Lauren Fidler's Reviews > Prom

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
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ok, can we all agree on one crucial point before i commence: proms suck. they do. they're a lot of build up and hype and flash and glitter, but there's always puke or some girl crying her eyes out in the bathroom or some kid who gets wasted or brings drugs or breaks up with his girlfriend for a freshman. it's the acme of high school drama. with high heels. so, should we really expect that much from a book of the same name?


prom is the story of "ash" - a "normal" kid. you know, normal, right? it means "no extras poor", a perennially pregnant mom, an astronomic number of detentions to make up, a class cut or six a week, a math teacher who steals all your prom funds, a lot of "yo"-ing, a dad who bastardizes the story of cinderella for his little boy at bedtime, a loser boyfriend who reeks of wannabe felon and who wants you to move into a hovel with him and work at a "chuck e. cheese" ripoff full-time to help support his pot habit...oh, and a couple of bffs who are, like, totally obsessed with prom.

this is not my normal.

my normal consisted of honors and AP classes, of playing designated driver, of collecting a weird assortment of friends with mixed feelings about prom, of working at a video store, of having one older sister who is smarter than me, and of living in "camelot" (a collection of streets named after the who's who of arthurian legend). when i drop a "yo" people look at me funny.

and you know what? when "ash" does it? i looked at her funny, too.

i don't know. i wanted to like this one. it's cute, in a "cinderella loathes school/prom/her future but uses her prom management skills as a catalyst for changing her life and getting more than just knocked up and welfare out of it" kinda way. but it's a bit...i don't know...hokey?

when i think laurie halse anderson, i think tortured adolescence, sordid secrets, anger, emotional distress, turkey bone sculptures, anorexia, and pain.

not pink gossamer gowns and sparkly shoes.

that cinderella shit just isn't her.

what we have here is if the marthas (from Speak were like younger, post-prison versions of martha stewart. they're hyper-organized, hyper-stressed, and hyper-prom-centric. and they're not afraid to cut a bitch.

you know what i mean?

3 stars - let's just say it lives up to its namesake.

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Reading Progress

12/04/2011 page 50

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