Sunday, March 25, 2007

Prom Anonymous

Nelson, Blake. 2006. Prom Anonymous.

Three friends, one prom, and just twenty-one days to get ready.

Chloe, Jace, and Laura are three teen girls (juniors) who have grown apart through the years. Although they were BFF in middle school, high school found each one making new friends in new groups. Chloe became part of the weird "world history geeks" clique. Her best friends all tend to be gay. She loves writing poetry. And her hero is Sylvia Plath. Jace became part of the athletic world--particularly the world of tennis. And Laura became part of the popular, partying mall-shopping gang. So why after two or three years are all the girls being brought back together? One word: prom.

Laura, the only one with a boyfriend, has convinced her two former pals to come along with her to prom. She even helps Chloe find a date--a blind date. Jace has a boy she likes, but she's lacked the courage to ask him out before now. So the three girls rediscover each other as they talk, shop, and generally prepare for the chaos that is prom.

The narrative is mainly told from Chloe's perspective--although it does rotate between all three girls. While the plot tends to be light-hearted and silly, there is some level of depth and quality to the text.

The pursuit of memories was what youth was to most people, everything done for that video camera in your soul: Look at me! Look at how I used to be! Look at the people I used to love! (7).

I may never be happy, but tonight I am content, Chloe said to herself as she walked across the Denny's parking lot. It was the first sentence in Sylvia Plath's Collected Journals and Chloe often repeated it to herself at odd times. Tonight it seemed more appropriate than usual. Chloe wasn't exactly happy about going to the prom. But in some strange way, it had filled up her life. It had made her feel real and whole and in the middle of things. (41)

Here is a poem that Chloe writes called 'Prom Anonymous'

boy, date,
zach who
likes yellow,
zach who is
tall, will like me
or not (nothing to
be done)
we'll take
pictures, dance, run through
the streets,
maybe one moment of
"yes, the stars are lovely,
and the trees are like kings"
and then:
see ya,
good night
(they say
I'll remember you forever)

(p. 112)

What I liked about this novel, for the most part, was Chloe. She was a genuinely likeable character. She is the most developed. Her friendships--outside of Jace and Laura--are more developed than even the ones with her former friends. I liked how the novel showed that even though she had begun to see her old friends...she really and truly had changed and outgrown them. She had new friends that loved her, that understood her, that were good for her. You got the feeling that there was no going back to the way things had been--everyone had changed...but that was okay. You could remember the past, and accept people for who and what they are now.

And he has a new book that was just released this March entitled: They Came From Below.


Anonymous said...

awesome book. i loved it too.

Anonymous said...