Sarah's Reviews > The Anti-Prom

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
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's review
Dec 12, 2010

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Read in December, 2010

Ok, I love me a good Prom story. I have no idea why as I did not attend any of my school's proms. I was very content with just going to the parties with friends after. However, I love a fun prom YA story and that is what this book is. Just plain fun! And even better, the cover actually matches what the characters are wearing!

Synopsis: Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.

Prom night goes all wrong for three teens who have never even talked to each other. Bliss is the queen of the in-crowd. She has it all: beauty, popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Unfortunately, she discovers that boyfriend making out (and more) with her best friend. Talk about betrayal.

Jolene (and yes, every time her name came up I started singing the song) was forced into prom. But she does have a hidden agenda, unfortunately, that agenda is all letdown because well, apparently a certain guy just did not care enough about her to make the effort to come. Jolene is the school bad girl, getting into trouble and causing her mom endless worry. She is an outcast but she thought there was someone who cared about her. Apparently not. But when Bliss approaches her, begging for help to get back at her best friend and boyfriend, well Jolene decides she may as well get some of her own dirty deeds done.

And then there is shy Meg who is basically invisible at school. Neither Bliss nor Jolene knows much about Meg. She was roped into going to prom by her stepmom and father, who set up a date for her. Unfortunately that date bailed and Meg is humiliated. She just wants to be normal. She just wants to be seen and to have the typical high school experience for once. Well, she is about to get a high school experience, it just isn't typical. When Bliss and Jolene need a getaway car, Meg is it. And thus begins a wild, wild night.

I love when books take place in a very short time frame. If the author can make it work, I really admire the writer because frankly I think it would be easy to get bored in a story that takes place in such a suppressed amount of time. But Abby McDonald gets it right and it is a wild night for sure as these three girls, strangers, become something on the way to friends. Bliss has to consider what is truly important to her. Jolene has to let go of her anger. And Meg, well she has to live a little.

I enjoyed all three characters, though I do think Meg somewhat got the short end of the character straw. Her story just wasn't quite as compelling and that may be because the author didn't reveal too much about why Meg was so withdrawn until near the end of the book. She was also not the center of the action for much of the story. However, I totally enjoyed her chats with Scott, a college boy, and the Joss Whedon and The Craft references Meg was pulling out. She is obviously hiding her wit behind a shy facade!

Bliss and Jolene are definitely full force personalities that actually have a lot in common if they would look beyond their high school cliques. They both take no guff from anyone and try to be in control of every situation. They clicked better for me together, while Meg more slowly worked her way into the group. But it did even out and I was impressed with how these girls started to open up to each other.

I feel like the friendship that starts to develop between the girls was actually authentic. I mean, seriously, the adventures they went on (which you have to take with a grain of salt considering some of the legal practicalities that could have happened) would indeed have bonded them closer together. I will say, the end felt a tad too mushy for me, as if they were all suddenly best friends. I would have liked it to be a bit more up in the air but that is a minor quibble.

Basically, this is just a fun, quick read. Drama, secrets, boys, and a prom night that is anything but expected. Abby McDonald books make me smile and that is what I enjoyed most about this. A little escapism into the prom experience, in the best way possible.

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