Saturday, May 17, 2008
Once Upon A Prom: Date
Le Ny, Jeanine. 2008. Once Upon A Prom: Date.
My name is Becky. I am not a cranky pants. I promise. It's just that I seem to be reading a lot of three star books lately that I can't really get excited enough to jump up and down about. These books are perfectly fine--okay--books. And they might strike readers--especially teen readers--as being really something. But they didn't do much for me. So there you have it.
So on to the third installment of the Once Upon A Prom series. This is a series focusing on three friends: Tara, Jordan, and Nisha. At the beginning, each of the girls had their heart set on going to their senior prom. Each girl had a different obstacle in her path. Jordan, the girl who seemingly had it all, began to develop feelings for an emo guy. A guy she met in line at the movies. Her boyfriend, Nate, whom she'd been dating for over a year didn't want to see the movie--I think it was a foreign film. Anyway, it wasn't his "thing." So Jordan struck up a conversation in line with a guy--harmless conversation--and that led to a coffee that led to this that and the other. The first book ends with her "accidentally" kissing him. His name is Shane by the way. Tara's conflicts are threefold. She doesn't have a date. She doesn't have a dress. And she's having some conflicts with the prom committee. She gets a date in the first book--a guy named Victor--but it's a casual, convenience type thing--at least at first. She doesn't see him as a guy she'd really and truly want as a boyfriend. He's an emergency fill-in guy until her real guy comes along. Since prom is just a few weeks away, Victor will have to do. But she's only going to go with him if he gets a make over. As is he just won't do. She wants Victor to be just like Nate. Nisha, an Indian (yes from India), has problems as well. Her parents don't believe in dating (especially in high school) and they especially don't believe in interracial dating. The fact that Nisha has a secret boyfriend, a white boyfriend, of six months can only lead to major trouble if she's discovered. The first book served as an introduction, the middle book served up conflicts galore, and the third book offered spectacularly melodramatic resolutions.
As much as I wanted this series to be more than what it seems, it just didn't work out that way. It's light. It's fluffy. It's got a rare glimpse of substance now and then. But it can't be a substantive and satisfying meal. It just can't. It's light and harmless fun for the youngest of teens. It's formulaic (in part) writing designed to delight middle schoolers. Those who dream of one day having it all in high school themselves. Those who fantasize about dating and going to school dances and having it all. I remember being that age once. I outgrew that stage. But I can remember it. So this series (and others like it) do serve a purpose.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews