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21 Proms PDF, ePub eBook


Hot Best Seller
Title: 21 Proms
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Published March 1st 2007 by Scholastic Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780439890298
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

493569.21_Proms.pdf

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Prom. It's a near-universal high school experience. And here at least 21 of today's bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors riff on it. Authors include: Libba Bray, Jacqueline Woodson, Ned Vizzini, John Green, Sarah Mylnowski, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly Black, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Sandell, Will Leitch, Leslie Margolis, Cecily von Ziegessar, E. Lockhart, Jodi Anderson, Davi Prom. It's a near-universal high school experience. And here at least 21 of today's bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors riff on it. Authors include: Libba Bray, Jacqueline Woodson, Ned Vizzini, John Green, Sarah Mylnowski, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly Black, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Sandell, Will Leitch, Leslie Margolis, Cecily von Ziegessar, E. Lockhart, Jodi Anderson, David Levithan, Dan Ehrenhaft, Liz Craft, Aimee Friedman, and Adrienne Vrettos

30 review for 21 Proms

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Don't care much about prom but JOHN GREEN indeed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    What the fuck did I just read? This was easily the worst anthology I've ever read. There's no credited editor, which I can only take to mean that none of these stories were edited beyond the authors reading them over. Because this was the most consistently awful anthology I've ever read. There were a few good ones, but not many. Here's the (quite painful) story-by-story review of this horrendous anthology. Note: There were so many stories with detailed reviews that I couldn't fit them all in the r What the fuck did I just read? This was easily the worst anthology I've ever read. There's no credited editor, which I can only take to mean that none of these stories were edited beyond the authors reading them over. Because this was the most consistently awful anthology I've ever read. There were a few good ones, but not many. Here's the (quite painful) story-by-story review of this horrendous anthology. Note: There were so many stories with detailed reviews that I couldn't fit them all in the review due to GoodReads' lenght limit. I had to leave some out, but you can find them in the comments below. All She Wants by Cecily von Ziegesar: 1/5 What the fuck was this even doing here? Prom never made an appearance, and it wasn't even mentioned. I might've forgiven this if the story was better, but it was actually pretty horrible. The plot was pointless - all I could get from it was "Girl obsessed with Molly Ringwald seduces two boys and makes out with one of them while her parents are away." No, really, that's all that happens. And the writing wasn't any better. It was written in third-person, but in present tense. The only real reason to use present tense is to really get inside a character's head, so that you can do internal monologues and the like. With third-person narration, what's the point? The writing was also a bit bizarre in that it was done in a list format... for no reason. It didn't help Brooke's (nonexistent) characterization, and it never became a part of the plot, so it just sort of sat there as an annoying gimmick. Oh, and speaking of Brooke (our protagonist)'s characterization, all the characters were boring and undeveloped. And finally, the message of the story made me more than a bit uncomfortable - both of the boys that Brooke seduces are used as objects in Brooke's (bizarre and unexplained) transformation. Not once does Brooke consider how they might feel at being seduced for no reason at all. It just sort of seemed... disconnected from human emotions. So, yeah. This story sucked. And you know what the sad thing is? This isn't even one of the bottom three worst stories that the anthology features. We'll get to those later. Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski: 1/5 This story was so bad I couldn't even finish it. (And in case you're wondering... nope, this isn't in the bottom three, either.) The biggest problem was the plot, because it's essentially high school drama. "Who will I go to the prom with?" "I have to go with [insert name of hot guy here]!" "Why won't he go with me?" I'm sure there's an audience for this kind of thing, but I find it mind-numbingly boring. I simply don't care about this high school drama - it can be pulled off well (as we'll see later), but it's rare. Outside of the plot, things weren't much better. The writing was in second-person for... some reason (hence the title). It served no purpose at all, and it got pretty annoying after a while - I kept expecting it to say, "If you want to go to the prom alone, go to page 5. If you want to ask [hot guy] again, go to page 9." The only reason I could think of to justify this was that Mlynowski wanted us to connect with the narrator more, but it didn't work because a) the narrator had no personality other than being irresistibly attracted to a particular guy and being whinny and b) the narrator did stupid things that I would never do. And about how the narrator was undeveloped? She wasn't the only one. There wasn't a single character in the story that felt like a real person. And finally, the ending was incredibly predictable - the reason I haven't given a plot summary is that if I did, you'd know how it ends immediately. I even checked in the back of the story (after I abandoned it) to see because I thought, "There's no way anyone, even Mlynowski, would make it that obvious," but no, I was right the entire time. So, for all those reasons and more, this story was made of fail. And later it gets EVEN WORSE! Stick around for the snark-fest that will surely follow! Off Like a Prom Dress by Billy Merrell: 4/5 This wasn't actually a short story - it was a free-verse poem. And Merrel certainly makes good use of the poem format; anywhere else, the lack of plot would've felt off, but here, it worked perfectly. It helped that what little plot we got was really interesting. And it helped that the language used was really, really nice - this had some of the best writing in the entire anthology. The only real problem with it was that the breaks between lines were often random, a symptom of each line having the same number of syllables, meaning that the story was often choppy. But nevertheless, this was a nice, memorable poem, and I quite enjoyed it. Better Be Good to Me by Daniel Ehrenhaft: 1/5 This story is nominally about a father describing his prom night to his daughter. I say 'nominally' because no father would ever, ever talk like that to his daughter - there are tons of explicit references to sex, and the word 'asshole' is used more than once. Plus, 'gay' is used as an insult. Beyond being unbelievable for a father to say to his daughter, using the word as an insult is completely unacceptable. I find it hard to believe Ehrenhaft got away with this in an anthology with multiple openly gay authors. It was probably when I came across this word that I skipped the rest of the story. It didn't help that the plot was unentertaining - it was really slow, and it was mostly high school drama. (See my above rant about Your Big Night.) My last hope for staying invested would've been the characters, as that's the only thing that would ever make me even consider reading high school drama, but they were all one-dimensional and boring. And finally, the story tried desperately to be funny, and it failed epically - most of the jokes were quite painful, and I didn't laugh once. The Question by Brent Hartinger: 5/5 This was my third favorite story in the anthology. (Or maybe it should be fourth favorite, since there were two stories tied for best. Whatever.) Although I shouldn't say 'story', because like Off Like a Prom Dress, this isn't a story. This entry is actually a short, one act play. Also like Off Like a Prom Dress, it makes good use of its format - I couldn't imagine this working as a short story. It helps that the play was AWESOME. I'm not sure how to describe the romance without spoiling it for you, except to say that it was adorable. The characters in the story are both well-rendered, and their dialogue was quite well-written. I didn't enjoy Shadow Walkers, but I've been told that was one of his worst books, and this play showed me how that might be true - I might end up trying out something else of his. Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955 by Jacqueline Woodson: 1/5 Um... what just happened? It's hard to pick a single worst story in this anthology, but this was definitely a strong contender. The entire thing was written in a dialect that I think is supposed to be how black people talked during the slave period (so don't ask why the main action is set in 1955), but it was extremely confusing and annoying to read. Maybe this would've been justified if it served the plot at all, but there wasn't really a plot for it to serve. I couldn't even tell you what the story was about, other than that the main character seemed to be an attractive black girl whose ancestors were slaves. Oh, and that character? We get no development on her, no reason for her to connect to her at all. Overall, this story stood in stark contrast to the other stories in the anthology, and it even made me wonder what it was doing here. How I Wrote to Toby by E. Lockhart: 5/5 This is tied for my favorite story in the anthology, with another one that we'll get too later. Right off the bat, the heroine was relatable and well-rendered. There were a few factors that contributed to this, but the biggest one was the fact that her brother (Toby) was in rehab. This shows up in almost everything she does, and it really made her character, at least for me. The side characters were equally well-rendered, if not quite as riveting. The plot was one that really pushed the narrator's strengths as a character to the forefront, along with Lockhart's ability to handle angst - we get the impression that the narrator is (mildly) tortured, without her ever being whiny or annoying. And the writing, which is completely believable for a teenage girl, is just the icing on the cake. This anthology had its fair share of weakness, but this story makes it easier to forget. A Six-Pace of Bud, a Fifth of Whisky, and Me by Melissa de la Cruz: 3/5 I'd read a piece of de la Cruz's short fiction before, (Shelter Island in 666 The Number of the Beast) and I wasn't a huge fan, so I didn't have high hopes for this one. That being said, this story was better than I expected, but still not particularly good. Like Shelter Island, the writing was easily the best part. But other than that... well, that's a bit complicated. You see, according to the 'about the authors' section in the back of the book, this story was based on a real experience that de la Cruz actually had. This makes it sort of difficult to rate the plot and characters the way I normally would've. But, after reading it, my opinion is that the story would've been better if de la Cruz fictionalized it. There wasn't much dialogue, which gave the story a surreal effect, and the narrator was unrelatable. The plot was entertaining, which made this story a good choice if de la Cruz had to write about some real experience, but, like most fiction based on real experiences, it works better to fictionalize it. Primate the Prom by Libba Bray: 1/5 (Note: This part of the review will be longer and snarkier than normal. I tried to avoid it, but this story makes me fucking mad.) Oh, dear lord. This one. I wasn't a fan of Bray's short story from Geektastic, so I expected not to like this one, either. I had no fucking clue. Let me explain the premise to you. Our narrator is apparently romantically attracted to primates. At the insistence of his friend, he takes his primate boyfriend, Carter, to the prom with him. His parents, particularly his dad, don't approve of the him dating Carter at all, and there are several references to Carter and the narrator not being 'out' yet. Basically, this was BESTIALITY AS A METAPHOR FOR HOMOSEXUALITY. No. Fuck no. That is not right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but bestiality normally comes from a MENTAL DISEASE. It is NOT natural and healthy - there are usually other mental problems associated with it. Note the contrast to homosexuality, which is completely natural, and which has no other mental problems associated with it. DO YOU SEE WHY I AM ANGRY AT BRAY FOR THIS? I know (think) that her intentions were good, but it's still completely unacceptable to compare homosexuality to a disease. It's offensive and wrong. If you want to write something that shows you support gay people, then WRITE ABOUT SOME FRIGGIN' GAY PEOPLE! This is not the '70's. You will not get a shitload of controversy for it. So, other than that, this story was STILL an enormous disaster. The writing was confusing, and ridden with the occasional typo. Plus, the dialogue was atrocious. Here's something that the narrator's mom says in one of the early pages. It's about a yogurt place that also serves as a history museum: "Oh, I love their soft-serve. So good - and historical, too." Hahaha did ANYBODY EDIT THIS AT ALL? And then there was the world that the characters lived in, that supported the goddamned metaphor. It made no sense. Here's what we know about it. Apparently, being in love with chimps is common enough that people know about it off hand. There seem to be a significant number of chimps walking around - Carter goes to school, and the narrator met him in a CD shop. Nevertheless, these chimps can't talk (or if they can, we've never seem them), so don't ask me how they go to school. And even though they seem to be intelligent, the media is completely unaffected by this - Curious George and King Kong still exist as normal. So, yeah, none of this makes sense. But who knows? Maybe chimps going to school is a normal thing and I've just never heard of it! Anything's possible when the story is badly written! And, other than that, the narrator was bland, and there was no plot - three quarters of the story was the narrator giving us background about his parents finding out he loved chimps, and him meeting Carter. This story didn't work for me on an enormous level - the world made no sense, the writing was bad, and if I talk about the metaphor, I'll go on another rant. See Me by Lisa Ann Sandell: 5/5 This is another story that should've been a full novel, but for completely different reasons. The reason is that I want to read more about Katie, the protagonist. I connected to her instantly, and she's one of the best protagonists I've read in a long, long time. Moreover, Sandell demonstrates her rare, almost nonexistent ability to write high school drama that I can actually stand. This is something I've never read before, and that I'm likely to never read again, but this just proves that no matter how bad the genre, a good writer can always make it awesome. The reason that I liked it (other than Katie) was probably that while the plot focused mainly on this drama, we also got to see other elements of Katie's life, however briefly. The plot was alright on its own, but I can hardly discuss it without talking about how much Katie shines in it. Coupled with the great writing, this is the story that's tied with How I Wrote to Toby for best. I never would've suspected it would be good based on the premise, but it surprised me in the best way possible. Prom for Fat Girls by Rachel Cohn: 1/5 Rachel Cohn is an author I’m familiar with, and considering that my feelings about her have been mixed at best, this isn’t a huge disappointment. I honestly don’t know what Cohn was going for here, but from what I can tell, she tried to write too much in too little pages, making it a muddled and confusing mess. There were far too many characters, but not a single one was developed, and not a single one made me care about them at all. This might’ve been because there wasn’t much of a plot, just brief descriptions of characters and their interactions with each other. And then there was the writing. It wasn’t quite as bad as Very LeFreak, but it certainly wasn’t good – it was annoying and confusing on a consistent basis. All this meant that nothing made sense, and nothing was at all entertaining. Chicken by Jodi Lynn Anderson: 1/5 Ugh. This is another one of those stories that was so unbelievably awful, I had to think, ‘what was the author thinking when she wrote this?’ The worst part was the writing – it was good for the first page or so, but then it became COLLASALLY STUPID. I don’t think I can accurately describe how bad it was, so YOU GET A QUOTESPAN![She] watched the Pagan moonfoloowing them to Bowie. Maybe following her. She was that full of bigness.On the dance floor, she and Newley began gently, their bodies slowly pulled together in stages like two things melting....and everyone laughed because she'd written [her essay] in a witty way.He [looked] completely perpindicular.Elise froze. There was the bigness of the guys. No, really. All of those are actual quotes from the story. And the entire thing is written like that - it's so goddamned stupid. And not much of the rest of the story was better. The characters all felt like caricatures, for one thing. And for another, this was a complete Random Events Plot. The story would take a long time to describe, and I just used a lot of space with the quotespan, but just trust me that none of the events made sense or felt at all connected. This was a strong contender for worst story here. It was truly awful. Lost Sometimes by David Levithan: 3/5 This was a bit of a bizarre experience to read, if only because it was so radically different from Levithan's other work. (I'm a big Levithan fan, both in terms of short fiction and full novels.) Levithan's work is normally sort of fun and light-hearted, and that was present here, but it felt strained, like Levithan felt like it was obligatory. It was also bizarre in that the characters sort of sucked. (I mean that in both the figurative and the literal sense.) The narrator was the only one we really got to know, and he was a gay stereotype, the kind you'd think Levithan would want to avoid. I'm giving him a little leniency, since Levithan is gay himself, but it was still a little annoying. Also, there was no plot. It was almost entirely the narrator and his boyfriend doing it, which made for an off-putting reading experience. It had its positives - the writing was good, and it was a nice exploration of the need for sex - but it was so weird and bizarre that I couldn't really enjoy it. (Edit: I read this story again when it appeared in How They Met and Other Stories, and my opinion on it changed a lot. For more, go here.) The Great American Morp by John Green: 5/5 This, on the other hand, captured exactly what made Green's short fiction awesome - it was fun, light, and funny. I honestly think I like his short fiction better than his full novels, Will Grayson Will Grayson notwithstanding. First off, it was hilarious, in a way that only John Green ever is. It also had great, developed characters that all felt like real people - I instantly related to the narrator and her friends. The plot mainly served to contribute to the lightness, which was fine - anything more serious would've felt off, especially considering how awkward the last story was. And the writing was pretty good, too. Overall, this is my second favorite story here. It was awesome. So overall, *sighs*. It's clear that this wasn't edited, at least by a professional. There were a few good stories, but the stories that I hated were so intensely bad that I can't justify giving it anything above two stars. Standouts: The Question, How I Wrote to Toby, See Me, The Great American Morp The worst: GOD, THERE ARE SO MANY! HOW DO I CHOOSE? Your Big Night, Better Be Good to Me, Three Fates, Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955, Primate the Prom, Prom for Fat Girls, Chicken, The Backup Date

