cover image Prom Anonymous

Prom Anonymous

Blake Nelson, . . Viking, $16.99 (262pp) ISBN 978-0-670-05945-4

Pre-prom dilemmas have never been so amusing as in Nelson's (Gender Blender , reviewed above) lively novel featuring three main characters with contrasting personalities. The excitement begins in the spring of junior year when romantic-minded Laura decides it might be fun to triple date to prom with two of her oldest friends—even though they have drifted apart and joined different cliques in high school. While simple in theory, Laura's plan leads to some predictable complications—like trying to find a date for artsy Chloe, who is more interested in Sylvia Plath than in boys, and trying to get tomboy Jace to screw up enough courage to ask out newcomer Paul, a good-looking tennis champ. Meanwhile, Laura's own boyfriend isn't so keen on the whole idea of going to the dance with Chloe and Jace, and would rather spend prom evening hanging out with his pals. Told in third-person narrative from the alternate points of view of the three girls, the book contains several priceless moments (such as when Jace discovers her date suffers from a mental illness) and witty confrontations between characters (e.g., when Chloe blurts out to her blind date that she's written 31 poems about him). As might be expected, prom night is filled with crises, but creative resolutions make for a gratifying all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)