.

Relationship Status: Stay Sweet, And Have A Good Summer!

I'd sign this book's yearbook, and I even wouldn't put "I'm the first to sign your crack", but I don't know that I'd have any inside jokes to refer to, and if it friended me on Facebook 3 years after college, I'd probably friend it back but wouldn't ever check out its profile. It was nice, and I liked doing group reports in English class or being its lab partner, and we even ate lunch together, but it's not going to be my BFF for real.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.