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21 Proms, edited by David Levithan and Daniel Ehrenhaft

Front cover of 21 Proms.
Front cover of 21 Proms.
photo (c)


The prom. It's supposed to be on of the best nights of your life. Or, at least, you're supposed to have a good time. But what if you'd rather be going with your best friend's date than your own? What if a sinister underground society of stunts has spiked the punch? What if your date turns out to be more of a frog than a prince? Or what if he's (literally) an ape?

There are ways you can fight it. You can protest the silliness of the regular prom by hosting a backwards prom -- also known as a mop. You can throw a prom for fat girls. You can stay at home to watch old teen movies and get your cute neighbor and his cuter brother to join you. You can dance to your own music

Here, 21 of the funniest, most imaginative writers toy create their own kind of prom stories. Some are triumphs. Some are disasters. But each one is a night you'll never forget.

Contributing authors: Cecily von Ziegesar, Libba Bray, Holly Black, John Green, Jacqueline Woodson, Rachel Cohn, Melissa de la Cruz, E. Lockhart, Elizabeth Craft, Saray Mlynowski, Aimee Friedman, Daniel Ehrenhaft, David Levithan, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Lslie Margolis, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Ann Sandell, Will Leitch, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, Ned Vizzini, Billy Merrell.

(c) Back cover, 21 Proms, edited by David Levithan and Daniel Ehrenhaft,

"Older teens will flock to this book, which undoubtedly features some of the best teen fiction writers of our era." -–Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library, starred review

Young adult fiction, ages 14+; paperback, 304 pages.


Twenty-one incredible authors come together within this book of compilations to each detail a different story from a different person's perspective, male and female, about their experience with the prom. Twenty-one different stories are showcased within this book, each of a different nature, a different way to captivate the audience. This book seems slightly difficult to review seeing as there are twenty-one different stories, some of which were less entertaining than others. But overall, this book was entertaining, triggering every emotion possible from a reader.

The different though compelling stories of this compilation vary from You Are A Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance by Elizabeth Craft, where her main character, Emilie, hates everything that has to do with the prom, from dresses, to heels, even to the bra she has to wear; to Holly Black's story, In Vodka Veritas, a short, creepy story about the insides of a Latin club; to Three Fates where main character Abby actually ends up with three prom dates, instead of going dateless like she'd orginally though she would; to Brent Hartinger's fantastic one-act play, The Question, where one boy has so much trouble asking the girl he likes to the prom, that he has to ask his best friend in for back up.

The stories in this book are so different from one another, as stated many times before, that it's almost impossible to explain it without giving too much away. It takes every step from intriguing to unusual and back around the corner to just plain backwards, when John Green tackles A Six-Pack of Bud, A Fifth of Whiskey, and Me, the Great American Morp, where his female characters host an anti-prom, a backwards prom, so to speak, as they call it a "morp."

All in all, this book was incredibly interesting, with some stories that can capture and captivate an audience, where as others struggle slightly to impress, though are still interesting in their own way, such as Primate the Prom by Libba Bray, where a boy ventures off to the prom with his boyfriend, who is actually a real, live gorilla. But this book was still impressive in many ways, and still gives off a good four (and a half, if possible) stars.

Overall Rating; B+


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