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Really underwhelmed. I gotta stop reading short stories anthologies I really don't like them. You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance - Elizabeth Craft - 1/5 stars The girl in this story hated EVERYTHING and was an absolutely rude and bitchy nightmare. Really hated her and since she was the entire plot, really not into it. All She Wants - Cecily Von Ziegesar - 0/5 stars (yeah, it was THAT bad) First of all, there was no prom in this. The girl was a rude brat and yeah not even relevant to this antho Really underwhelmed. I gotta stop reading short stories anthologies I really don't like them. You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance - Elizabeth Craft - 1/5 stars The girl in this story hated EVERYTHING and was an absolutely rude and bitchy nightmare. Really hated her and since she was the entire plot, really not into it. All She Wants - Cecily Von Ziegesar - 0/5 stars (yeah, it was THAT bad) First of all, there was no prom in this. The girl was a rude brat and yeah not even relevant to this anthology. Remind me never to read Gossip Girl In Vodka Veritas - Holly Black - 2/5 stars No. The plot of this was a group of students and a TEACHER poison the entire school at prom in a cult circle and everyone at prom gets naked and has a mass orgy while they take pictures and use it for blackmail. Not only is that so so so unrealistic and not even in the realm of "could happen", it was absolutely ridiculous. And it's illegal. This made me really uncomfortable and just unhappy and I was like "when will the reveal happen that it was just a dream??" but that didn't happen so yeah. 2 stars only because it was so messed up I actually finished the story. Your Big Night - Sarah Mlynowski - 1/5 stars Hated the story. Hated the character. She was just weak and whiny like who CARES. And why was this written in second person?? Off Like a Prom Dress - Billy Merrell - 3/5 stars It was a cute poem and a cute idea. Not amazing but the best so far. "Mom Called, she says you have to go to prom" - Adrienne Maria Vrettos - 5/5 stars My favourite story of the bunch!!! God I LOVED this character. I want an entire book of this. In 15 pages you get an actual plot, a storyline, backgrounds and well developed characters!! She doesn't even care what people think of her and I love it and she's such a strong role model character. I want a book of her. Better Be Good to Me - Daniel Ehrenhaft - 5/5 stars This story is a dad telling his daughter about how he met his wife and lost his virginity at prom. While I DOUBT a dad would ever tell his daughter this story, maybe a son, this was one of the best stories for me. Three Fates - Aimee Friendman - 4/5 stars This started out so boring. Honestly I wanted to read just to see who she went to prom with, but the twist had me CACKLING out loud it was hysterical and I absolutely LOVED the ending. Though, can we please talk about the fact that it's 2015 and im reading a story where the characters all use MySpace? The Question: A Play in One Act - Brett Hartinger - 1.5/5 stars I didn't really like this ambiguity of this. I didn't like the whole "i'll teach you" storyline because I've never met a guy who is willing to teach their guy friends how to dance and kiss. Shutter - Will Leitch - 2/5 stars I liked this, in theory, but I didn't really understand it. Geechee Girls Dancing - Jacqueline Woodson Didn't read. I read one line and I hated the dialogue and writing. How I Wrote to Today - E. Lockhart - 1/5 stars Too much tragic backstory for 10 pages. You don't need to add some sad tragic backstory into a short story about prom. REALLY dumb. A Six-pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me - Melissa de la Cruz I didn't read much but I didn't like it. I also don't like that her date puked on her and she was super happy to kiss his puke tasting mouth. Primate the Prom - Libba Bray - 1/5 stars THIS WAS MESSED UP. He is dating a real Gorilla, who is a guy. This is meant to be a homosexual story but it's actually just kind of making fun of it and yeah I hated this. Apology #1 - Ned Vizzini - 1.5/5 stars I didn't like the character. See Me - Lisa Ann Sandell Prom for Fat Girls - Rachel Cohn Chicken - Jodi Lynn Anderson The Backup Date - Leslie Margolis Didn't read a single one of these. I just didn't want to continue the book. I only read the next stories because the authors of the anthology. Lost Sometimes - David Levithan - 2.5/5 stars There was no plot. It was a "how many places my boyfriend and I had sex" retelling and it was just gross and raunchy and no purpose and kind of disgusting in a sense because why would you have sex at prom like how disrespectful can you actually be? The Great American Morp - John Green - 3/5 stars I liked the idea of a Morp. I liked the idea. But I really don't like JG's writing. Overall really not great. 3 great stories but yeah I definitely wasted my time with this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shweta

    A variety of voices and styles.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yoda

    First of all I though this would be like Let It Snow with all the stories eventually coming together. That wasnt the case but strangely I liked it even more. Not only was it fun to read so many different takes on prom it was nice to find new authors I liked. All the stories were different, both character and structure wise. It was strange to read so many different stories one after another but still refreshing. It was an easy and fast read. I wish I could read about some of the characters in a First of all I though this would be like Let It Snow with all the stories eventually coming together. That wasn´t the case but strangely I liked it even more. Not only was it fun to read so many different takes on prom it was nice to find new authors I liked. All the stories were different, both character and structure wise. It was strange to read so many different stories one after another but still refreshing. It was an easy and fast read. I wish I could read about some of the characters in a longer story. Here are some of my favorites: The Great American Morp by John Green Three Fates by Aimee Friedman The Backup Date by Leslie Margolis See Me by Lisa Ann Sandell Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski Better Be Good to Me by Daniel Ehrenhaft How I Wrote to Toby by E. Lockhart Lost Sometimes by David Levithan Since most of the stories are rather short, I can´t really say much about them without spoiling all of it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Unfortunately, this is a DNF. I thought I was going to absolutely love this collection of stories because they're set on prom night which is one of my favourite events to read about, but they just seem dry. They don't possess much charisma or excitement and they're very lacking in substance. Of course, you can't expect massive character development or plot development during stories as short as these, but I think it's just far, far too lacking for me to even try and enjoy. There's just something Unfortunately, this is a DNF. I thought I was going to absolutely love this collection of stories because they're set on prom night which is one of my favourite events to read about, but they just seem dry. They don't possess much charisma or excitement and they're very lacking in substance. Of course, you can't expect massive character development or plot development during stories as short as these, but I think it's just far, far too lacking for me to even try and enjoy. There's just something missing from these unfortunately. I'll leave my bookmark in it and will pick it back up at some point, definitely, because I hate leaving books unread and there's something telling me that there might be a hidden gem or two that might make the whole thing worth it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)

