Thursday, April 7, 2011

THE ANTI-PROM by Abby McDonald

Author: Abby McDonald
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Number of Pages: 288
Source of Book: ARC from Star Book Tours
Author's Website:

Goodreads Summary:
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.

I ended up really enjoying this book, although I wasn't sure if I would when I first started reading it. It ended up being much more meaningful and deeper than I expected from the beginning, so I was happily surprised by the time I got to the end.

This story is told from three different perspectives - that of Bliss, Jolene, and Meg in alternating chapters - throughout prom night. The opening scene of the book starts off with Bliss catching her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend - at prom. This leads to the unlikely alliance between the three girls who would never have spoken to each other if not for the circumstances that led to them meeting up that night. This turns out to be one of the best things for them. I didn't care for Bliss very much at the beginning because she was a stereotypical, shallow, mean girl type character - and I never relate to them very well, but she came around in the end, but it took awhile.

I so enjoyed the journey of this story. It was written in a classic - tale of one night - type of plot where one thing after another happens throughout just that one night that brings the characters closer together, to a deeper understanding of their goals, and shows them the type of people they want to be. It's one night that leads to self-discovery and inner changes that changes the direction of their lives. It's about getting out of bad situations, needing to accept oneself first before being able to open up to others, and not judging people. These three girls go on an adventure that shows them that opening up to others does not make them weak, but instead can create better relationships.

It's a great story about friendship and not bowing to the stereotype of high school groups and being open to understanding the experiences that others may be going through. This book does it in such a fun way with an endlessly turning plot and all-night adventure to get what each girl wants. It's about finding one's own way and deciding what kind of person you want to be and how you want to be seen by others. And that is a great message to send to teen girls. I'll definitely be putting this one into my classroom and am sure the girls are going to love it.


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