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How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,716 ratings  ·  484 reviews
Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He's never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It's not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He's saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to f ...more
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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S.J. Goslee Hi there! thank you so much for your question! I confess I had to do a quick search of my digital copy because I wanted to be as sure as possible, but…moreHi there! thank you so much for your question! I confess I had to do a quick search of my digital copy because I wanted to be as sure as possible, but there is no emphasis on being a virgin! It's just about dating and kissing, and Nolan doesn't even seem to think that's as important as Daphne :)(less)
Isabella Well theres this book what if its us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera about two guys who one is staying in NY for the summer and the other one liv…moreWell theres this book what if its us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera about two guys who one is staying in NY for the summer and the other one lives there they meet at a post office and get separated. They try to find each other again. Its really good if you like gay romance books, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, or all 3 . I hope this helps. :) (less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
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☆ Todd
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it

Funny, frustrating story was funnily frustrating.

This book had a lot of humor, but read almost like some sort of "stream of consciousness" story, where the MC, Nolan (aka "Grant") just stumbled aimlessly through his days, with the reader playing witness to his odd, awkward, artistic nerdiness.

And while a lot of the situations had me smiling, I also found myself thinking, "OMG, *where* is this story going, and *when* is it going to gain some focus and actually *get* there?"

The frustra
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: adopted gay mc, bi Jewish li, poc lesbian side character

you can just tell that goslee writes fics..... like, she gets it, you know??? she gets how fake dating is supposed to work, how pining is supposed to work......

ugh this is just *kisses fingers like a chef*
Larry H
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I rounded up.

Even though it reminds me of the late 1990s/early 2000s movies like She's All That, She's the Man , or 10 Things I Hate About You (albeit with a gay twist), S.J. Goslee's new book, How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom could easily be made into a movie right this second and still feel totally relevant and fresh. It's a sweet, slightly goofy book that's not perfect, but it's definitely a fun read.

Nolan Grant Sheffield is a slightly eccentric high s
One word: ADORABLE

The first half was boring and the writing style is basic too, but I really liked the relationship between Nolan and her sister, and the romance was so cute. Especially at the end. I loved the end if you couldn't tell lol.

But objectively it could have use a few rounds of edit. It was more like a wattpad story.
h o l l i s
HOW (NOT) TO ASK A BOY TO PROM is a cutesy, laugh out loud, fake-dating LGBTQ YA contemporary that somehow both surprised and delighted me and also felt a little.. lacking.

Googling "how to fake date" -- since I obviously have no idea how to read date, either -- brings up a treasure trove of fanfiction that I bookmark for later, but is otherwise super unhelpful.

There are a lot of things at play in Goslee's book and because we're only given vague explanations it skips along as if we're already in
fake dating? misunderstandings that come with it? the drama? secondhand embarrassment? THE FLAVOR?
i think i probably prefer whatever but this was so good too

Rep: gay mc, Jewish bi li, Korean-American lesbian side character
kayla ♡
UPDATE: upon further inspection (aka I thought about it) I'm changing my rating to three stars. There were a few plot points that felt out of place and weird. Some things weren't even addressed and even if the main couple was cute I didn't really feel like they were explored

How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom reminded me of fanfiction but like...not in a bad way. Maybe it was the fake dating trope, maybe it was the fact that 90% of the book was just Nolan and his stream of awkward slash borderline emba
milou  ☕️
DNF ~ 30 pages

i'm going to dnf this because i'm not able to connect with any of the characters or the story. perhaps i've become to old to care about high school books anymore because i'm not being able to get into any of these stories lately i think they're too immature

so yeah i'm not going to invest any more of my time into this
sage (semi-hiatus)
queers deserve that fake dating trope too
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Things to know about Nolan Grant:

(x)loves plants
(x)“summer baby, has a hard-on for narwhals, attached at the hip to Evie Cho, sucks at drawing faces, wants Purdy to drop dead,” description by Bern
(x)can’t say no to his sister
(x)like at all
(x)would even fake-date bad boy Bern because his sister made him ask out his crush because she broke with her boyfriend (who Nolan didn’t ever truly like so) but now she needs to fix Nolan’s love-life—or lack-of.

Nolan Grant’s life consists of hanging o
Samantha (WLABB)
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I felt the same way after finishing this book as I did when I finished Goslee's debut, Whatever - extremely happy.

Once again, Goslee crafted a fabulous male protagonist, who I fell in insta-love with. Nolan was lucky enough to be adopted as a teen by the hilarious and lovable Sheffield family. He loved art, his cat, plants, narwals, his family, and keeping out of the spotlight, but, his sister, Daphne, had other plans for him. When she staged a promposal for him, which went side
ngọc ♡
[fifth read] june 06, 2021: annual reread-to-avoid-schoolwork, what else is new. also the five-star is back babey! i know this book is flawed—and i can even agree with the criticism!—but i'll probably give it 5-star every time for the boost of serotonin it never fails to give me. i don't know how it does it but i'm not complaining.

side note but i really, really want to read from bern's pov. it'd probably be just pinning and brooding and even more pinning but that's the whole point. ira bernstein
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a super cute fake-dating rom-com for the LGBT crowd, which doesn't usually get representation with that trope.

