Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Very LeFreak-- Rachel Cohn

For those of you who luuuurve to read books with quirky and interesting characters, and you aren't annoyed by their alarming ignorance of their own flaws, then you are in luck.

Meet Very LeFreak. Born to a free spirited pyromaniac mother and an unknown father, Very has traveled the world and lived the gloriously unstable life every kid dreams of having... until they actually do. Very's mother dies at the end of her high school years, and she goes to live with her one remaining relative, an elderly aunt who pulls some strings to get Very a scholarship to Columbia. We meet Very during her college years. She is 100% and totally a technology nerd, a total hottie in that Botticelli woman way, and is the center (and usually creator) of every social event. She sleeps with her iphone, ipod, and laptop. She has a supersecret online romance with someone names El Virus. She and her friends create The Grid, which is an underground social networking site the students use to plan parties, flashmobs, and other not-exactly-legal but extremely fun activities. But when Very stops living IRL and can only communicate through her various means of technology, her stability at Columbia begins to crumble... she is losing her scholarships, her friends, and the only hint of a normal life she has ever had. So finally, her friends plan an intervention... and Very gets sent to technology rehab.

Even though this book is about college students, I do see it's place in the YA collection. Cohn has written several other YA books and her readers would look for her latest in the YA section. Plus, the subject matter is more relatable to teens and young adults than it would be to other readers. Very is a quirky character (how could you not be with a name like Very LeFreak). I predict that some teens will *love* her and others will be totally annoyed by her. As much as I tried not to, I fell into the love category. I would recommend this book to readers of Cohn's other books, fans of Anne Brashares or Sarah Dessen, and to teens who like books that feel very "now" and up-to-date with technology.

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