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Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom
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Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,028 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Lucas and Tessa have always had a close friendship. So it's no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his true feeling for Tessa and he asks her to Prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian-or for Tessa's decision to wear a tuxedo and escort her female crush to Prom, to spark a firestorm of controversy. Humiliated and confused, Luca ...more
Paperback, 257 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Walker Childrens (first published March 27th 2012)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,028 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Yeah, I gave it five stars. Because it's awesome. So what if I wrote it? Okay, half of it. Anyway, I'm really proud of this one. It's about friendship and forgiveness and courage and prom. Read it, and buy several hundred copies for your nearest and dearest. ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
It's not that I have a problem with LGBTQ folk, but I do with the book.

I started dog-earing "areas of concern" near the middle of the book. I ended up picking almost every single page. These points stood out the most to me:

1. Tessa's stereotypical lesbian style
2. Lucas's huge "typical guy" ego

I have no problem reading stories about religious small-towns. One I particularly liked was Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker, which I realize now wasn't as up close as this one was, but either way yo
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, young-adult, lesbian
The writing isn't bad, and the story is fast-paced and easy to read, but it's no surprise to find out after finishing it that both of the authors are straight. Although the book has a lesbian main character and the plot revolves around the homophobia she faces, there's hardly any focus on her lesbian relationship, while the hurt feelings and heterosexual romance of her misogynist male best friend plays a major part of the story. It helps that his mother occasionally points out how gross and self ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointment
This came up in my recommendations list due to my other book choices, and it is a disappointment. It's a coming out story set in Indiana - heartwrenching, but not in a good way, because the titular character, Tessa, is outed by her best friend after she refuses his "grand, romantic" prom invitation. This sack of shit gets his ego bruised and reveals (to his entire baseball team) that Tessa wants to take a girl to the prom. Of course it gets out; news travels fast in a small town. The entire town ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
I had to stop myself halfway through the book. The story focuses on the lesbian girl's cishet white friend who proposes to go to prom with her publicly without asking her, or having any kind of inclination that she is romantically interested in him.
I read a summary of the plot, and it seems like the boy ends up making up by outing her and basically ruining her life by making sure that she can go to prom with her crush!! Yay! He feels like the victim of the situation, and gets PISSED because his
Jules Vilmur
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of “Tessa Masterson Goes to Prom” because, well … I'm cool like that. (Stop laughing. That shtick got me this far, sweetheart. The point is, I got to read it before you did and therefore, get to tell you how kick-ass it is.)

A simple plot summary might suggest that “Tessa...” is merely a ripped-from-the-headlines retelling of the events surrounding Constance McMillan's 2010 Mississippi prom controversy. However, in the deft hands of Brendan Halpin and
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Last year, I read Notes from the Blender by Brendan Halpin and Trish Cook. It was completely adorable, with excellent teen characters and touching on real issues. Halpin has done it again, this time partnering with Emily Franklin.

Multiple points of view can either be amazing in a book or completely awful; there doesn't seem to be too much of an in between. Both of Halpin's books that I have read are great examples of good ways to do it. Of course, it's a bit easier with two authors, each writing
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom is the story of a lesbian teen who just wants to go prom with her girlfriend… told almost entirely through the lens of her straight male best friend who feels slighted when she doesn’t return his interest. Girls like Tessa are needed in young adult fiction, but I would prefer them to be the heroines of their own stories, not the motivation for someone else’s.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed here.

So…this one’s getting filed under ‘book guilt’ because I honestly had that mental/emotional debate with myself where I wasn’t sure I could be honest about my mediocre feelings for this book. Why? Because while I do want to be respected as an honest reviewer, I also don’t want people to get the impression that I harbor views or beliefs that I most adamantly do not. On the flip side, I can’t pretend to be gung-ho about a book that I didn’t entirely enjoy reading, that woul
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
EDIT: Apparently the authors are straight. SUDDENLY, MUCH BECOMES CLEAR. I'm going to add some comments to my original review.
Argh. Okay.
Actually, aaaarrrrrghhhhh is more accurate.
I didn't realize the story was ripped from the headlines, and it feels vaguely exploitative.
This story is entirely ripped from the headlines and it's very exploitative. As other reviewers have pointed out, they take Constance McMillen's life and turn it into a life lesson for a fictional entitled straight male
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this book with the hopes that it would be the story of a lesbian teen who wants to go to prom with her girlfriend, but instead I got a story about a straight boy who can't deal with the fact that his best friend/crush has rejected him, and proceeds to ruin her life.

The authors focused too much on Lucas; even when it was Tessa speaking, she was always thinking about Lucas this and Lucas that. No wonder Josie broke up with her, Tessa barely paid attention to her.

If you were looking for a l
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like reading books that seem to be inspired by current events. Y’all remember back when that school in Mississippi wouldn’t let that girl Constance go to prom because she was gay? Well, Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin explores this sort of story in greater detail.

Read the rest of my review here
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I don't usually leave reviews for books but for this one I think I need to. I had never heard of this book until the day I bought it. The reason I took a chance with it is because I like LGBTQ teenage fiction, and because it seemed relevant to not only things going on in my life, but the very real struggles of LGBTQ teenagers going on in the world in general.

I was a bit hesitant at the start. The book is written in first person, alternating between Tessa and Lucas's POVs, and sometimes Tessa's t
Mar 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
I found this book via one of the many recommendations offered by Goodreads. I'd never heard of it before (and lgbt books are a thing that I definitely invest a lot of time looking for), and now I know why.

There are a few problems with this book. First, the stereotyping of lesbians (femme lesbians are a thing, and not all people who aren't femme are gay). This is just pure shoddy writing at best, and very well demonstrates how heterosexual the authors are.

