21 Proms - A Book Talk3:35 PM
Phew. So I have had a long day. Here's a book update for you all. If you weren't aware, I'm studying to be a high school English teacher - mostly because I love books, talking about books, want to get kids excited about that passion too, and would like to make a difference in their lives. I read a lot of Young Adult fiction. You can check out my Goodreads account to get updated on what I'm reading and what I like.
I'm currently reading: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Just finished: The Heir by Kiera Cass, and of course the book this post is about...
So as I'm writing this I've just finished reading 21 Proms by various young adult authors*. It's a collection of short stories about, you guessed it, prom. I know that this review doesn't really matter to the authors or anyone looking for a professional review, but I think I can give a good recommendation to fellow readers.
There are, in fact, 21 short stories in the collection. I found some of them that I liked, and some of them that I didn't. That's very typical of short story collections for me. There are always the ones that I really, really adore and those that I can't stand to continue reading (though I do anyway). A few that I loved include: You Are A Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance (Elizabeth Craft), Better Be Good to Me (Daniel Ehrenhaft), Three Fates (Aimee Friedman), How I Wrote to Toby (E. Lockhart), Apology #1 (Ned Vizzini), See Me (Lisa Ann Sandel), Chicken (Jodi Lynn Anderson), The Backup Date (Leslie Margolis), and The Great American Morp (John Green). The Great American Morp was my personal favorite.
I can't talk about every story individually, but I can speak for them all as a whole. Even when I didn't like a story, I could see the truth of it peeking out and telling me something. There are stories about gay couples, lesbian couples, troubled teens, sex, and more, which are all topics that deserve to be talked about or read about. It's the truth of the situation, sometimes.
A lot of the stories talked about prom being a rite of passage in life. I went to one prom, not even my own schools prom, and didn't feel like it was the best thing ever. But do I regret going? No, I think I needed to experience it to know what it was all about, to understand that prom wasn't my kind of place to be at. It was actually my idea to go to my boyfriend-at-the-time's prom, not his. I wanted to be the kind of girl who got all dolled up for the prom, met her friends in someone's big front yard for pictures, showed up and had the best time, then went to someone's fun after party. I figured out that I'm more the type of person who enjoys sitting at home and reading books about prom than the person who actually goes to the prom and likes it (there are two types of people in this world...).
Overall there were only nine stories out of the 21 that really stuck out to me by the time I was done reading it, not that I didn't enjoy most of them - I did, I just really loved these ones. For this reason, I gave 21 Proms 3/5 stars. There were some that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I just didn't want to read. They all gave me the pleasure of experiencing 21 different types of proms, though, and touched on some serious issues.
Before I close, I want to point out something important that I found in the back of the book. All of the authors of 21 Proms donated their portion of the proceeds from the book sale to "Advocates for Youth", an organization that raises youth and adult awareness of reproductive and sexual health issues, as well as promotes public policies that support rights, respect, and responsibility for young people, and develops youth-friendly programs in the United States and developing countries.
Happy reading! What book(s) have you been loving lately?
*Authors: Jodi Lynn Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Rachel Cohn, Elizabeth Craft, Melissa de la Cruz, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Aimee Friedman, John Green, Brent Hartinger, Will Leitch, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, Leslie Margolis, Billy Merrel, Sarah Mlynowski, Lisa Ann Sandell, Ned Vizzini, Cecily von Ziegesar, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, and Jacqueline Woodson.