Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review of The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

The Anti-Prom

Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, ├╝ber-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.

PROM! The anticipation for prom makes one giddy, the night is one to remember and the pictures are comical in years afterwords. Or at least, that’s the common belief. The Anti-Prom takes place over the course of one prom night, but focuses on three girls who aren’t having the time of their lives and wind up spending the evening together: Bliss, who’s coping with a cheating boyfriend, Meg the wallflower and Jolene the bad girl. The whole thing actually felt as thought it was inspired by The Breakfast Club, but with more cheese and characters with whom it was hard to connect. However, parts of The Anti-Prom were sweet and lighthearted, and I think some readers will love that.

McDonald created three unique characters to center her story around. Each of the three characters in this novel wants revenge, or at least a change of pace. While it was mildly entertaining to watch the characters scheme, I couldn’t help but dwell on how impractical and unrealistic things got. There was at least a delightfully geeky guy at one point, and I enjoyed reading about his character.

Since the novel is centered around prom, I expected great detail towards subjects like makeovers and shoes, yet each of these three girls had serious problems that they were trying to work around. As it happened, I couldn’t relate to any of their problems. Instead of going, “Man, I know you feel” I would just think, “Oh, that’s...sad.” While I was reading I kept thinking McDonald’s writing was a bit cheesy, and in retrospect I think I might have felt differently about the writing if I had related to these characters’ more.

The Anti-Prom turned out to be something of an anti-climatic read for me. However, I think it was just a matter of me not being able to connect with the characters’s circumstances, so this book could be a totally different experience for you. McDonald’s other novel, Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots sounds more like my type of thing, so I’ll definitely give her work another chance.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.

1 comment:

  1. I really just enjoyed the escapism aspect of this story. I think McDonald does a great job of just taking the theme of prom and then exaggerating it for good fictional effect, for me. :)



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