Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
Release Date: January 12, 2010
Library Borrow Date: September 4, 2010
Reading level: Young Adult
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 an chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her super-secret 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?
The draw for me to pick up this book probably, if I'm honest, was the redhead on the cover. Then, once I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read the book. I'm completely technologically addicted myself -- or so I thought until I read how thoroughly symbiotic a relationship Very has with all things electronic.
The first thing I'll say about this book is that the characters were all very colorful and interesting. I liked the minor nuances and little details that went into each person even though they weren't always true to fact (the story is told from Very's distracted and overly imaginative point of view) or completely revealed because Very wasn't interested enough to find out. They all worked well for the story, each one contributing exactly what needed to be there to set out on the journey promised. I liked them a lot. In fact, I think I may have liked the supporting characters a lot more than I liked Very.
Very was self-destructively involved in herself and an online romance that seemed to always be just out of her grasp when she wanted it and overly available when she wasn't. Her disregard for the people around her, including those she claimed friendship with, was hard to read because it was frustrating. I almost didn't finish the book when, halfway through, she reveals something she did in hopes of fixing a problem that was very obviously (to me at least) the best way to make the problem worse.
Her careless approach to sex and love and her own body bothered me as well. I do understand that we, as women, are supposed to be enlightened enough to do whatever we feel is good for ourselves and our bodies. There is a line crossed however when recklessness turns a free spirit into a stupid girl desperate for affection. I think Very crossed the line in spite of other reviews I've read that seem to believe that what happens in the second half of the book - Very's coming to terms with herself and why she is how she is - destroyed something refreshing and beautiful. I have to disagree.
For me the book was a difficult read. I liked that it was difficult because I saw some of myself in Very, albeit in hyperbole, and a little introspection never hurts one, does it?