Book Review: How to Ask a Boy to Prom

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This is the kind of LGBT teen romcom that Netflix must be dying to make.

Nolan Sheffield is a junior in high school who is crushing on Si, the gorgeous football star and president of the gay straight alliance. Si is one of the few other gay kids within Nolan’s school, but Nolan isn’t really chomping at the bit to ask out the big man on campus. However Daphne, Nolan’s older sister, is much more proactive and stages an elaborate promposal so Nolan can ask Si. Unfortunately when it comes down to the moment, Nolan freezes and is (thankfully) saved from embarrassing himself by Bern, who accepts the promposal and proposes that the two fake date.

Bern has just gotten out of a 2 year relationship with his ex and sees the situation with Nolan as a way to make his ex jealous and want him back. He’s a sorta high school bad boy who is universally liked, and though the jump from him dating a girl for two years to suddenly dating Nolan is met with some confusion, there’s no homophobia or heavy judgement due to him now dating a male.

From the moment Nolan and Bern start “dating,” things start going off the rails. Bern’s ex is pissed at them both, Daphne starts hanging out with the enemy, he ends up volunteering to design prom decorations and he’s slowly falling for two different guys at the same time.

This is a find teen romantic comedy, but it didn’t wow me the way I wished it would. I had some issues with the ending in that I didn’t really see the relationship and feelings developing between Nolan and Bern at a believable rate. They never really discuss their feelings with none another until the end, and even then it wasn’t to the extent I wanted. I do love that this book treated sexual orientation pretty well and it didn’t read like an after school special or too over the top, but it all came across a bit boring. There’s not really a ton of plot. Not much happens and Nolan is a pretty wishy-washy character whose decisions are often made by those around him on his behalf. That personality trait feeds into the story sure, but it made it a bit hard to read up until he hears someone call him out for it. The characters felt pretty real and not over the top quirky high schoolers, which made it an easy read. I just wish there was some more meat in terms of plot. Still enjoyable enough and a quick read, so I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Title: How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom
Author: S.J. Goslee
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 236
ISBN: 9781626724013

Three Descriptors: Funny, Romantic, Well-Crafted dialog,

Read Alikes:
The Stand-In by Steven L Bloom
The Summer of Jordi Perez and the Best Burger in Los Angeles by Amy Spalding
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain

 

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