Reviewed by Breanna F. for TeensReadToo.com
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. Very is livid at first, but once there for a week she actually starts to open up to her therapist and all of her emotions start coming out. But then a sort of weird twist of fate occurs and her progress could start spiraling downwards.
First off, there was a lot of very mature material in this book so I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers. Some of what went on I thought was a little unnecessary to be putting in a book for teens, but I suppose some people like that. Despite the unnecessary material, this was an interesting read. I've never thought that someone could get that out of control with technology. But once Very starts pouring out everything that has happened to her throughout her life, it makes sense why she'd want to escape into the virtual world. The girl definitely had a tough life. But of course, getting way too involved with her technology ended up making her life all the more difficult.
VERY LEFREAK was overall a great book. The element of surprise plays a fairly big part. Many parts I never saw coming, which made the book really great, and the ending wasn't really lackluster, either. If you've read Rachel Cohn in the past, you'll be sure to like this book, and even if you haven't it is sure to be enjoyable.