Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review: PROM by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Prom
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Summary: High school senior Ashley Hannigan doesn't care about prom, but she's the exception. It's pretty much the only good thing at her urban Philadelphia high school, and everyone plans to make the most of it--especially Ash's best friend, Natalia, who's the head of the committee. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money, and Ash suddenly finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance out of absolutely nada. But she has help--from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat's eccentric grandmother, from her fellow classmates. And in putting the prom together, Ash learns that she has choices about her life after high school. 

Why I read it: I really enjoyed Anderson's Speak, and I found this book at the Half Price Books clearance sale for a dollar, so I picked it up. Then I wanted to read one more book in August, and this was one of the shortest books I owned, so I knew I could finish it in just a couple of days.

Thoughts: It's cute. It is nowhere near the quality of Speak, but it was an enjoyable read.

In the beginning, I was caught off guard by the vocabulary of the main character and her speech patterns, which extended to the narration because we are in first-person POV. Ash lives in Philadelphia and does not live in the best neighborhood, but I wasn't expecting the slang and slight dialect that I encountered. I gradually got used to it, but I was a little off-put at first, sadly.

Once I got into it, however, it was a super quick, easy read. Everything is pretty straightforward and happens pretty much how you expect it to. There are no tricks here, no twists. It's kind of a Philadelphia-Cinderella story.

Some of the characters are fun. I love Natalia and her grandmother, who live next door to Ash. And Ash's family seems so real, with a father who takes on too many home projects and a mother who is semi-stuck in the 80's.

It's predictable. But I did end up rooting for Ashley in the end, and the book had a satisfying conclusion. In fact, the last sixty or so pages were my favorite part.

Prom is a fluffy, straightforward contemporary. So if you're looking for something super quick and light to read that won't stress you out at all, you may want to give it a try. But it's not something I would outright recommend to people. Only read it if you need a palate cleanse or a short, sweet book.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tell me: have YOU read any of Laurie Halse Anderon's books? If you've read more than one, which was your favorite? 

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