Seven seniors, seven problems, one senior prom.
Cora: Head of the Prom Committee (and basically every other club in school). Has been dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie™ for approximately forever, and has NO IDEA how to break up with him….
Paisley: Sarcastic feminist who wants nothing to do with prom. Has somehow managed to nominate her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king…
Henry: Quiet ballplayer who hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP!
Otis: Charming, popular, and one half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Doesn’t know how to tell his boyfriend that he’s not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room experience…
Lizzie: A little bit shy, and a lot excited to finally get out of her comfort zone and go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn’t know.
Cameron: Loner with two jobs and zero friends. Is so done with high school and this whole town: the only thing he still wants to do is meet the mysterious girl who’s been leaving him notes…
Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom. Now if only she could find a date….
A Prom to Remember, the newest book from Sandy Hall (author of A Little Something Different) is a funny and cinematic look at the biggest dance of every high schooler’s life.
First of all, isn’t that cover just so absolutely adorable? All of the chapter pages have little balloons on them as well, which is absolutely adorable and this book is just so cute to look at! I was excited to read this book since I’m going to be going to my senior prom in just a couple months and I thought this book seemed like just the most absolutely adorable thing to get me just the right amount of hyped up for it!
Unfortunately, this book was really just not working out for me. What was really the largest problem for me was the sheer number of characters. There are seven main characters who have POVs, and several minor characters as well, and I really can’t remember anything. I literally just finished reading this book half an hour ago (some sort of a record for my procrastinating at writing reviews self) and I can’t even remember the names of some of the major-ish characters.
This book is barely 300 pages so while in some amazing novels like The Lunar Chronicles and Six of Crows we have a long time to get acquainted with all of the characters, but here we have, like 40 pages each. Another thing that made it hard was the fact that all the chapters and the different characters seemed very similar to me to the point where I really don’t remember who was who. There were at least three or four chapters/scenes devoted to prom dress shopping, I think, and pft I have no idea who had the blue dress and who had the red one.
Also, I don’t really know who is friends with who. The premise of this is apparently a prom version of Love, Actually, where all the story lines are separate but they all come together at the end for A Prom To Remember, which sounds cute, but I was confused enough to who was who in a movie with visual characters and faces to remember, as opposed to here I’m somehow trying to remember a dozen or so names. At some points people were talking to other people and I was like oh okay you guys are friends? And then I would flip back a few pages into the book I’d previously read to see if I could find their scenes and then I would give up and just roll with it without really getting it.
I also didn’t really get attached to any characters or form strong opinions on them, since I didn’t really get to know them in their short times on the pages. Nonetheless, here is what I did get:
–Cora: Honestly Cora kind of annoyed me. She spent basically the whole book dragging out breaking up with her boyfriend like should I break up on his birthday? Should I break up on prom? And those are pretty terrible things to do sooooo…yeah.
–Pasiley: She was pretty cute, in the fact that she was so over the whole prom thing and making her own shirts that are like “it’s not you, it’s prom.” I enjoyed her friendship with Henry
–Henry: I’m pretty sure he has anxiety, and was always fleeing from social situations, and it was fun and also relatable to see him like what is this social thing why are people looking at me send help lol. His and Paisley’s friendship was really so cute!
–Otis: Otis is a smol bean who must be protected from the cruel world and I probably loved him the most of all the characters! Promposing with 120 boxes of tictacks in his boyfriend’s locker was the best and also grand romantic gestures! Also also overthinking everything and trying to get grounded to avoid prom and then trying to avoid grounding to go to prom basically he’s the only character I really connected with and loved.
–Lizzie: She was so sweet and innocent asking out her anonymous in class pen pal to prom even though they didn’t know each other!
–Cameron: I really liked him! He’s struggling with two jobs, and a stepbrother and stepfather he doesn’t really like, and basically a rough situation, while still talking with a mysterious laptop girl and it was really so sweet I was totally rooting for him.
–Jacinta: So like, not gonna lie, I don’t really remember anything that happened to this girl.
One excellent thing was that this book has great rep! There are a few lgbtq+ characters: literally my favorite couple of the seven main characters was m/m and I really love them!! There is also a minor character who is lesbian, and a character who is questioning and thinks she might be bi. There is also a plus sized main character.
Overall, I think this book would have been really cute and worked really well if it was about just one or two characters, or three or for max. (Please I need a separate book about Otis and his boyfriend because they are the absolute cutest!!!) The premise was definitely really cute, and there are some fun feel good moments in there, but overall just too many characters.