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Very LeFreak Hardcover – January 12, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375857583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375857584
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,459,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Meet Very (short for Veronica) LeFreak (from the disco-era song of the same name—"C'est Chic!"), a modern party girl with eclectic musical tastes. She is 100 percent plugged in to her electronic life as a freshman at Columbia University and not quite so attached to mundane concerns like going to class and managing her finances. Famous on campus for her creation of "The Grid," an online dorm social-networking site, and for organizing off-kilter flash-mob events and killer parties, Very skids from coasting to possible expulsion and scholarship loss. Brian, a best bud, until she sleeps with him; Jennifer, the roommate Very insists on calling Lavinia; and an irate RA stage an intervention at the behest of the dean. Very needs to go cold turkey and give up her total reliance on electronics. No iPod, no iPhone, no laptop. And that means no searching for her missing online crush. After things turn even uglier, the second half of Very's story takes place at a 28-day ESCAPE (Emergency Services for Computer-Addicted Persons) program at a former fat farm in Vermont. There, Very will have to learn to sink or swim after her forced break from technology. With the quiet blaring, she might have the time to figure out a future, or she just might go so crazy that she falls off the wagon into an untenable virtual existence with emoticons in place of relationships. Very's unique take on the world brings plenty of humor and a vicarious ride through racy modern college life.—Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It’s the second semester of freshman year for Very (short for Veronica) at New York’s Columbia University, and things are either going splendidly or catastrophically, depending on who you ask. Self-described as “a freak and a slut and a very bad student,” Very is the bisexual queen of campus, creator of the Grid (a wildly popular underground student-body networking site), and organizer of flash mobs and parties that are as legendary as they are illegal. Her imminent flunking out has to do with her inability to concentrate—why would she listen to her professor when she could be iTunes-ing, instant messaging, or meme-ing? Cohn creates a wondrous, sometimes breathtaking character with Very, a wholly believable modern-day multitasker who is unabashedly sexual. That’s why the second half of the book is something of a disappointment: Very is entered into a tech-rehab facility, wherein too-easy psychoanalysis makes rote what was so fabulously free. Teens who identify with the protagonist may feel betrayed by the switcheroo, though their admiration for the engrossing character will not ebb. Grades 10-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Customer Reviews

VERY LEFREAK was overall a great book.
Her iphone, ipod and laptop are just a few of the things Very can't live without.
- A
Similarly, there seemed to be a lack of plot in VERY LEFREAK.
S. Su

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Cohn's new YA novel Very LeFreak follows the title character through her tumultuous freshman year at Columbia University. Very (short for Veronica) loves life. She flings herself head-first into everything, including romantic flings. However, don't let her enthusiastic organizations of parties and flash mobs fool you: she's far more than a party girl, and there's an intelligent brain in that head of wild red hair.

Very was raised by her single mother, a carefree woman who moved her daughter all over the world for much of her young life. Her mother's sudden (but not completely unexpected) death landed Very with her great-aunt Esther, who has a fondness for knitting odd sweaters and a disdain for swearing. After being homeschooled (or worldschooled) by her mom for much of her life, Very did very well in high school and scored a scholarship to Columbia, but during her first year at college, her addiction to all things technological - she is rarely without her laptop, her iPod, and her iPhone - has gotten in the way of real-life relationships and harmed her academic record.

The first half of the novel brings readers into Very's life just as things are coming to a boil, now that Very has allowed her grades and other obligations to fall far down her list of priorities. Her friends and academic advisers stage an intervention that sends her off to ESCAPE (Emergency Services for Computer-Addicted Persons Everywhere), a 28-day-program in Vermont where the second half of the story takes place. Not only does this book remind us of society's ever-increasing dependence upon technology for communications and connections, but it turns out to be a surprisingly real coming-of-age story as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Very LeFreak (real name: Veronica) is a freshman on scholarship at Columbia University who is addicted to technology. She's constantly on her laptop doing anything and everything she can think of. She's attached to every single type of music that she has on her iPod, and she's practically conjoined to her iPhone. She's always sending out meme's during class or making random playlists, and of course talking to her online crush, El Virus. They've been talking for quite a while and love to play out crazy fantasies with each other, but they have never seen each others faces. Very also cannot seem to stop moving. She's constantly throwing parties and getting completely trashed. She doesn't seem to have an off button.