    Jak to bywa w przypadku zbiorów opowiadań „Mój pierwszy bal” bywa miejscami nierówny i rozchwiany między doskonałością a zwyczajnością. Większość tekstów to słodko-gorzkie, stereotypowe balowe historie niczym z młodzieżowych filmów komediowych, a pośród nich kilka naprawdę świetnych tekstów, które wyróżniają się na tyle, by przyciągnąć i zwrócić szczególną uwagę czytelnika. Co prawda tematem opowiadań jest ten wielki bal w amerykańskim wydaniu, a mimo to, odnajdą się w tych tekstach wszyscy młod Jak to bywa w przypadku zbiorów opowiadań „Mój pierwszy bal” bywa miejscami nierówny i rozchwiany między doskonałością a zwyczajnością. Większość tekstów to słodko-gorzkie, stereotypowe balowe historie niczym z młodzieżowych filmów komediowych, a pośród nich kilka naprawdę świetnych tekstów, które wyróżniają się na tyle, by przyciągnąć i zwrócić szczególną uwagę czytelnika. Co prawda tematem opowiadań jest ten wielki bal w amerykańskim wydaniu, a mimo to, odnajdą się w tych tekstach wszyscy młodzi, którzy niebawem przekroczą tę magiczną granicę między dzieciństwem a dorosłością, pójdą na studniówkę i odtańczą obowiązkowego poloneza.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    You may be surprised by this but I never went to Prom. I know, right? I mean, seriously… WTF? And, like everyone said… I regret it. I mean, if I had gone to Prom then maybe Derek Ducharme would have noticed me in my Micro short version extremely popular Sweet Dreams dress. A gorgeous peau de sois satin gown featuring a breathtaking skirt with gather detailing. A boned bustier, which fits like a glove, forms a charming neckline and proposed to me right away. We would have married after college, h You may be surprised by this but I never went to Prom. I know, right? I mean, seriously… WTF? And, like everyone said… I regret it. I mean, if I had gone to Prom then maybe Derek Ducharme would have noticed me in my Micro short version extremely popular Sweet Dreams dress. A gorgeous peau de sois satin gown featuring a breathtaking skirt with gather detailing. A boned bustier, which fits like a glove, forms a charming neckline and proposed to me right away. We would have married after college, he’d be a business major and I’d stay home selling Mary Kay. We’d make beautiful babies that would grow up to be bullies that would spit on the silly goth girls at pep rallies and we’d laugh and laugh and laugh… Ahhh… If only… Uh huh. And exploding monkeys eating pie will fly out of butt. Why then… why would I subject myself to a book of short stories all about proms? Because these are some of the best damn writers in young adult right now. A few weeks ago I finished Geektastic and wanted more. MORE! I did falter a bit when I saw the topic. Christ, PROM? Who the fuck cares? Seriously… people treat this like a major life moment. It’s supposed to define you or your entire school self.. this is when you can get back at Troy Smith for letting go of Tyler Ferguson’s hand during Red Rover Red Rover causing you to fall flat on the cement playground knocking out your front top tooth in 2nd grade. This is your moment to shine, buddy. Well, Troy Smith is now gay and his BF is so freaking hot that you end up crying in the bathroom while Twissa-- the cheerleader that’s berated you for the past 6 years is puking in the stall behind you, her Bo Derek braids she and every other slut that went on the senior trip to the Bahamas decided was the cool look clank against the toilet rim. Yeah… good times, good times. 21 Proms is what it is. Kids obsessed with Prom. I wasn’t impressed with most of the plot lines since I could care less about the event, but the writing and the characters…well, I can accept the Under The Sea motifs for a bit. These stories deal with all the teen angst that high school can bring and yet some.. okay most… are endearing. Like the Libba Bray story 'Primate the Prom'… “Flash told me about this movement. It’s called Primate the Prom. It started in Kansas, after what happened to William Lamb.” William Lamb was a band-boy-cute seventeen-year-old from some small town in Kansas. He had a gorilla boyfriend named Johnny. The two of them tried to make a statement by crashing their prom. A mob of kids in tuxes and prom dresses beat them bloody and tied them to the flagpole. They shaved Johnny of all his fur. And William Lamb ended up with serious brain damage. He won’t date another ape. He won’t date at all.” Yes, slick and snarky. But, fun all the same. The John Green story about Morps (backward proms… I guess all the kids are doing it) is wonderful, but John Green is wonderful as is Ned Vizzini and Will Leitch and Jacqueline Woodson and all the other writers in this anthology. This quote from ‘Chicken’ by Jodi Lynn Anderson sums it all up: “ Do you ever feel like you’re living in a circle, instead of a line?” Ben asked. “Like, you never change?” Elsie squinted at him, sleepy. “Like, I’m me now,” he went on, “but I’m also me on this big hike my dad and I took when I was ten, and I’m also me the first day of school freshman year. And I’m me in the future. It’s like one of those wooden dolls. With all those smaller dolls inside.” He blinked up at the sky. “Even when I’m surprised by how things turn out, deep down I’m never surprised, you know? Because it’s all already there, and none of it disappears.” Prom will always be. Angst is forever. Let them drink cheap punch and lose their virginity (do they still do that on Prom Night?) Some day they will rule the world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com 21 PROMS tells the stories of, well, twenty-one proms. Twenty-one fantastic authors contributed to this collection, and each and every one of the stories is fabulous and enjoyable. A few, however, really stick out in my mind after finishing this book. Holly Black's IN VODKA VERITAS is a creepy story about an evil Latin club. "MOM CALLED, SHE SAID YOU HAVE TO GO TO PROM" is Adrienne Maria Vrettos' contribution to the book. It's a great story that mana Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com 21 PROMS tells the stories of, well, twenty-one proms. Twenty-one fantastic authors contributed to this collection, and each and every one of the stories is fabulous and enjoyable. A few, however, really stick out in my mind after finishing this book. Holly Black's IN VODKA VERITAS is a creepy story about an evil Latin club. "MOM CALLED, SHE SAID YOU HAVE TO GO TO PROM" is Adrienne Maria Vrettos' contribution to the book. It's a great story that manages, in just a few pages, to create wonderfully three-dimensional characters that I'd love to read more about. BETTER BE GOOD TO ME by Daniel Ehrenhaft is a brilliantly written and romantic story. Aimee Friedman's THREE FATES is a hilarious story about what happens when Abby ends up with three dates instead of going dateless the way she thought she would. THE QUESTION is Brent Hartinger's one-act play that would be wonderful to see performed. PRIMATE THE PROM is Libba Bray's very interesting, original, and unusual story of a boy going to prom with his boyfriend -- who just happens to be a gorilla. THE BACKUP DATE, by Leslie Margolis, is a fabulously well-written story about Jasmine, a whiny but completely believable character, going to prom with her boyfriend and brother's best friend. As you can see, there are quite a few fabulous stories in this collection. The two that I loved the most, however, were these: Melissa de la Cruz told the absolutely true and absolutely hilarious story of her prom in A SIX-PACK OF BUD, A FIFTH OF WHISKEY, AND ME. THE GREAT AMERICAN MORP is John Green's absolutely brilliant story and one of my two favorites about a couple of girls having a "morp," a party that is a backwards prom. In this funny and fantastic story, he introduces characters that I'd absolutely love to see again. I did notice one thing that is interesting, and I want to know why this is: people seem much more likely to write about two gay guys than two lesbians. Quite a few of the stories had gay guys in them, but I can't think of any about two girls who wanted to go to prom together; I don't know why. In fact, I can only think of one book that I've read where the main character is a lesbian: KEEPING YOU A SECRET, by Julie Anne Peters. A good short story, one that has good characters or a hold-your-breath-suspenseful plot or something, has to do it in just a few pages. These were some of the best short stories I can ever remember reading!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rui Monteiro

    O que me levou a comprar este livro foram alguns autores (David Levithan e John Green) e o tema dos contos. Apesar de não ter vivido uma experiência do género, é algo que com o tempo passei a me interessar (é mesmo caso para dizer "tarde demais"). Não gostei do livro, os contos são sem graça, o drama gira em volta de - "quem vai ser o meu par!?" e isso acabou por deixar cada conto pior que outro. È claro que há uns que gostei. Quando lei este género de livros, sinto falta de ser aquele miúdo que O que me levou a comprar este livro foram alguns autores (David Levithan e John Green) e o tema dos contos. Apesar de não ter vivido uma experiência do género, é algo que com o tempo passei a me interessar (é mesmo caso para dizer "tarde demais"). Não gostei do livro, os contos são sem graça, o drama gira em volta de - "quem vai ser o meu par!?" e isso acabou por deixar cada conto pior que outro. È claro que há uns que gostei. Quando lei este género de livros, sinto falta de ser aquele miúdo que ia para a escola brincar, aprender e principalmente conviver com aqueles que pensei que fossem continuar na minha vida, mas que afinal desapareceram.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This boom was okay! I would kinda recommend it if you are just looking for an "easy" fun read. The story's were not that funny and they are short and rushed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Actual classification: 3.75/ 5 stars Review: This is a curious book, filled with short stories from 21 different authors, but there’s already something negative to say about this; there’s no connection between them. I thought I’d love this book, and somehow I kept wishing for it to be like Let it Snow, where the stories tangled. But aside from that… Why I got this book? Well I read that John Green wrote a short story here, and as a loyal fan that has nearly every book that John Green wrote, I had t Actual classification: 3.75/ 5 stars Review: This is a curious book, filled with short stories from 21 different authors, but there’s already something negative to say about this; there’s no connection between them. I thought I’d love this book, and somehow I kept wishing for it to be like Let it Snow, where the stories tangled. But aside from that… Why I got this book? Well I read that John Green wrote a short story here, and as a loyal fan that has nearly every book that John Green wrote, I had to had this one to the collection, so yes, the factor why was a particular author of one single story, but I was rather pleased with several of the short stories in here, but not all. Some failed to achieve a certain level of satisfaction for me, and I didn’t enjoy some of them. Whether it was the writing style or the plot itself, something was a little of. In case you want to read the full review: https://enchantedbybookssite.wordpres...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    This was such an adorable read. I personally, hated my HS prom. We were all assigned dates and we weren't allowed to do freestyle dancing. Our prom was more of a dinner event/program. So this book was a perfect way for me to absorb the various promenade experiences. I loved almost all of the stories in this anthology, but I have 5 specific tales that are really memorable. 1. Better Be Good to Me Think, the 80s Springfield song "Jesse's Girl". But this one actually has a happy ending. 2. Three Fates O This was such an adorable read. I personally, hated my HS prom. We were all assigned dates and we weren't allowed to do freestyle dancing. Our prom was more of a dinner event/program. So this book was a perfect way for me to absorb the various promenade experiences. I loved almost all of the stories in this anthology, but I have 5 specific tales that are really memorable. 1. Better Be Good to Me Think, the 80s Springfield song "Jesse's Girl". But this one actually has a happy ending. 2. Three Fates Omg this was ADORABLE. Imagine going to prom with 3 guys? 3. Shutter Okay, so this one was sad. But I loved the writing style, and the ending was such a cliffhanger. 4. All She Wants Very cute. It was sweet and funny and just the perfect way to start everyyhing off. 5. How I Wrote to Toby Another sad ending. But it was well-written and I loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Estance Moriarty

