A cute little diddy about a promposal…
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
No. of pages: 236
Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He’s never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It’s not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He’s saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to fake-date Nolan.
Nolan thinks it’s the perfect way to get Daphne off his back and spend the rest of the year drawing narwhals, tending to plants, and avoiding whatever died under his bed a few weeks ago. What he doesn’t think about is Bern’s ex-girlfriend, who seriously wants to kill him.
‘How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom’ was a mixed bag of a read for me. The start was a little confusing with a lot of characters being introduced, I nearly put the book down feeling disinterested; which is not high praise for such a short novella. However, after the first fifty pages the story really gets going and I did not put it down again. Awkward and shy, artsy teen protagonist Nolan gets manoeuvred into a prom-posal that could spell social suicide when asking out his crush Si; but is rescued by cool outsider Bern.
And thus begins the tale of the heavily troped fake boyfriend ‘How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom.’ At first glance I expected this to be heavily stereotypical and riddled with tropes – and it is, but in a good way. S.J’s writing style and quaint comedic timing pulled this novel from obscurity and added an overdose of eye-rolling to this rom-com worthy of the big screen.
I almost felt like we had characters from ‘The Breakfast Club’ here, but besides the fan-fiction-esque style, I was entertained. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of character arcs from our cast, as this was an emotional and angsty story told from our protagonists perspective. There was certainly enough ‘room’ to allow it. The wordcount is low, so taking some time to flesh out other characters stories would not have detracted from the pacing or interest.
Given the obvious tropes, ‘How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom’ is predictable. I got no surprises other than the comedic writing style.
I’ve really been enjoying the diversity reads of late, especially in contemporaries, and this novel was no exception. Though I’d probably recommend it for the intended demographic, as the older reader, or more experienced reader could find it slightly flat. But those who love reading fan fiction – this is a wonderful ohmage to the genre.
Overall feeling: Nearly lost me, but your got me girl
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