I really loved reading this book! I'm a little bit older than the main character so i easily related to her and by the end of the book she had me seriously contemplating my life. It was an interesting read that keep my attention the entire time, from cover to cover. I highly reccomend this book to anyone looking for a nice light teen read with a little drama and little romance.
I loved this book. I thought it was really well written and very relatable! The main character is a hard working, driven honor student who's life gets turned upside down when her sisters daughter, who's only a year younger than her, comes to live with her and her parents. This story is about a teenage girl becoming a young adult and finally starting to figure out things for herself and realizing what she wants in life. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a heartfelt young adult book. I'd also like to comment on other peoples reviews. Some people seemed to have major issues with the vegan side of this book and I think they are making too big a deal about it. First of all this book was published a decade ago when being vegan wasn't quite as popular. Also the main character makes it pretty clear why she decided to become one. Her boyfriend dumped her and she needed something to focus on to take her mind off of things, so she chose to be vegan. Which makes perfect sense as to why she quit being one at the end of the story- she got over him. I don't think it would be necessary to consult a vegan in order to write about a young girls attempt at being one...
Vegan Virgin Valentine turned out to be an entirely satisfying read (well, listen-- I checked out the audiobook version).The book details the senior year of Mara Valentine, a tall, blonde future Yale attendee, school class treasurer, volunteer tutor, etc. who became a vegan for entirely the wrong reason-- when her seeming Prince Charming do gooder counterpart Travis Hart breaks things off with her when they aren't going as quickly as he'd like, Mara latches onto veganism as a way to exert even more control over her carefully monitored life, citing reading every food label as a way to take her mind off things, and she sticks with it, despite her nightly dreams of grilled cheese. And, yes, the other V, she's a virgin.
Chaos ensues when yet another V enters her life, this time in the form of her niece, V, who is just a year younger (as Mara says, long story) and the complete opposite of the control spectrum-- wild, unfiltered, brash and looking for trouble.
It's a step up from chick lit, with themes I easily identified with (O.K., not the tall blonde part but the letting go part-- you should see me ski: helmet, .13 miles per hour and my certainty of death lurking right around the kiddie slope corner). It's written with intelligence and humor and is a rare accurate depiction of the pressures of high school life that manages to not be in your face overdone. Though predictable, it's refreshingly so and you'll absorb the lessons of "do what's best for you" and "know yourself and you will know others," before you know what hits you. It's a short, easy read that will have even your poor fiance forced to listen to it in the car with you going, "Wait, that's it?" Plus, the way the reader does V's voice is, like, totally awesome.
Meet Mara Valentine. She has "type A blood, a type A personality, and . . . an A-cup bra." Mara is on the fast track to success: she's duking it out for valedictorian, she's been accepted early decision by Yale, and she's already taking college courses. Mara's much older sister Aimee has always been a screw-up, traveling around the world in search of the next big thing. Mara is desperate not to disappoint her mom and dad the way Aimee did --- she has to succeed because she is her parents' "Only Hope."
Secretly, though, Mara is vulnerable: her college courses have left her without many high school friends, and she's still reeling from a painful breakup with equally high-achieving Travis. She hides her insecurities by trying to control absolutely everything, from her schedule to her emotions to her diet. She confesses that she has become a vegan not only because she is "grossed out by animal byproducts" but because veganism is "all-consumingly obsessive. . . . It can be a pain, but it helps keep my mind off things."
That's why, when Aimee's troublemaking daughter (and Mara's niece), sixteen-year-old V, comes to live with Mara's family while Aimee chases her surfer boyfriend to Costa Rica, Mara is furious. V has always had the ability to see through Mara's veneer and to call attention to Mara's fears and anxieties. When V moves in on Mara's ex, Mara vows never to be friends with this "class-ditching, chair-in-the-principal's-office-warming deadbeat."
V's tough-talking, no-nonsense attitude does rub off on Mara, though, as she begins to question why she has made the choices she has. When she starts to have feelings for James, her boss at the coffee shop, her life gets even more confused. If James, who has never been to college but owns a successful small business, can be one of the smartest (not to mention the cutest) people she has ever met, does Mara need to redefine the meaning of success?
Like Carolyn Mackler's earlier novels, VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE has a winning combination of a likeable main character, zingy narration, and some truly funny one-liners. Readers who find themselves identifying with misunderstood V may be somewhat frustrated by the novel's primary focus on Mara's development. This intriguing character screams to be the star of her own novel, and readers will likely find themselves wishing for a sequel.