    My favorite, by a large margin, was Jacqueline Woodston's short story, Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955. I tried to find discussion, reviews & debates about it, thinking: "This is so great, I'm excited to have discussions & exchange thoughts about this with other people! " ... but all I manage to find was short comment by ignorant peopl this would be either saying they weren't able to understand it or going further than that claiming it was illegible, badly written or not interesting. My first My favorite, by a large margin, was Jacqueline Woodston's short story, Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955. I tried to find discussion, reviews & debates about it, thinking: "This is so great, I'm excited to have discussions & exchange thoughts about this with other people! " ... but all I manage to find was short comment by ignorant peopl this would be either saying they weren't able to understand it or going further than that claiming it was illegible, badly written or not interesting. My first reflex was "English is my 3rd language & I understood it without problem." The lack of appreciation for this short story is obviously racist & borne out of white guilt for the explicit mention of slavery. Most of the comments I found mistakenly stated that this story was set in the context of slavery, they reasoned that it would explain the language used in the story. It took me seconds to learn that the Gullah language (also called Geechee) currently spoken by a quarter million people in the United States. The text was not in Gullah, it was English with a few Gullah words & Gullah phrasing. Those public reviews of the short story are clearly very problematic: assuming that the story happens during the time of slavery, is impling that the Gullah language and culture are obsolete, ancient, a thing of the past. The date, 1955 is written in the title! Erasing the existence of the culture, dismissing it's history & continued existence is patronizing & insulting. I'm shocked those people didn't have any qualms about sharing their prejudiced ignorant opinion publically. The story is set in 1955 & time plays an important role in the story. Time passed, present time & the future are examined, bridged & connected. We are told specifically that the grandmother of one of the characters was a slave, that she cleaned for the white woman & we are told that though she & her mother do not go to church (that is do not engage in an important part of the community), they are known, in association with the grandmother. The story delves into the question of language, the languages of origin, the deportation to the America & subsequent diffulty in communicating with the others. The language learned, created to communicate, the community, the culture & the history, of the time before the slavery & since, a culture & history both heavy to remember & primordial to hold on to, remember practice & pass on. I found this story very deep, rich & important & recommand it warmly. As for the anthology as a whole, I have had the book on my nightstand for years & had problems reading it, in light of my preconceived notion that it would only be meaningless dribble, but now that I've gotten around to it, it turns out I like it better than I thought. "Prom" is an united states concept, a formalization of the act of "becoming an adult", as it is formalized, given value & understood in an very rigidely heteropatriarcal society. Luckily, the authors are discussing the rite of passage, the willingless, intent or lack thereof to be recognized as a full-fleshed conforming adult member of society, rather than platitudes relating to the specifics of the social norm that is prom, plagues by obnoxiously immature & unimportant discourses about the meaningless nothings colored by uninspirated feelings limited to the scope of normalized typical roles of behavior. Given my predisposition to dislike this collection immensely, it is surprising that I've changed my mind, as my good opinion once lost is (most of the time) is lost forever.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barusinka

    First of all, what the fuck. What the fuck did I just read? What was this. Honestly, what. What the hell. Who published it. Why. Okay, let me get one thing straight - I will read anything with John Green's name on it. You slap his name on Fifty Shades of Grey and I'll read the fuck out of that book. I'm not saying I love all of his literary work (*cough*AnAbundanceOfKatherines*cough*) but I do love his writing style and... fuck, why am I defending myself, I just love him, okay? So when I found ou First of all, what the fuck. What the fuck did I just read? What was this. Honestly, what. What the hell. Who published it. Why. Okay, let me get one thing straight - I will read anything with John Green's name on it. You slap his name on Fifty Shades of Grey and I'll read the fuck out of that book. I'm not saying I love all of his literary work (*cough*AnAbundanceOfKatherines*cough*) but I do love his writing style and... fuck, why am I defending myself, I just love him, okay? So when I found out his name was slapped on the cover of this book I thought to myself 'YAAAAASSS', and proceeded to dive into it thinking it would be oh so great. Well, I was wrong. Out of the 21 stories I genuinely liked only one (Three Fates by Aimee Friedman). Some of the stories were okay (The Backup Date by Leslie Margolis or John Green's The Great American Morp), the rest was either just 'meh' or absolute garbage. For instance, there was this one story by Libba Bray called Primate the Prom. It was about a guy who wanted to take his gorilla boyfriend to prom. Yes, gorilla boyfriend. He was just casually dating a gorilla. And she never even explains why he was dating a fucking gorilla. I wish I could say this one was the worst but it really wasn't, which is sad. This was such an unfortunate collection of stories and I wish I could unread this. On a brighter note though, it was not as bad as If I Stay.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Let's go over this book, shall we? Okay, this was the weirdest anthology ever. I don't even think there was an editor. If someone is going to put together an anthology there is more to it then having multiple people write their version and stick it together. You have to edit it. Multiple typos...boring vocabulary. I mean, come on?! An entire story was based on a kid who had a relationship with a gorilla that was the same gender. Yes, you read that right. A GORILLA!!! He took it to prom and every Let's go over this book, shall we? Okay, this was the weirdest anthology ever. I don't even think there was an editor. If someone is going to put together an anthology there is more to it then having multiple people write their version and stick it together. You have to edit it. Multiple typos...boring vocabulary. I mean, come on?! An entire story was based on a kid who had a relationship with a gorilla that was the same gender. Yes, you read that right. A GORILLA!!! He took it to prom and everything. WTF!!!! I do admit that the book had an original idea, but it was sloppy and not worth my time. 2 stars was a generous rating!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kassandra

    So I thought this book would have the same vibe as Geektastic... it didn't, there were very few of the stories that were actually enjoyable, most were just boring if not kinda pathetic...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Colette