Nolan is gay and perpetually single, and according to loving-but-slightly-overbearing sister older Daphne, that is a problem. So she makes a decision for him. He can ask out specific one guy to prom, or a different specific one (the one he has a crush on). Because he realizes he has no choice, because Daphne will keep harping on him, he tries to ask the guy he likes. But messes
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: queer, romance
As a gay man, I found this atrocious. The author seemed to rely more so on fanfic-like tropes to how gay men sound than writing an authentic account. Nolan did not at all feel like a realistic person, and considering the propensity for gay fetishization in fanfic and among women who write gay romances, this really creeped me out.
Mike Oaks
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First off, any book that has an adopted kid who turns out to be gay and the family doesn’t even blink gives me hope that we are becoming better people.

I enjoyed this book. The story was cute and kept me guessing for a while as to what was and wasn’t real. Likable characters keeps the angst manageable. 4.0 for ladders outside bathroom windows.
This was pretty damn adorable.
Nolan is such a cute dork, and his absolute cluelessness is only forgiven by his zero experience in relationships. Bern is too sweet, he kind of wears his heart on his sleeve and come on Nolan open your eyes!
So I knew where the plot was going but had the best time reading this anyway. I loved the lack of insta anything, the moments building up to feelings and the appropriate awkwardness and angst that fake dating promises.

I also really loved the family dynamic
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, unowned-read
Overall I found this book to be super cute, my biggest complaint is that I wish there were far more interactions between Bern and Nolen. I feel like their relationship and past history, and present history wasn't fleshed out super well. I would have like to see the characters a little more than we did. Other than that it was a very cute story, just lacking in relationship development, I wasn't very invested in some of the characters and I didn't fell fulfilled at the end. Definitely give it a ch ...more
the fake dating trope is ... the best romance trope ever

fight me
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
This was a fun, quick read. It’s not a new idea but it was well written.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a light hearted diverse contemporary that isn’t really long in length this book is definitely for you! I loved each of the characters and felt like I could connect with each of them. Throughout the book we follow the main character who is trying to figure out how to come out to his classmates basically and also on how to ask a boy to prom before time is up. This was a fun short book but, it also had me wondering if we were going to cover a tough topic of suicide within the ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2018-challenge
I didn't expect to love this as much as I did (clearly I am a fool). The story basically takes some of the best parts of the faking dating trope as a checklist, and executes it in a way that still feels fun and relevant to the cast of characters. Admittedly, I am biased because I came into the story already loving this type of plot.

I adore how weird Nolan's family is, while also remaining the most loving (Daphne hits me in all the big-sister spots). And the relationship (friendship, fake dating,
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, ya, comming-of-age, meh
I was anxiously waiting for this book, I really enjoyed Goslee’s First book whatever. This one was not as much of a winner for me as her prior book. While I enjoyed the humor and quirkiness of the main character I found this book to meander quite a bit. The story had. so many side characters all going different directions but I couldn’t connect them all together. I felt like the MC’s were not fully fleshed out for me. Enjoyable not fantastic
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, 2020
2,5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was okay.
Nothing really happened, I wasn’t really sure who I was supposed to ship.
The family was unbelievable , the dialogue seemed forced and overall the book tries to hard to be cool and snarky.

Read for the FairyLoot reading challenge. Prompt: Read a book with a LGBTQ+ character.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comfort-fiction
I can't even! So cute! This is just a feel-good afternoon waiting to happen. Drama, but nothing ridiculous or even that serious, and lots of comedy with great characters and adorable scenes. Loved everything about it -- except the repeated references to fake dating tropes, which really pull you out of the story... which is exactly what you DON'T want to happen when you're reading feel-good, escapist romcoms. But again, well worth the time and money! ...more
if you're going to do a very classic trope in a basic and predictable way it has to be VERY well written and this just fell flat and superficial to me idk ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-themed
The title and cover lets you know what you’re getting into right away, so you can’t complain prom tropes and and a three party love triangle gets involved. This is fun, fast paced, and although there should be much more fleshed out, is a satisfying read.

Nolan is sort of a go along guy, like Mike in the author’s first book, and has a lot of people who care about him. The problem is how I want to know so much more about him. What is he really thinking? How did he end up in this family? See spoile
Yuli Atta
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual rating 3.5*

As cute and funny as this was, it had a slow, sloppy and boring start and I personally didn't care about some side things the characters were doing. I was curious about the story and kept on reading bc Bern turned out to be my weak spot.

Nolan was alright, kind of oblivious and awkward, so lowkey relatable 😂 (for me)

One thing that I didn't like, without which there wouldn't really be a book but still, was Daphne messing in Nolan's business. I know this is something like a romco
Kristel (hungryandhappy)
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
The dreaded miscommunication!!! But without it we wouldn't have this book. There was little drama, that could have been avoided by talking!!! Talk, people! It's important!

The usual fake dating trope worked well with mysterious Bern and super naive Nolan. I found both of them pretty cute.

The story is simple, the characters were fun, the side characters were a big part of the story, as were the families (Nolan'smore than Bern's), and the love storyline made me finish the book without putting it do
Jenn (not Lily)
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Much funnier and more accurate to high school life than I thought it would be. I enjoyed all the characters, which left me pleasantly surprised. Even though we don't actually get Nolan's life story, it's obvious from the first page that his previous three years as a Sheffield has been good but the thirteen that came before were rather on the "not" side of good. And, honestly, that's enough background to go with for this story. I'll be on the lookout for the previous book by this author, and hope ...more
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I write books about teenagers, fanfiction about werewolves, and have a not-so-secret love of commas, run-on sentences, alt rock, and dogs. I live outside Philadelphia, PA with my husband, two sons, and an ill-advised amount of animals.

I'm terrible at social media, PR and face-to-face encounters, so I apologize if we've ever met IRL. You can most likely find me hanging out (daily) on tumblr, and lu

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