21 Proms
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21 Proms

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,432 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Prom. It's a near-universal high school experience. And here at least 21 of today's bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors riff on it.

Authors include: Libba Bray, Jacqueline Woodson, Ned Vizzini, John Green, Sarah Mylnowski, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly Black, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Sandell, Will Leitch, Leslie Margolis, Cecily von Ziegessar, E. Lockhart, Jodi Anderson, Davi...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Scholastic Paperbacks
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Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth EulbergProm by Laurie Halse AndersonForever Princess by Meg CabotProm Nights from Hell by Meg CabotPrincess in Pink by Meg Cabot
YA Prom Books
10th out of 81 books — 110 voters
21 Proms by David LevithanSixteen by Megan McCaffertyGeektastic by Holly BlackDoes This Book Make Me Look Fat? by Marissa Walsh13 by James Howe
Best Teen Short Stories
1st out of 26 books — 21 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 10, 2008 Shannon marked it as to-read
Shelves: ya-books
Don't care much about prom but JOHN GREEN indeed.

You may be surprised by this but I never went to Prom. I know, right? I mean, seriously… WTF? And, like everyone said… I regret it. I mean, if I had gone to Prom then maybe Derek Ducharme would have noticed me in my Micro short version extremely popular Sweet Dreams dress. A gorgeous peau de sois satin gown featuring a breathtaking skirt with gather detailing. A boned bustier, which fits like a glove, forms a charming neckline and proposed to me right away. We would have married after college, h...more
What the fuck did I just read?

This was easily the worst anthology I've ever read. There's no credited editor, which I can only take to mean that none of these stories were edited beyond the authors reading them over. Because this was the most consistently awful anthology I've ever read. There were a few good ones, but not many. Here's the (quite painful) story-by-story review of this horrendous anthology.

Note: There were so many stories with detailed reviews that I couldn't fit them all in the r...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

21 PROMS tells the stories of, well, twenty-one proms. Twenty-one fantastic authors contributed to this collection, and each and every one of the stories is fabulous and enjoyable. A few, however, really stick out in my mind after finishing this book.

Holly Black's IN VODKA VERITAS is a creepy story about an evil Latin club. "MOM CALLED, SHE SAID YOU HAVE TO GO TO PROM" is Adrienne Maria Vrettos' contribution to the book. It's a great story that mana...more
This wasn't entirely what I expected (in a good way). There were plenty of stories of romance, first kisses, and questions of "am I ready for sex." But, there were also tales of Latin clubs turning proms into sex orgies via magic incantations, and other oddities. There was quite a lot of depth to a number of the stories, and the emotion was often palpable. The format of some of the stories were slightly weird, with at least two being divided into paragraphs or sections with numbers that didn't s...more
If you’re looking for a light-hearted collection of short stories based around the prom season look no further than 21 Proms. This novel features a variety of genres for those with differing tastes, from mysteries, to fantasy, to realistic contemporary fiction. The character personalities and backgrounds are extensive, which provides young adults with multiple opportunities to connect with the protagonists. Stories are told through the eyes of males and females, heterosexual and homosexual coupl...more
The basic premise behind 21 Proms being an anthology is that each person, at every prom, has a story, and this book tells a cross-section of those. As different as the people and their individual situations are, so are the entries herein. Whether it's the search for the perfect dress, just the right date, or the wish for the 1980s style perfect prom, 21 Proms covers it all--oftentimes accurately, occasionally stereotypically, and a couple of times strangely. Take, for example Holly Black's "In V...more
Kathy Lane
True, some of the stories were clever, well written, insightful, but I was SO SICK of reading about THE PROM. I stuck with it to see if there would be a shining gem amongst the stories, but took frequent breaks (and read The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney in between). John Green's cadence is just like he talks in Brotherhood 2.0 and that made me laugh. Primate the Prom could spark some very interesting (subversive for my community) book discussion material, but since I couldn't wait to be done w...more
Sadie Kaminske
I thought "21 Proms' was written in an awesome way. The idea of people sharing the ideas of how their prom took place was cool. My favorite prom was chapter 20; it was about a girl and her friend that threw their own prom at home, because her parents were the photographers at the school prom. She had a good night and didn't get caught. I think this book should be for mature teenagers, or adults. It has some vaguer language and things young kids shouldn't read about. "21 Proms” gave me an idea of...more
Hannah Haertl
21 Proms is an amazing book.I absolutely loved how it had everybody's remarks on proms; from the people who hated them to the people that dreamed of them. There were many examples of why people feel the way they do with prom. For example, not being able to feel pretty enough, or being picked on for not being their example of perfect. I'd recommend this book to anyone in high school about ready to go to their prom, because it teaches you, not only to not care what people think, but to be you and...more
Jul 22, 2014 Teenage rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teenage Girl
Shelves: 2014, loved
Grade 12 is the most important year of high school. It is the last year in the school system, the year you apply for university and dream for the future. The most important part, that most people think it is graduation (News flash! It’s not!), when it is actually prom. What makes prom such a big deal? For some people it`s not, others try to boycott it, while most they spend the month dreaming for that night. Yet it could be a night of wonders, love, and firsts, or it could be a night of humiliat...more
This book is told by 21 people who have written stories about their high school prom. Many of these stories are humorous. Also, many of the prom stories told throughout this book are not what most people expect to happen at prom.