    DNF.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Get ready for a long review of why you shouldn't waste your time on this book from your typical pessimistic reviewer. I'm sorry but I am completely disappointed with this book. Let's start off with giving each story (yes, there are 21 stories so prepare yourselves) a brief review and a rating, then an overall review. And, duh, spoilers. 1) You are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft - 2 STARS Friendly reminder: 2 stars is a high rating because trust me, some of the other stories make Get ready for a long review of why you shouldn't waste your time on this book from your typical pessimistic reviewer. I'm sorry but I am completely disappointed with this book. Let's start off with giving each story (yes, there are 21 stories so prepare yourselves) a brief review and a rating, then an overall review. And, duh, spoilers. 1) You are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft - 2 STARS Friendly reminder: 2 stars is a high rating because trust me, some of the other stories make me cringe. This story didn't make me cringe, though. It was contained, I guess. Ayla may not have the nicest attitude, but Adam was the real reason I gave this two stars. Also, the plot wasn't so overly-written, it's just, yeah, contained. 2) All She Wants by Cecily Von Ziegesar - 0 STARS Yes, it was THAT bad. No prom at all, just a fast paced story with a bored girl who just wants to hook up or something and two brothers who think she's hot and yeah the girl and one of the brothers kissed. She's also a fan of Molly Ringwald but that's not important. 3) In Vodka Veritas by Holly Black - 1 STAR C R E E P Y. And a bit disgusting for having the main character and his best friend kiss every person hijacked by the Latin Club, including the principal, because apparently spiking up the punch turned prom into a Marvin Gaye music video. Though creative, it still made me uncomfortable and when I'm uncomfortable with a story, I don't give a high rating. 4) Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski - 1 STAR First of all, it's written in second person. Yuck. And the narrator is a whiny girl who'd probably go to the depths of the Atlantic just to win her ex-boyfriend back. However, I liked the fact that in the end, she realized that chasing after boys is a waste of her time so the last minute before prom, she ditches the people inside their limo like a boss. This would've gotten 2 stars but again, it's written in second person. Yuck. 5) Off Like a Prom Dress by Billy Merrell - 1 STAR It's cute but it's just a poem about a girl finding her prom dress, it's not that much. 6) "Mom called, she says you have to go to Prom" by Adrienne Maria Vrettos - 3 STARS The character was very likable and this actually has a nice story-line. I can't say anything negative, but it didn't leave an impact. 7) Better Be Good to Me by Daniel Ehrenhaft - 2 STARS Funny and enjoyable, surprisingly. However, I didn't really like the characters very much, and also Zack and Rebecca confessing to each other then immediately takes the tension to bed didn't really catch me, which was the whole point of the story. I liked the glossary part though, and how funny DePaul is. 8) Three Fates by Aimee Friedman - 2 STARS So Abigael gets rejected by three men and on the day of her prom bearing guilt the three men appear beside her, escorting her to prom. Three fates, three prom dates. Three stars also but Abigael ended up with Archie instead of Elijah (whom I personally liked) so minus one star. 9) The Question (A Play in One Act) by Brent Hartinger - 2 STARS It's a story about two guys who didn't know they were attracted to each other. It's kind of cute, actually. It deserves two stars. 10) Shutter by Will Leitch - 2 STARS I found this story very very very cute! It's from the single-father's point of view and it's actually a nice read. I might've given this sweetheart a higher rating but I really don't get it why Shutter had to be the title of the story just because it ended with a camera click. 11) Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955 by Jacqueline Woodson - 0 STARS HORRIBLE writing style, HORRIBLE plot that I can't understand what just happened, HORRIBLE overall. Don't read. I mean, don't read the whole book, but if you decide to, SKIP THIS. I'm not joking, this is really HORRIBLE. 12) How I Wrote to Toby by E. Lockhart - 1 STAR Considering the fact that I have never liked Lockhart's writing style, this story deserved its one star rating. It's all backstory. All about Toby being in rehab, blah blah blah. And Paul Bader's a jerk for treating her like that after he found out her brother's in rehab. 13) A Six-pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me by Melissa de la Cruz - 0.5 STAR (I want you to imagine this review in caps-lock and me trying my best to restrain myself from tearing the pages of this story from the book.) A message to Melissa, the main character (I don't know if she's the author too, but whatever) from me: You're stupid. Patrick wasn't your date, you were his P.A., having you bring him stuff and all that. He's a jerk and he doesn't care about you so you shouldn't have wasted your time on him. He even forgot the damn corsage! He treated you like you're invisible and yet you still liked the guy! You even kissed him! No, girl, no! This isn't romantic at all! This is stupid in so many levels! 14) Primate the Prom by Libba Bray - 0.5 STAR This is homosexuality and bestiality in one. In other words, pan-sexuality. He's dating an ape and they're in love and they go to a prom for human-primate couples. Classic. However, the fact that bestiality is somehow a mental disorder and that Bray romanticized it like this made me gave the less than one rating. 15) Apology #1 by Ned Vizzini - 0.5 STAR JERK! JERK! JERK! THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A JERK! 16) See Me by Lisa Ann Sandell - 2 STARS Like the first story, this one's contained and cool. There's no hype in the story but I'm surprisingly okay with it. Plus, the ending where Katie didn't feel blue anymore was satisfying. 17) Prom for Fat Girls by Rachel Cohn - 1 STAR At first, when I saw the title, I was like "This is going to be a strong story!" but then again, I was pure "meh" while reading this. It had the potential! Cohn had in her hands what would be a great story that could open the eyes of people who discriminate others because of their weight but it was just, "meh". 18) Chicken by Jodi Lynn Anderson - 1 STAR Ben reminded me of Haru Yoshida and Chicken reminded me of Nagoya from the anime Tonari No-Kaibutsu Kun. I didn't like the plot of the story, but I low-key liked Ben so I gave this story a star rating, at least. 19) The Backup Date by Leslie Margolis - 1 STAR Basically, Jasmine and her brother's best friend are dating behind her brother's back and in order for them to go to prom together, she pretends to be a backup date. Eh. 20) Lost Sometimes by David Levithan - 1 STAR Ooh, ooh! I have a better title for this story! "How many times me and my boyfriend had sex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" They're kissing machines who can't keep their juniors inside their pants. That's it. 21) The Great American Morp by John Green - 3 STARS I see why they put the read-worthy story in the end, it's because the first stories were all ***** and in order for us to reach John Green's story, we have to put up with the others firts. I never knew there would come a day where John Green's story would save the day. The Morp was a great idea and it was fun to read. I, myself, want to go to one. The characters were superstars. I would've gone insane (just kidding lol) if the last story would turn out bad but thankfully, it didn't. AND TADA! Overall review: Prom tragedies are tragedies. Not fun to read. So if ever I go to a prom, I'm making myself plain and ordinary. I'd rather go without a date than have a trouble magnet beside me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    The basic premise behind 21 Proms being an anthology is that each person, at every prom, has a story, and this book tells a cross-section of those. As different as the people and their individual situations are, so are the entries herein. Whether it's the search for the perfect dress, just the right date, or the wish for the 1980s style perfect prom, 21 Proms covers it all--oftentimes accurately, occasionally stereotypically, and a couple of times strangely. Take, for example Holly Black's "In V The basic premise behind 21 Proms being an anthology is that each person, at every prom, has a story, and this book tells a cross-section of those. As different as the people and their individual situations are, so are the entries herein. Whether it's the search for the perfect dress, just the right date, or the wish for the 1980s style perfect prom, 21 Proms covers it all--oftentimes accurately, occasionally stereotypically, and a couple of times strangely. Take, for example Holly Black's "In Vodka Veritas" where the Latin Club uses witchcraft as revenge (think Carrie + orgy - blood) and "Primate the Prom" by Libba Bray . . . yes, primate. Some of the best known of today's Young Adult Fiction authors are found within these pages. Cecily von Ziegesar contributes "All She Wants," using the same Upper East Side label dropping as she did in her Gossip Girl series. In fact, her protagonist has an obsession for 80s movies and Molly Ringwald, a la GG's Audrey Hepburn-obsessed Blair. "Your Big Night" by Sarah Mlynowski annoyed me with its second person viewpoint. I don't mind that if I'm reading a "choose your own" type of book, but I find it especially irritating when the main character is being lame and doing things I never would. This particular girl crushes on a yearbook staff co-member who flirts with her only when he's broken up with his girlfriend, asks her to prom, then gets back with said girlfriend, leaving the protagonist with a desperate search for a new date. She, of course, chooses badly because desperation overrides her need to have fun going stag with friends. "Off Like a Prom Dress" by Billy Merrell is not about what mom wants, or the boyfriend wants, but shows, instead, the importance of the dress to the girl and how she'll feel in it. Mom opens an old box that holds a tissue wrapped dress, and it's perfect! I loved the traditional feel of this one. It was short, at basically 2 pages, and told in free verse style. "Mom called, she says you have to go to prom" by Adrienne Maria Vrettos features a girl whose brother is "slow" from a lack of oxygen at birth and her mom is "terminally hopeful." Basically, what that means is she's forced to grab a dress, attend the prom, and do the prom-y things like pictures and dance, then go home so she can have happy memories to reflect on later in life. Living in a small town, the only thing she's truly worried about is her determination to leave one day. "Better be Good to Me" by Daniel Ehrenhaft is filled with song references that may well be lost on today's youth since the "story" is set in 1986. A father tells his daughter