Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2005). Ashley Hannigan isn’t nearly as into the upcoming prom as her pals, including her best friend (and head of the prom committee) Natalia. But then the faculty advisor swipes the prom money and Natalia is temporary out of commission. Despite an unforgiving school administration (and, okay, a few detentions), can Ashley pull together the perfect night after all? Filled with an eclectic array of godmothers and set in a sometimes unforgiving upper-poor-to-lower-middle-class community, Prom offers up heart, sass, hope, and possibly the first believable Cinderella. Ages 12-up.
Anyway, I hear Prom is racking up stars all over the place, which is no surprise. It’s particularly good with its voice, rising stakes, and rising action.
Chapters come furious and fast without page breaks, all numbered, some no longer than a line or two. Yes, I noticed the 100-ticket minimum at chapter 100. The comedic timing is fabulous, and it’s a rare look at a population (aka “the majority”) largely ignored by the body of YA lit. In short, I loved it. A one-sitting read.
Generally, I don’t go out of my way to gush about books by already-famous people, even if I do adore them (which is the case with LHA; full disclosure). It impresses me so much, though, how she’s always taking chances–writing books that are very different from one another–and still hitting it out of the literary ballpark.