Eventually her roommate, Jennifer (to Very it's Lavinia); her sort of ex-friend, Bryan; her RA, Debbie; and the Dean stage an intervention, letting Very know that all of her technology usage is getting way out of hand: i.e. she's addicted. Bryan has confiscated her laptop, and her iPod and iPhone are in the hands of Lavinia and Debbie. Very thinks this is ludicrous: how the heck can she live without her technology?

She gets over the whole "being told you're an addict to technology" thing pretty quickly, actually. But when one of her friends who wasn't really big on the intervention in the first place gets her use of a laptop, some information gets out to her which leads to Very practically killing Bryan.

She wakes up in the psych ward with Lavinia and her Aunt Esther over her. She is told that she will be going to a sort of rehab place called ESCAPE, which stands for Emergency Services for Computer-Addicted Persons Everywhere, in Vermont.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rachel Cohen is one of my favorite authors and everything she writes, I devour. Rachel is a talented author with a style all her own. The fact that this book touches on a subject that most of us go through within our own day to day lives (addiction to our electronics) but then puts a unique spin on it made me want to read it.

From page one this book grabbed me and pulled me in. Very (short for Veronica) who's a Freshman at Columbia University, is a known party girl who loves her modern electronic gadgets. Her iphone, ipod and laptop are just a few of the things Very can't live without. I mean without her laptop she can't chat with her online crush and without her ipod, she can't keep up with her vast range in music taste. With the last name LeFreak, how could you not love music (Yes, the very same C'est Chic LeFreak...Freak Out! from the 70's). What else is Very know for besides her electronics? Oh the usual, outrageous parties, not studying even at the warning of the dean and her roomate Jennifer (who she calls Lavinia even though she despises it). She also has an awesome best friend Brian. That is until she gives in and sleeps with him. With her life slowly crashing and her a hair away from losing her scholarship an intervention is made.

If you wonder where Veronica gets this fascination for all things tech. How about you try being homeschooled for your entire life! That's right, homeschooled by her mom and because of her incredible grades and inteligence, Very gets a scholarship. That scholarship is what gets her into Columbia and trouble. After being cooped up so long and pulled all over the world, it's Very's duty to live it up! That's what happens when you transition to college?

During the last half of the book, Very is sent to E.S.C.A.P.E.
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More About the Author

The great wish of my adolescence was to be diagnosed with scoliosis. Then I would be like Deenie. I LOVED the book "Deenie" by Judy Blume. I wanted to look like Deenie; I wanted her disease; I even wanted to live in Deenie's town, Elizabeth, New Jersey, a short hop from my dream destination, New York City. Although now that I live in Manhattan as an adult (with a fairly normal spine, I'm told), Elizabeth, New Jersey is more known to me as the place with the long lines at IKEA instead of as the hometown of Deenie. Like Deenie, my priorities eventually shifted.
I never did get that scoliosis diagnosis, but from my favorite childhood authors such as Judy Blume, E.L. Konigsburg and Ellen Conford, I did get inspiration for another goal: to write. I can't remember a time when I wasn't trying to create stories. When I started seriously writing fiction, I didn't set out to write specifically for young adults, but as my writing matured, it became clear that when I got stuck writing in teen voices, it was a good place to be stuck. The author question I get asked most often now is how I am able to write from the perspective of a teenager, as if I were in that character's head. The honest answer is, I don't know. I try not to think about it too much, for fear of ruining it. But I do feel like I can readily channel my own teenage self and tap into those feelings, and that's something I try to convey through the written word.
When teen readers write to me now telling me how much they relate to characters I've created -- Cyd Charisse in "Gingerbread" and "Shrimp," Annabel and Lucy in "The Steps" and "Two Steps Forward," or Wonder in "Pop Princess" -- I think, I relate, too: I wanted to be Deenie!

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