why she needs to be careful at prom. It turns out he and her mother lost their virginity to each other at their prom (even though she was his girlfriend's best friend, and he was her boyfriend's roomie). There's a great glossary in back of this one. "Three Fates" by Aimee Friedman has a girl go from no dates to three dates. "The Question" is 'a play in one act' by Brent Hartinger wherein two boys discuss one of them calling a particular girl to ask her to the prom, but he's afraid to. They talk and practice dancing, which leads to moments of confusion and potential between the two boys. "Shutter" is a rather sweet story of a father mentally reminiscing while watching his daughter get ready for prom and wait for her date. "In A Six-Pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me" by Melissa de la Cruz a popular trio of girls make it their sworn duty to perfect their memory of prom and make sure every senior has a date. The deal is that the date recipient buys whatever alcohol their date wants. Melissa's date was set up with her just to get him to the after-prom party. Okay, fine, but does she have to be so pathetic? She's so happy to have had a date that she takes a kiss after he's puked and passed out and is thankful enough to want to buy him more alcohol. Really? "Lost Sometimes" by David Levithan involved, at first glance, gay public sex addicts, but also speaks volumes on what one boy feels he's worth. While I could see the bigger picture, I still didn't care for the tone of this one. The "Great American Morp" by John Green finishes things off with the ultimate anti-prom party. As the title suggests, there are twenty-one stories included in this anthology. They were all pretty run-of-the-mill, other than those abovementioned strange ones. I, personally, leaned more toward the sentimental ones involving the perfect dress and the dad watching his daughter. I loved the 80s theme, but wasn't thrilled with the dad's backstory in that one. As a warning to those who might be easily offended by homosexuality, there is a large percentage of stories that touch on that in some way, even if not at the core. The target audience probably won't bat an eye, so it's not wholly relevant unless a picky parent disapproves. What I like about anthologies is that they tend to lead me to new authors. I was familiar with a majority of those here since I spend most of my time in the Young Adult section, and the stories are fairly indicative of their usual writing . . . all except for that primate one. I'm used to Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Victorian series, not something like this. Prom time, or any time, this is a good book to pick up if you're looking for some thematic entertainment. Just don't expect anything ground-breaking.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft Ayla hates the prom. -The ending was okay, but I hated reading about the girl who hates everything. All She Wants by Cecily von Ziegesar Brooke, home with the chicken pox, wants to make her own prom. -Kinda cute. In Vodka Veritas by Holly Black The Latin Club wreaks havoc on the prom. -Good and creepy. Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski "Drew" wants to get back with (or at) her ex for prom. But her friends want a Winnebago party. -It was okay You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft Ayla hates the prom. -The ending was okay, but I hated reading about the girl who hates everything. All She Wants by Cecily von Ziegesar Brooke, home with the chicken pox, wants to make her own prom. -Kinda cute. In Vodka Veritas by Holly Black The Latin Club wreaks havoc on the prom. -Good and creepy. Your Big Night by Sarah Mlynowski "Drew" wants to get back with (or at) her ex for prom. But her friends want a Winnebago party. -It was okay. Off Like a Prom Dress by Billy Merrell VERY short about a girl prom dress shopping. -Boring. "Mom called she says you have to go to prom" by Adrienne Maria Vrettos Just like the title says, mom makes her go to prom. -I love it! She does her own thing and doesn't care what anyone thinks. Better Be Good to Me by Daniel Ehrenhaft Zack tells his daughter (in a letter?) about how he got together with her mom. -At the beginning, I thought I was going to like this one since my husband and I were HS sweethearts and young parents. I didn't. Three Fates by Aimee Friedman Abby tries so hard to get a date for the prom but strikes out three times and decides to go alone. -Love, love, LOVE! I want to read this one again! My favorite of the bunch. The Question: A Play in One Act by Brent Hartinger Eric and Allen practicing for prom. (Asking girls, dancing, etc.) -Cute. Shutter by Will Leitch Joe (single parent after his wife ran off) watches his daughter get ready for prom. -Weird. Did not like! Geechee Girls Dancin' 1955 by Jacqueline Woodson -I did not get it at all. Very hard to read. How I Wrote to Toby by E. Lockhart New girl Paige's little brother is in rehab. -Nice story. A Six-pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me by Melissa de la Cruz True story of Melissa's prom experience. -Funny. Primate the Prom by Libba Bray People dating apes. Wow, at first I thought it was a metaphor or something. -Hated it! Apology #1 by Ned Vizzini Guy apologizing for standing up a blind date at her prom. -It was okay. See Me by Lisa Ann Sandell Katie skips out on prom. -Loved it! Prom for Fat Girls by Rachel Cohn The Fat Girls party is more fun. -Liked it. Chicken by Jodi Lynn Anderson Elsie, Ben and his chicken, Chicken. -Weird. The Backup Date by Leslie Margolis -Cute. Really liked it. Lost Sometimes by David Levithan -Not like. All about sex and Erik getting used. The Great American Morp by John Green -Like. Fun story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    If you’re looking for a light-hearted collection of short stories based around the prom season look no further than 21 Proms. This novel features a variety of genres for those with differing tastes, from mysteries, to fantasy, to realistic contemporary fiction. The character personalities and backgrounds are extensive, which provides young adults with multiple opportunities to connect with the protagonists. Stories are told through the eyes of males and females, heterosexual and homosexual coupl If you’re looking for a light-hearted collection of short stories based around the prom season look no further than 21 Proms. This novel features a variety of genres for those with differing tastes, from mysteries, to fantasy, to realistic contemporary fiction. The character personalities and backgrounds are extensive, which provides young adults with multiple opportunities to connect with the protagonists. Stories are told through the eyes of males and females, heterosexual and homosexual couples, rich and poor, and even one parental point of view. It also features a few stories about boycotting proms, having parties instead, and indecision about whether or not to even go to prom. The short stories also vary between being somewhat of a fairy-tale, as one girl ends up with three prom dates, to complete disasters, where all attendees (faculty and students alike) are cursed into a sexual fever. 21 Proms has it all and by a number of well-known young adult authors to boot. Well-known authors such as Libba Bray, John Green, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly Black, and David Levithan all grace this novel with short stories they have crafted. There are a total of twenty-one authors, all of which provide well-written interesting views into fictional proms. As expected the writing styles are varied due to the differing authors. Most of the stories are written as typical fictional pieces, though there is one story written as a play and another written in verse. While some may not like this change in format and simply skip those stories, it provides readers an opportunity to become more familiar with such writing styles. Beware of recommending this to those with eating disorders though. 21 Proms has a number of stories in its collection that repeatedly mention dieting, starvation, and extensive exercise in order to lose that unflattering five pounds. Any teen that is recovering from an eating disorder would definitely notice the triggers within, especially with the constant reminder that teens need to ‘look their best’ come the night of prom. While not all the stories contain these mental triggers, it may be best to hand-pick the stories one would want to share instead of recommending the entire book. After all, no two proms are ever the same and some are even far from normal. Overall this collection of short stories has everything one would want in a complete novel about a prom: friends, fun, fashion, and romances.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This wasn't entirely what I expected (in a good way). There were plenty of stories of romance, first kisses, and questions of "am I ready for sex." But, there were also tales of Latin clubs turning proms into sex orgies via magic incantations, and other oddities. There was quite a lot of depth to a number of the stories, and the emotion was often palpable. The format of some of the stories were slightly weird, with at least two being divided into paragraphs or sections with numbers that didn't s This wasn't entirely what I expected (in a good way). There were plenty of stories of romance, first kisses, and questions of "am I ready for sex." But, there were also tales of Latin clubs turning proms into sex orgies via magic incantations, and other oddities. There was quite a lot of depth to a number of the stories, and the emotion was often palpable. The format of some of the stories were slightly weird, with at least two being divided into paragraphs or sections with numbers that didn't seem to mean anything. But overall, the quality of the stories was really good. One of the things I most liked about the book was the variety. There were prom tales told from both male and female perspectives, by those who dreamed of prom and those who dreaded it. Several of the stories included gay male perspectives (but only one, maybe 2, included gay females and either weren't obvious about it or told it from an outside perspective). There were stories of proms never attended, those that seemed doomed to fail but went great in the end, and those that went the opposite. Overall, the themes of growing up and/or finding oneself and realizing what is important in life were heavily represented. But there was plenty of entertainment, fun, and emotion in the pages as well. I would actually probably give it 3.5 stars, but some of the stories I would rate a 5 and at least one of them I would rate a 1 (which is often the trouble with anthologies - hard to give a rating across the board). The book is worth reading, and the great thing about short stories is that if you end up disliking one of them you haven't spent a lot of time on it and quite often the next one is great! (I also really liked the little blurbs about the authors, and their proms, at the end of the book!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mnemosyne