I really enjoyed reading the stories about these proms because I think that many girls want their prom to be PERFECT. Reading all of these stories about how their prom wasn't the ideal prom, shows that it is okay if prom does not go the way you expected it to go. This b...more
These stories are all so different but so funny, cute and memorable in their own ways. Give it a go even if you hate prom ;)
Miranda Heath
Below is the paragraphs I had to write for independent reading. Ew. Summary: I freakin' loved it. ;]

I chose an anthology of short stories entitled 21 Proms for my fiction independent reading. This book had multiple stories and, therefore, multiple plots. One of my personal favorites was the last story in the book. Titled “The Great American Morp,” it told the story of Maggie and Carly, two less-than-losers at their school who decide that prom is for the people who actually care about it. And so,...more
Aug 11, 2011 Sandy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance
by Elizabeth Craft
Ayla hates the prom.
-The ending was okay, but I hated reading about the girl who hates everything.

All She Wants
by Cecily von Ziegesar
Brooke, home with the chicken pox, wants to make her own prom.
-Kinda cute.

In Vodka Veritas
by Holly Black
The Latin Club wreaks havoc on the prom.
-Good and creepy.

Your Big Night
by Sarah Mlynowski
"Drew" wants to get back with (or at) her ex for prom. But her friends want a Winnebago party.
-It was okay...more
An anthology of 21 YA authors' stories, essays, and poems that revolve around going to prom, or not going to prom, or going to something like a prom, or thinking about going to prom. There was a good amount of diversity in this collection. If you're familiar with any of the authors' previous work, though, you'll find that they generally stick closely to themes and styles they've used before. John Green's story is characteristically knowing and clever, while Ned Vizzini's story is much like his b...more
Twenty-one prom stories by such well-known YA authors as Libba Bray, E. Lockhart, Holly Black, John Green, and more. Most of the stories deal in some way with the nightmares of prom: no date at the last minute, being turned down for a date, three dates showing up at the last minute, dresses getting ruined. etc. Yet this is where the similarities end. Each of the stories is creative, touching, funny, excruciating in its own way.

A few of the stories that stand out at the moment include Libba Bray...more
Brittany Kinser
21 Proms seemed extremely promising, many of the contributing authors are authors I love, Holly Black, David Levithan, John Green, etc. However, many of the short stories seemed like they were snippets from larger pieces, such as Black's In Vodka Veritas, which was very good, but it seemed like maybe it was a chapter or two of a novel rather than a self sustaining short story. The same can be said for Bret Hartinger's The Question: A Play in One Act.
Some of the short stories were just awful, I'm...more
Jani H
21 Proms is a book of twenty one short stories written by twenty one of some of today’s most popular young adult authors. Each short story captures everything that could go wrong or right or just bizarre at a prom. Whether it be having three dates to your prom, not being able to go to prom or going to a prom with a date. To focus more on just one story I chose Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski. I chose this story to review on mainly because it is written in 2nd person which a lot of books or sto...more
Sierra Climaco
**3.5 Stars**

