Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

PromSynopsis from Goodreads: Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance. But she has plenty of help—from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from the principal, from her fellow classmates. And in making the prom happen, Ash learns some surprising things about making her life happen, too.

Number of pages: 215
My review: Before I started reading this and before I had read the summary I thought it was going to be a super girly book about prom night and everything leading up to prom and how everything would be just perfect in this perfect little world. Boy, was I wrong. And I’m glad I was wrong. The story was so much better as imperfect because it made you root for the characters more and you could understand the struggles they were going through.
Ashley goes to a not-so-typical high school, where metal detectors and fights are prevalent. The high school is pretty much in a bad part of town, and the students are sort of underachievers. Personally, I could connect to this since there are schools like this in the city I live in (not my school specifically since my high school is pretty high-achieving, but I’ve been on the other school’s campuses).
Anyways, one day a math teacher steals the prom comittees money and Ashley’s best friend Nat, the head of the prom committee, ropes Ashley into helping her plan a new prom on a limited budget. The next half of the book shows the trials and tribulations the prom committee goes through in order to get a prom for their fellow students.
Problems keep arising in the form of, first of all, Ashley does not even want to go to prom, let alone plan it. Also, Ashley has so many detentions that if she does not serve them out in a timely manner she will not graduate, and the prom planning causes her to skip a lot of these detentions, and she becomes a target for the vice principal who is always gunning for her, and finding other excuses to give Ashley detention.
Ashley also has a older boyfriend who is a pretty big jerk. He constantly berates her, doesn’t call her, he participates in suspiscious activities, and he often tries to get her to have sex with him. I hated him from the very beginning of the book and kept thinking to myself “Just dump him!”
We meet a slew of other characters from Ashley’s and Nat’s families who are all hilarious. They add so much more character to the book and I always looked forward to reading about interactions between Ashley and these family members.
This book was one half very cute, and the other half, very realistic. I could actually imagine all of this stuff happening. Ashley was a very real and down to earth character, who enthralled me with her simple and blunt narration. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and let’s just say that I’m glad that what happened with their prom, did not happen to my prom.
See you soon!

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