    CUTE

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Tekst pochodzi z bloga: https://amandaasays.blogspot.com/2018... DLACZEGO TAK SMUTNO? Bal od zawsze kojarzył mi się z czymś wesołym. Muzyka, tańce, znajomi, dobra zabawa. Swoje bale wszelakie też wspominam miło. Jak się jednak okazuje, bale przedstawione w opowiadaniach z tego zbiorku nie są takie pełne szczęścia, jakby się wydawało. Spośród stron wyłania się słodko-gorzki obraz szkolnych potańcówek, na których jest większe ciśnienie na perfekcjonizm, niż wychodzi to później w rzeczywistości. Dzie Tekst pochodzi z bloga: https://amandaasays.blogspot.com/2018... DLACZEGO TAK SMUTNO? Bal od zawsze kojarzył mi się z czymś wesołym. Muzyka, tańce, znajomi, dobra zabawa. Swoje bale wszelakie też wspominam miło. Jak się jednak okazuje, bale przedstawione w opowiadaniach z tego zbiorku nie są takie pełne szczęścia, jakby się wydawało. Spośród stron wyłania się słodko-gorzki obraz szkolnych potańcówek, na których jest większe ciśnienie na perfekcjonizm, niż wychodzi to później w rzeczywistości. Dziewczyny szaleją, bo nie mają partnerów i są w stanie nawet przekupić alkoholem przypadkowego chłopaka, byle tylko mieć z kim iść. Chłopcy zapominają o balu całkowicie, albo pamiętają aż za bardzo, bo dziewczyna, z którą chcieliby iść, jest już zajęta i to przez najlepszego przyjaciela. Bywają też ekstremalne bale przeradzające się w orgie lub coming outy. I chociaż wierzę, że te problemy w większości są realne i młodzi ludzie faktycznie często za bardzo skupiają się na tym, żeby było idealnie, zapominając, że przede wszystkim mają się dobrze bawić, to jednak mam nieodparte wrażenie, że trochę to wszystko było przekombinowane. Za dużo tu było problemów, za mało radości. Za dużo też udziwnień, a brakowało mi typowego, zwykłego balu, o jakim chciałam poczytać. MÓJ ULUBIONY BAL Nie mam żadnego problemu z wybraniem faworyta jeśli chodzi o "imprezowe" opowiadanie. Lepiej bądź dla mnie dobry, autorstwa Daniela Ehrenhafta było historią uroczą, momentami zabawną i jak najbardziej taką, do jakiej chciałabym jeszcze wrócić. Dostałam tu chociaż małą namiastkę balu, o jakim chciałam poczytać. Przy tej historii miałam też wrażenie, że jest ona pełna. Wiele innych opowiadań wydawało się chaotycznych czy też urwanych, jakby było fragmentem czegoś większego i brakowało rozbudowania całej akcji. O czym więc jest to opowiadanie? Córka Zacka idzie na bal, więc jak na typowego, zmartwionego ojca przystało, daje jej parę ostrzeżeń, a potem raczy historią o swoim balu. O tym, jak dwóch kumpli miało iść na bal z dwiema koleżankami. Z tym haczykiem, że Zackowi podobała się dziewczyna, z którą szedł jego kolega. I co z tego wyszło? Sprawdźcie sami! STRUKTURA Dwadzieścia opowiadań i w każdym na dobrą sprawę inna struktura. Mamy klasyczne podejście do historii i ono dominuje, ale też i pewne eksperymenty, gdzie występuje podział na numerowane akapity, lub coś w stylu projekcji, mającej zwizualizować nam wydarzenia. Mamy narrację zarówno pierwszoosobową, jak i trzecioosobową. Pojawia się również opowiadanie, w którym sami stajemy się bohaterem, bo narrator opowiada całą historię posługując się zwrotem "TY". Taka mieszanka była jednak miła w odbiorze, bo wraz z różnorodnymi stylami pisania, otrzymałam całą gamę indywidualnych historii, a nie jakieś zlepki, których nie da się rozróżnić. PODSUMOWUJĄC Mój pierwszy bal, to zbiór opowiadań, w których może i mało będzie zabawy i radości, to jednak pojawi się cała masa nastoletnich problemów. Jedne będą mniejsze, inne większe, jednak większość z nich może dotknąć każdego młodego człowieka. Nauka akceptacji samego siebie, akceptacji innych, dojrzewania do tego, by przestać przejmować się czymś takim jak bal, w którym powinno chodzić o dobrą zabawę. Były opowiadania surrealistyczne, były też i takie bardzo realistyczne. A różnorodność opowieści, jakie zaprezentowali nam autorzy sprawiła, że każdy może znaleźć tam coś dla siebie. Jeśli więc jesteś miłośnikiem opowiadań, to Mój pierwszy bal jest dla Ciebie. Ale jeśli nie jesteś za bardzo przekonany/a do tego formatu, to możesz sobie darować i poświęcić czas na jakąś pełnowymiarową historię. Ja lektury nie żałuję, ale jednak szkoda, że tak mało było opowiadań, które podobały mi się bez żadnego "ale". Może w Twoim przypadku będzie inaczej? Jest tylko jeden sposób, by się przekonać!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caye

    Welp. I didn't expect much, anyway. 6/21, friends. Of all the 21 prom stories I can only positively claim to have liked around six of them. Each story in a sentence: You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance: With a whiny heroine I'm at a loss how she pulled off a prom night as nicely as she had. ★ All She Wants: I should've known from the title, but goddamn is this girl desperate. ★ In Vodka Veritas: I might have liked this story better if I read it stoned (which I don't think I'll dare to try). ★★ Yo Welp. I didn't expect much, anyway. 6/21, friends. Of all the 21 prom stories I can only positively claim to have liked around six of them. Each story in a sentence: You Are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance: With a whiny heroine I'm at a loss how she pulled off a prom night as nicely as she had. ★ All She Wants: I should've known from the title, but goddamn is this girl desperate. ★ In Vodka Veritas: I might have liked this story better if I read it stoned (which I don't think I'll dare to try). ★★ Your Big Night: This is girl-forget-your-ex empowerment gone wrong, because it's sadly pathetic. ★ Off Like a Prom Dress: Interesting, but just mildly so. ★★ "Mom called, she says you have to go to prom": I liked the siblings' moments, but turned off by how our heroine acted without her brother in the picture. ★★ Better Be Good to Me: Despite everyone's being friends with each other and cool about it, what happened was a dick move.. but DePaul sort of redeems this story for me. ★★★ Three Fates: It's as cool as it is unbelievable, so I'm torn. ★★★ The Question: There wasn't enough history for me bank on, and with the screenplay format I just found the situation not genuine enough. ★★ Shutter: Oh boy, this one— this pinched my heart. ★★★★★ Geechee Girls Dancin', 1955: Jacqueline Woodson's kind of narrative was fresh for me— and in the end I found it brave and wonderful. ★★★★★ How I Wrote to Toby: I feel like Lockhart is trying too hard for this to be gut-wrenching, but most of the characters were just daft. ★★ A Six-pack of Bud, a Fifth of Whiskey, and Me: What the hell— another desperate girl story. ★ (PS Can we just stop spreading this boy-crazy stereotype? Not doing us any good.) Primate the Prom: It piqued my interest, but using the primate metaphor was a weird way of driving a point. ★★ Apology #1: Breaking my one-sentence-each rule for this, but... This story broke my heart a little. Because it resonates to be true, and it feels like Vizzini writing this was one of those signs you should've seen coming, but didn't. ★★★★ See Me: Ack, a resounding I-don't-buy-it no. ★ Prom for Fat Girls: I'm confused because this seems like it aims for empowerment but ends up doing the opposite (I'm pretty sure there was a little harrassment thrown in there too). ★ Chicken: Plot could've been more interesting but it was a monotone all throughout. ★★ The Backup Date: If the rest were as light and fun as this story, I might have given the whole book 4-5 stars. ★★★★★ Lost Sometimes: Oooooh, boys snogging all the time. ★★★ The Great American Morp: Very John Green-ish, indeed— just the right amounts of nerdy and sweet that isn't too hard to swallow. ★★★★★

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Buckley

    I'm not gonna write a huge review for this, but I will say that some of these stories really knocked it out of the park (Ned Vizzini, David Levithan, John Green, and Billy Merrell were my favorites) while some...didn't (Sorry, Libba Bray). This collection of stories was centered around the idea of prom. 21 authors writing about one topic doesn't really sound like it allows for much variety, but in this case it totally did. Not only were there stories in here, there were also plays, poems, and al I'm not gonna write a huge review for this, but I will say that some of these stories really knocked it out of the park (Ned Vizzini, David Levithan, John Green, and Billy Merrell were my favorites) while some...didn't (Sorry, Libba Bray). This collection of stories was centered around the idea of prom. 21 authors writing about one topic doesn't really sound like it allows for much variety, but in this case it totally did. Not only were there stories in here, there were also plays, poems, and almost autobiographical recounts. There were boy/girl romances, gay romances, animal romances(again, thank you so much Libba Bray...), and books with no romance at all. While the first few stories made me want to DNF this book, I'm so glad I didn't. This is a good story to read if you need something quick and cutesy to lift your spirits, but that's really all I'd recommend it for.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie the Librarian

    A very cute and fluffy read! Full of fluffy prom novellas! Some were really good and others were okay! But mostly it was just fun and sweet :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Kelly

    I was originally going to review each story individually, but I realised that I don't really have anything to say about most of them. Some I loved, some I really didn't like, but that just about constitutes most of my thoughts about this collection. I would recommend this as an introduction to 21 amazing YA authors, or maybe as something to read in-between full-length novels.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Some of these were really good but unfortunately more of these were ones that I either didn't like or didn't get the point of or just skimmed.

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