Then there's Lucas, the supposed best f
Khris Sellin
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great YA book about a serious issue.
Tessa and Lucas have been best friends their whole lives, growing up in a small Midwestern town, when Lucas suddenly realizes (after some prodding from others) that they were meant to be more than friends. Prom is coming up, so he decides to ask her in a big, grand way... AND she turns him down. Because, best friends or not, she's got a secret. She likes girls. And there's one particular one she's had her eye on and wants to take to prom as her date. Lucas is
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, indiana
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. But I just didn't.

Obviously the authors meant for Luke to be a likable character, but it's really hard for me to feel sympathy for someone who outs his best friend just because he's bitter about being friendzoned.

The homophobia displayed in this book also turned me off. I'm no stranger to books with heavy, depressing subjects, and of course I know these aren't the views the authors themselves hold, but it's hard to keep reading a book when ever
One element of Halpin's books that I appreciate is that the parents are always involved. Too often with teen books the parents have little or no value, which just isn't true to life. Halpin (and his co-writer when the case may be) always takes the time to create parental characters who have an important affect in the teen(s) character's life. I'll finish this edit later..;library closing. ;) ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So great, I teared up a lot. I loved Luke and Tessa's relationship. It was interesting to see both sides of Tessa's coming out and how it affected not just her and her family but also her best friend. I could have used more about the impact on her not-quite-girlfriend, and that was one of the main reasons I couldn't quite give it 5 stars. (That and even though Tessa certainly struggled, something about the way the school board meeting and other big confrontations were written didn't quite captur ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Quite the ride, this book. Like several others I've read recently, it alternates voices. First up is Lucas*, who's just realized he's in love with his long-time best friend, Tessa, and asks her to prom in a big, public way. Then, Tessa, who's realized she can't reciprocate Lucas's love because she's a lesbian and tells him so as she explains why she can't go to prom with him. Lucas doesn't take her rejection well and angrily (cruelly) outs her to everyone by telling a classmate and then his foot ...more
Book Him Danno
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I picked this up at my local library without reading the back. When I started reading I realized what the book was about and thought, ‘OK I’ll give it a few more pages.’ Well I’m glad I did. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you think about how you treat people who are not the same as you are. I really enjoyed this book and I think you will also.

Who said that we all have to be the same to get along? I hope no one because it isn’t possible for one thing and it w
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sure, the subject matter is somewhat "controversial",but that isn't why I enjoyed it.

I liked how both authors took an event that's been happening in present times and first gave us an inside look into the subject matter and made it humorous to read. I can't say how on point the story was as I haven't been through anything similar, but I felt this story was very real. This is mostly due to the characterization.

I loved Tessa's character because she wasn't a girl who
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is not a book about a lesbian teen. This is a book about a cis hetro white male (Lucas) making terrible decisions, acting selfishly and eventually being portrayed as a hero because he's had a simple change of heart. The writing is weak and most of the characters, if not all, are stereotypes that speak in cliches and awkward 'teen slang'. The plot is okay, but it all goes down the drain with a very unrealistic ending. The only character I liked was Kate, and yet she, along with Tessa, the gi ...more
I am a bit fond of these authors' collaborations. And this is about so much more than Tessa's outing: community, acceptance, and the scariness of people throwing the notion of values around in ways to suit themselves.

But ultimately, Tessa's friendship with Lucas is key, so I did wish they spent less of the book annoyed with each other.

Nothing like the grand gesture in YA lit.

Highly recommended.
Holly Casio
Dec 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are so many great lgbt ya books out there that there's really no need to ever read this. While this book is supposed to be the coming out story of Tessa and her quest to go to prom with her girlfriend it was infuriating to find that actually this is the story of Lucas who dangerously outs Tessa as revenge for being put in the 'friendzone.' Sadly there are no real consequences for Lucas and his belief in the friendzone (there's no such thing as the friendzone btw) or the fact that he turned ...more
Widya Vello
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
For an coming of age book, this one wasn't so easy to dealt with. Too much homophobic slur, bullying and I felt so bad for Tessa. Well what could you expect for such a small town? And Lucas at first was a total asshole, just because his best friend rejected him at his grand confession, he outed her to the whole school which like domino effect becoming like zombie apocalypse scale to the entire state. And also, Tessa's girlfriend wasn't a great supporter. But fortunately Tessa got wonderful famil ...more
Claire Gamblin
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia-plus
So this book is pretty damn cool :D Although there were quite a few times where I seriously wanted to leap into my kindle and go a little postal on most of that town... but then there were also a couple of times where I legit fist-punched the air.

Seriously though, WHAT a town. What a horrible cess-pit of discrimination and narrow-mindedness and just plain nastiness. Tessa could have totally grabbed a machine gun and gone nuts in the town centre, and any sensible judge would have patted her on th
Natasha B
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Natasha by: Found In Library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucas and Tessa have been best friends since grade school, and everyone seems to be waiting for the pair of them to start dating. Lucas decides to ask Tessa to the prom in a big way, and it backfires when Tessa tells him that she's been keeping a secret from him - she's a lesbian. Lucas is hurt, and soon it gets out (partially due to Lucas) that Tessa is a lesbian, she wants to take a girl to the prom, and she wants to wear a tuxedo to the prom. This ignites a homophobic uproar, and it looks lik ...more
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Growing up, Emily Franklin wanted to be “a singing, tap-dancing doctor who writes books.”

Having learned early on that she has little to no dancing ability, she left the tap world behind, studied at Oxford University, and received an undergraduate degree concentrating in writing and neuroscience from Sarah Lawrence College. Though she gave serious thought to a career in medicine, eventually that ca

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