Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Book Addict Reviews: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Order Online:  
Author Info: Goodreads | Website
Rating: 3 stars   
Bought this book with my birthday discount at Changing Hands.  

In A Nutshell:  
Ashley Hannigan sees herself as a "normal kid."  Not special enough to go to college.  Not special enough to worry about prom.  However, she is surrounded by friends and classmates who feel prom is one of the most important day of their lives.  These different orientations to prom collide when the faculty advisor to the prom committee steals most of the money that was raised for prom.  At that moment, Ashley shows her true colors by stepping in to help her best friend who wants the prom experience more than anything in the world.  In the process, Ashley's view of herself, what she wants, and what she deserves starts to change in significant ways. 

I picked this book up after reading Speak.  By comparison, Prom seems frivolous.  It seems trite.  It seems underwhelming.  Those were my initial reactions to this story.  I had expected a story that touched me in the same way that I had been touched by Speak.  However, after some time away I realized that was really not a fair way to rate this book.  This book never claimed to be like Speak

So, I started to look at this story on its own merits.  As a light-hearted book, Prom delivers a unique cast of characters.  I think my favorite was Nat's grandmother who could moonlight as a professional baker if only she were not so obsessed with swimming (many times with her clothes on).  Prom delivers a strong coming-of-age story.  The Ashley we see in the beginning of this story would not even recognize the Ashley at the end who makes a stand for herself in a big way.

After recognizing these elements of Prom I realized that I really liked this book.  I am glad I read it, and I cannot wait to read another one of Laurie Halse Anderson's books.  I am sure she will surprise me yet again--but this time I will not let my initial feelings be dictated by the expectations set by other books I have read by her.

If you have not read Speak, I cannot recommend it strongly enough--this book really shook me to the core:

The next book I would like to read by Laurie Halse Anderson:


  1. I read this book back in 5th grade about 4 years ago and it was really swell, considering I wasn't as into books as I am now. I agree, Ms.Anderson writes fantastic books. Speak was perfect and I read Catalyst, it was really swell and just raw and real, I recommend it a lot.

    1. The diversity I have seen in the two books I have read by her has impressed me. She did so well with two books with very, very different styles.

  2. some books are hard to read in the beginning but once we got the grasp of it , then it's smooth sailing

    1. Yes that is a great way to describe how I felt about this book. But in the end, I am glad that I read it.

  3. Oh, what a useful plugin… this will help me a lot for editting the codes. thanks a lot.