Seven seniors, seven problems, one senior prom.
Cora: Head of the Prom Committee (and basically every other club in school). Has been dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie™ for approximately forever, and has NO IDEA how to break up with him....
Paisley: Sarcastic feminist who wants nothing to do with prom. Has somehow managed to nominate her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king...
Henry: Quiet ballplayer who hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP!
Otis: Charming, popular, and one half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Doesn't know how to tell his boyfriend that he's not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room experience...
Lizzie: A little bit shy, and a lot excited to finally get out of her comfort zone and go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn't know.
Cameron: Loner with two jobs and zero friends. Is so done with high school and this whole town: the only thing he still wants to do is meet the mysterious girl who's been leaving him notes...
Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom. Now if only she could find a date....
A Prom to Remember, the newest book from Sandy Hall (author of A Little Something Different) is a funny and cinematic look at the biggest dance of every high schooler's life.
Whenever I think about Swoon Reads, two words come to mind: Sandy Hall. Her debut novel, A Little Something Different, was my first initiation to Swoon Reads’ publications. It was such a cute read I vowed to read more from Sandy.
Though I’ve yet to pick up my copy of Signs Point To Yes or buy Been Here All Along, I ended up getting my hands on A Prom To Remember. Now it’s been a few years since my own prom, but I definitely enjoy reading prom stories. Liz Czukas’ Ask Again Later is one of my favorite light YA contemporaries! I hoped Sandy Hall’s latest would join the ranks.
The good news is I liked A Prom To Remember, but the bad news is I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. I still like A Little Something Different better. This one had prom as its central plot, but a lot of the scenes felt really slice-of-life instead of essential. Though Sandy’s first book was also such, it felt right to the tone of the book. But because prom is such an exciting (or dreadful!!) high school event and holds so much promise of swoons and shenanigans, I expected a much more dramatic and compelling story.
The great news is that I can’t speak for everyone’s reading preferences, and A Prom To Remember definitely offers a lot to like so there is a great chance readers will enjoy the book. (I enjoyed it too, in a quiet, muffled way.) For one, Sandy Hall writes realistic teens so well. Everyone really sounds like they’re still in high school. And the characters are pretty diverse too! We have our gay couple, Luke and Otis, then Henry, a socially anxious Prom King, Jacinta, a Latina, and Lizzie, a plus-size shy girl. The representation is more surface, but the characters got nice resolutions (adorable romances even) at least.
“Locker lingering? Wasn’t that supposed to be how high school students found love?”
The cute couples are definitely a highlight of the book, but I have to say I like the fun friendships more. It was cool how the many characters were all somehow connected through each other, and how everything fell into place eventually such that they’re all hanging out. Everyone’s really different from each other––Sandy Hall writes about interesting high school seniors and distinguishes them well––yet they’re all relatable. I think teens will appreciate A Prom To Remember.