I had unreasonably high expectations for this book simply because of the ensemble of authors but to be honest I was by the tiniest bit disappointed with what it turned out. I don't know; I was expecting all of them to be undeniably cute because that's just me and I'm a big sucker for nose-crinkling-coo-worthy-adorable love stories. And I'm not going to lie when I say that I only felt that way reading only a few among the 21 stories about prom of which I myself have yet to experience...more
Most definitely just an "OK" book.
The first story "You are a prom queen, dance dance dance", was pretty good, it had a moral to it that I understood.
"All she wants", Huh... I don't even remember reading this story....
"In vodka veritas", I was just plain confused in this story...Were they all high the entire time and imagined everything? It was so unrealistic.
"Your big night", Another pretty good one with a moral.
"Off like a prom dress", 1 thumb up
"Mom called, she says you have to go to prom",...more
This book was about different prom stories and the many struggles that both guys and girls go through while either finding a date to prom or how to get ready for prom. It was 21 true prom stories that didn't relate to each other at all other than the fact that they were about proms. There was one story that was about a gay couple. Another one that was about how a girl asked two guys to prom in case one would bail on her but both showed up so she had to bring them both to prom. That would be extr...more
I admit it: I went a little crazy with the short story collections from the library. It's especially odd that I got a book of prom stories, just because some authors I knew and liked had contributions. I didn't have a prom. I don't get into prom. and a lot of these stories reminded me of that, reminded me of why I was OK with not having a prom, and wouldn't change it if I could. all the fuss about materialistic things like dresses and flowers and suits and (gas guzzling) limos, all so kids can g...more
Jun 26, 2007 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, both lovers and haters of prom and all that was high school, looking for a good laugh.
The stories in this collection treat the prom, in all its anticipation-building glory, with great irreverence that anyone, good or bad (or no) prom experience, can enjoy. Although I'd say the characters are skewed most aptly towards all of us who for a million different reasons didn't quite fit in to the "cool and popular" social scene that high school proms celebrate the most, there's a story in there for everyone. It's full of great pop culture references that make you wince and smile (some th...more
Wow. I really loved this book. The volume contains 21 different stories relating to prom, the teenage rite of passage, and they were all incredibly well done. Funny, touching, and slightly painful at times, but very finely crafted stories. My favorites: Daniel Ehrenhaft's story, told as a flashback from a father to his daughter, about how he first became involved with her mother on his prom night ("Better Be Good To Me"); "How I Wrote to Toby" by E. Lockhart, in which the main character ditches...more
I loved every minute of this book. I have read most of the authors' other works, so I shouldn't have been so surprised with how much I enjoyed reading every story, every page.

As with any compilation, there were some real standouts, but they were mostly because I could totally relate to them or laughed out loud. "`Mom called, she said you have to go to the prom'" by Adrienne Maria Vrettos was a fantastic story about an uninhibited girl who has the time of her life putting her oddities on display...more
Roxane Wilborn
Didn't have time to finish this one and don't know if I want to. Might request it from the library again if I have absolutely nothing to read.

The following review is on what I did read:
21 Proms is a book with 21 stories from 21 different authors. The reason I picked this up is because Cecil von Ziegesar and Meliss de la Cruz were 2 of the 21 authors that contributed to this book. Plus I thought it would give me a chance to be introduced to some new authors. My rating of this book is an average o...more
Alexis Kloehn
"21 Proms" in my opinion was a pretty good book. There were a variety of very interesting prom stories that were the more action packed and had more going on in them. Those stories were the ones that I enjoyed the most. I would most definitely recommend this book to high school or college students. I would not recommend it for younger or older people jsut because there is some content that is considered PG-13. I would not tell the older generation to read it as much as our generation. I wouldn’t...more
Aug 06, 2010 Audrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
A great collection of short fiction from some of the top names in YA fiction, all with a prom theme. There were some real standouts here; I particularly liked the entries from Holly Black, E. Lockhart, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and (of course!) John Green. Some of the stories were really different -- Libba Bray's contribution is clever but strange (much more along the lines of Going Bovine rather than A Great and Terrible Beauty -- those reader expectations are going to haunt her for the rest of her wri...more
Sep 28, 2010 Sasha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
I really did like this. I am a big fan of anthologies, and 21 stories in one book was fantastic. A lot of the stories were really good, like "The Great American Morp" by John Green, which is about two girls who have a morp, or a backwards prom, where you where funny costumes instead of dressing up, and I also like Libba Bray's "Primate the Prom", which is very hard to explain but still amazing. Some were a bit boring, like "The Question" by Brent Hartinger, which is really just one act of a play...more
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

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“My little brother is in rehab.
My little brother is in rehab.
I feel like these words are written on my arms whenever I push up my sleeves, written on my cheeks whenever they relax out of my fake smile. They want to come out of my mouth, all the time. When I am called upon in class, or when someone says, "Hey, what's up?" - that's what I want to answer. "My little brother's in rehab." But I never do.”
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