Hello and happy Wednesday. I recently read 21 Proms and I was over the moon. Seriously, the fact that so many awesome authors collaborated in this book made me feel like going to a reunion party with a bunch of my old friends. Now because each of the 21 stories was written by a different author, I only think it’s fair to dedicate a little time to each, so that’s what we’re doing today. It’s going to be a long post, so be sure to grab some snacks and water and to get really comfy. Let’s get started, shall we?
You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft
I feel that the main character of this story was way too harsh, and I got the feeling that were she a real person, she’d hate me and everything I stand for. I honestly could relate more to her best friend and how she was obsessing over a guy who’s not her prom date. Yep, that was me. Also yes, as an afterthought, I’m pretty sure the hating would be mutual. I didn’t think this story was a good opener to the book.
All She Wants by Cecily von Ziegesar
Oh, I so related to Brooke and her private-school life. Yes, I was that Catholic all-girls school girl. I fell in love with that story almost immediately and from the start I knew it was going to be super cute. Like, honestly, I only have fluffy adjectives to describe this story. It was so nice, and I loved the Molly Ringwald references and Brooke’s innocence. This should’ve been the opening story.
In Vodka Veritas by Holly Black
This is not your “typical” prom story, okay? I could relate to the main character’s fear of prom approaching and not having a date. Again, been there. If you’ve read Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, then you probably thought that the prom resembled the Cotillion scene. I totally thought that, and still, I also thought it was oddly cute for some reason.
Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski
I was into this story from the start because I absolutely adore second person narration and I know it’s not something easy to pull off. I was all for the text-message inserts. You know I love that kind of stuff, and I think this story had many great elements. Sure, I could relate to Drew overthinking everything, and not just strictly prom stuff. The only bit I didn’t like was the whole not eating/dieting. You know I find this problematic and honestly the story could’ve done without that bit.
Off Like a Prom Dress by Billy Merrell
I don’t have much to say about this one because it really was super short. It’s written in verse, and it’s a cute little thing.
“Mom called, she says you have to go to prom” by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
This is one of those stories I couldn’t believe it wasn’t like a complete novel because I felt that there was so much in it. The main character is allergic to cats, just like I am, and I always like it when I can relate to what I’m reading. This story is really deep in terms of the main character’s family situation, as well as her own. There are issues regarding a dysfunctional family and a character with a mild cognitive disability, so it clearly goes beyond just “prom.”
Better Be Good to Me by Daniel Ehrenhaft
I love the fact that this author sort of twisted the rules and actually had the dad tell the story of his own prom. I loved the formatting of the stories, with the subheadings, which may or may not have been song titles, and then an insert of a letter (yes, a full letter). Again, I felt like I was reading a whole novel. This was probably my favorite story of the book, and I will definitely be looking up this author in the future.
Three Fates by Aimee Friedman
Again, I totally relate with the whole not having a prom date issue. I also asked a guy and got rejected, and then found out he was going to prom with another girl, so, yes, that happens. All in all this was a cute story. Super improbable, but still cute.
The Question: A Play in One Act by Brent Hartinger
Yes, this is a play, which is cool because it means a change in the format in which most of these stories were written. I really liked the fact that the main character was a guy because there’s a clear majority of female main characters. This is a very angsty piece, full of tension and anticipation. Prom is one of the themes, but is not like what they whole thing is about, which was pretty cool.
Shutter by Will Leitch
This story is told from the main character’s dad’s perspective, but it’s actually about the main character’s prom. There is family drama involved, which makes this story way deeper than the other “typical” prom ones. It was good, kind of heartbreaking, really.
Geechee Girs Dancin’ by Jacqueline Woodson
This story takes place in the 50’s and is written in a way that for me is odd. I know it’s like a jargon of the time or something, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, English is not my first language and sometimes that shows when I’m reading a certain kind of story. I don’t think I really “got” this story, and I think it has to do with the language barrier.
How I Wrote to Toby by E. Lockhart
I really loved the format of this story because it’s actually a countdown to prom, so in a way it’s kind of like a diary with each day’s headings. I could relate to this story in the sense that I know what it feels like to pretend that everything is okay in your life when in reality your family is going through major shit. I know, and it’s horrible. This story is truly heartbreaking and it really got to me.
A Six-Pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me by Melissa de la Cruz
I don’t have much to say about this story either. It’s autobiographic, and I thought it was super cute. It also made me want to share my prom with you, so check out Throwback Thursday.
Primate the Prom by Libba Bray
This was a very odd read because I thought the main character referred to his boyfriend as the “gorilla” because he was big and tall. Well, not really. This was the story of a guy who actually dated a gorilla. It did give me Will Grayson + Tiny Cooper vibes, and I think the whole gorilla thing was a metaphor.
Apology #1 by Ned Vizzini
I got the feeling that this story was also autobiographic, and it’s actually pretty cool because it’s the guy explaining why he stood up a girl. I don’t know, I really like it when we get both sides of a story.
See Me by Lisa Ann Sandell
I really liked that the main character of this story was an “invisible girl” because I think that was necessary. What I didn’t like was that this girl was just sitting around, waiting to be asked. Sorry, that’s not how we do things in 2018.
Prom for Fat Girls by Rachel Cohn
Literally the only note I took was “judging by the title, I’m sure this story will at least be interesting.” It was okay, but not outstanding.
Chicken by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This story kind of reminded me of the week I spent in rural Maine because everything seems so…well, rural. It’s about unrequited love and going to prom as buddies, which weirdly enough, is a topic that is not really explored much in this book.
The Backup Date by Leslie Margolis
I thought this was your typical “rich people” prom story. The hidden romance factor, though, was what really made it interesting.
Lost Sometimes by David Levithan
My hopes were up in the sky for this story because I hadn’t read anything by David Levithan in a while. It was alright but it wasn’t the best, and honestly I was sort of disappointed.
The Great American Morp by John Green
I think closing with a John Green story was absolutely genius. I simply LOVE his writing style and I was super hooked with this particular story. I know a girl just like Maggie, the main character, and she would’ve totally thrown a morp with her best friend. Although, okay, Maggie had way better luck than the girl I know.
We’ve come to the end and if you’ve made it this far, then treat yourself to an ice cream because you rock. In the comments below, let me know which of these authors I listed is your favorite and why.
Love, Miss Camila