High school senior Ashley may be in the minority, but she hates the idea of prom. The thought of spending all that money and getting all decked out is – to her – not only a waste, but ridiculously fake. But to her best friend Nat and a bunch of other girls, the prom is an event they’ve been dreaming of, the one good thing in a life of crummy minimum wage jobs, dysfunctional families, and uncertain hopes for the future.
When a teacher is arrested for stealing all the money raised to pay for the prom just days before the big event, Nat and her planning committee are distraught. That’s when Ashley steps up to help. Tough, no-nonsense Ashley throws herself into planning a new, cheaper prom for her class. With honesty, humor and some well-placed pastry bribes, Ashley works to save the dance. In the process, she changes her mind about the prom, her family and her future.
Written by Laurie Halse Anderson, Prom is a fun, quick read. It’s not as serious as her most well-known book, Speak, about a student who is raped at a high school party. But the characters are likeable, “normal” kids — ones who may not get straight As or want to go to college, but ones who may have a reserved seat in detention or are saving pennies from working at McDonald’s to buy a car. The plot is simple and moves fast, and the ending is a happy one (unusual for books that I read!).
I recommend this book for anyone who doesn’t like to read. I think it may change your mind.