Book Review: The Anti-Prom
By: Abby McDonald
Narrated By: Julia Whelan
Published By: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: April 2011
Audio Length: 7 hours, 26 minutes
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
On the Story & Writing:
Prom is one of those rights of passage that many girls dream about from the first moment they step into a high school hallway. Visions of a fairy tale evening complete with Prince Charming in a tux, a gorgeous dress, and romantic interludes paints itself in the female mind. Everyone wants that one perfect high school memory and for some - prom is it. Abby McDonald has written a fun story for all those people out there who didn't get their fairytale on prom night. Like the title, these girls get the anti-prom they never knew they always wanted.
The evening begins with disappointment for Bliss when she leaves the dance floor momentarily to retrieve her lip gloss from the backseat of the limo only to find her best friend and her boyfriend spending some intimate time together. Bliss can't believe her eyes and instantly starts to crave revenge. As one of the reigning Queen Bees, she will have to handle her attack in a covert manner. She needs high school society to see her as the victim and take her side. The only way to accomplish something on this scale is to seek help from the most unlikely of sources, Jolene, the school's notorious bad girl. When rumors start to circulate through the prom that Jolene has been spotted at the event (in pink ruffles - *gasp*), Bliss knows she has to win her as an ally.
Jolene isn't excited to be at the prom, but she knows the bit of teenage normalcy will get her mom off her back for awhile. She never expected that teen dream, Bliss, would approach her and ask for help. She needs revenge and she wants it to be dramatic without implicating her in any way. Jolene can't imagine staying at prom watching girls flip their hair and dress in their sparkly dresses any longer without hurling so she agrees. The two escape the prom without the chaperones (or anyone else for that matter) noticing and begin to run across the parking lot. They don't want any prying eyes catching the two of them together. As they sprint across the lot, they almost run right into a moving car with Meg behind the wheel.
Meg is the class wallflower. She's smart and cute, but she doesn't get into the social scene. Her parents prom pictures have given her a vision of what this night could be for her, but she hasn't even made it out of the car. Her night begins to take a turn for the unexpected when Jolene and Bliss run in front of her car. She is drawn into their little group of revenge seekers; the night takes off from there.
The rest of the novel explains the adventures of the unlikely trio as they steal diaries, storm campus dorms, steal pajamas, sing horrible karaoke, break and enter, burn paintings, stand up for themselves, fall in love, and forge true friendships.
This one took some time for me to truly get into and it wasn't until the trio arrives at the after party that I really started to like the book. While Jolene and Bliss eventually grew on me, it took awhile before I enjoyed these characters. Meg was the only one that I loved from moment one; she was the one that kept me trudging along when the other moments became tedious. I needed to know what happened to her. There were moments in the plot that were a bit far fetched and some scenes took way longer than they needed to, but the ending chapters made all that tedium worthwhile for me. I loved the ending of this one.
This book serves as a reminder that the best friends in life can be made in the most unlikely ways. Its also nice to have friends who are different than you at times. Who wants someone who always agrees with everything you say? Real friends should challenge us to be better people and call us on our crap. They should also be there no matter what and help you dust yourself off when the world knocks you down.
On the Audio:
Julia Whelan does an admirable job with this one. The book rotates between Bliss, Jolene, and Meg. Whelan was able to change her voice slightly to give each girl her own sound. I wish that Brilliance Audio had done this book with three narrators instead of one. I think that could have made the listening experience more enjoyable and allowed each girl's personality to come through a bit more.
One Last Gripe: I couldn't believe how Bliss' friends reacted to the news of Kaitlin and Cameron's betrayal.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Watching each girl grow and gain confidence in herself
First Sentence: He doesn't kiss me like that.
Favorite Character: Meg
Least Favorite Character: Kaitlin
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 has the perfect boyfriend, the perfect prom dress--and now the perfect case for revenge after finding her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of the limo.