Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (Maybe 3.5)
Publisher: Penguin (Speak)
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. Prom has everything that award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for-humor, poignancy, teen readers' tough issues dealt with head-on, and a voice teen readers will recognize as their own.
I haven’t read anything else by Anderson (although Speak is on my list, for eventually…), and I think I was expecting something a little more, maybe…
Prom is about Ashley, who doesn’t care much for prom, but ends up having to help her friends set everything up for it. She normally doesn’t try very hard at school, and doesn’t care very much for school, and so is reluctant to have anything to do with prom. But after a while of working on it, she becomes attached, and then has to overcome the fact that she has too many detentions and isn’t allowed to go.
Ashley was alright. And the story was alright. I didn’t relate to Ashley too much, which is maybe why I didn’t feel a whole lot for her, but she was alright. I didn’t much like her boyfriend and I didn't think he was the guy for her, and I didn’t really see why she thought he was so great, or agree on some of the things she thought (about school, in particular), but she got better at the end. When she realized how awesome her mother is, for instance, and when she finally smarted up about her boyfriend.
Like I said above, her mother was kind of awesome. She's a little overpowering, but was still pretty cool. Her dad and brother were pretty awesome, as well. And, you know how I didn't like her boyfriend (although I did like that she had a boyfriend at the start, and the story wasn't about her finding one; not that I would have minded some good romance). I didn't mind her friends, but I don't think we got to see very much of them or enough to actually get much personality from them. Oh, and her school. Most of the staff, or authorities, at her school, I thought were a little unrealistically exaggerated. This isn't any new for me, though, since exaggerated teachers and school authorities tend to bother me.
I was a little surprised with how Anderson writes. I’m not really sure what I was expecting (maybe a more loud, first person style?), but I guess it was more displaced and subtle than I thought it would be. It reminded me of Joan Bauer a little, only not as technical, I think? And a little more fun, with lists and short chapters and things like that. It kind of gave me the same feeling, which I, for the most part, enjoyed.
I was a little unsure at first as to whether I liked it or not (the characters and the writing), but it grew on me. Like Joan Bauer, it was pretty easy to get through. And so I do think I’m going to read another of Anderson’s books when I get the chance.