21 Proms - A Book Talk

3:35 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.

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  1. Hello! My experience with prom is actually similar to yours. I went to my boyfriend's prom, but I didn't go to my own one. I love hearing different opinions about proms, because I think everyone has a unique experience with it. Thank you for this book recommendation :)

  2. I love this post (as well as books but we knew that!) This book looks really fun and i'm going to check it out, i like that there are variations in the stories. Followed you on blog lovin and good reads (i feel like we have similar book tastes!) i also love books that donate to GREAT causes!

    I know exactly what you mean about prom i had two and i admittedly had fun but it didn't feel like my place to be!

    Have a lovely day,
    Rebecca xoxo

  3. I want to give this book a try! Great post

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

  4. I do love books which are a selection of short stories, it's short and interesting. I think I'll give his book a miss though, does sounds like it's way too young for me. LOL!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  5. Haven't read this yet -sounds great!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  6. This looks like such a great book! My favorite YA author is Nina LaCoeur-if you haven't read anything by her, I highly recommend it! I'll have to check out this anthology. Great post!
    xo Kiki

  7. This book sounds pretty great! Sometimes it's nice when books don't really have one plot. I think it's really cool that the authors of the stories decide to donate their proceeds to charity :) That's really sweet of them! I went to my prom because of a similar reason. I wanted to experience it for myself to be able to make my own mind up about wether I liked prom or not. I actually did, but it wasn't as amazing! as movies and books make it seem. I actually just decided that I wanted to read more this summer (I'm really not that big of a reader) so I recently went to my local library and picked up a couple of books. I just finished reading "Seriously...I'm Kidding" by Ellen DeGeneres and it was so good!! I recommend it. :) I felt like I was having a conversation with her haha. Loved the review :)


  8. Nice post dear!

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  9. This sounds like such a great book and I love that it includes some of my favorite authors! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sit down and read a good book but I really want to get back to doing that.
    Reading your post really inspires me to start reading more. I think I might just go get "21 Proms" tomorrow. Thanks for the recommendations! :)

    The Style Roll

  10. Lovely review Brooke. You are clearly making a difference in your students' lives!
    Coco et La vie en rose fashion blog - Valeria Arizzi

  11. I wish prom in the Philippines is just like in the states. Here, when it is your school's prom, outsiders are not allowed and is only limited to students in your school. We do practices and preparations for it like walking from distance to distance then meeting with your partner and exchanging candles and flower stuff. It's not really the usual, ours is a bit scripted and if you do not have a boyfriend/girlfriend or a suitor or just no one asked you, then you'll end up alone or with the your friends who do not have a date during the night. My prom experience was a little too depressing to bring it back but all so fun with friends! :) That book sounds like a pretty good read. I might look for it someday.

    Lou | wandersoul.co.vu

  12. Interesting book!! Thanks for sharing.


  13. I've been to two proms and I can honestly say that I'd prefer to stay at home reading about people's life changing proms, haha, so I'm like you, Brooke! I'm a fan of short story collections so I completely understand your liking and disliking different stories. Also, I've added you on Goodreads (because bookworms unite!) so I'm looking forward to talking more bookish things with you!

    May x • THE MAYDEN

  14. In India, there is nothing like Prom. But I have always been very excited about it! Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my last post! :)

  15. The book sounds really interesting. Lately I've been loving Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and Joyce's Dubliners! x

  16. I've never been to Prom, since Belgium doesn't do proms (yes I'm still traumatized haha). But I'm, if I'm being honest, not the biggest fan of short stories. Especially not if I start liking a certain story, I want and need for it to be longer. I sadly haven't had much time to read but I'm (close to) finishing Wild by Cheryl Strayed and a tad late to the party but I want to buy Paper Towns by John Green.

    xx - Naomi in Wonderland

  17. The authors must have some award for this.
    So helpful to know that.
    The book sounds great too

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  18. looks like a great book, with a good cause. it's amazing that all the authors are donating to something that makes a difference, I love that. thanks for sharing Brooke. xx

    Sharon ∞ eight shores

  19. How great that you're studying towards becoming an English teacher, your passion for reading/books most definitely comes through your blog! 21 Proms sounds interesting and it's great that they're shares are going to a good cause. Personally, I skipped my prom and went to Paris with my parents instead haha, I've never understood why it has become such a rite of passage ever since coming over to the UK from America!

    Have a lovely week ahead :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  20. These sound like great books! I just got the whole Anne of Green Gables collection and the third Shopaholic, which I can't wait to start reading! Nothing like having some breezy, summer reads :)

    ~Lor @ lovelyandcozy.com

  21. I didn't go to my school's prom either and I never went to another school's prom. Maybe I should just read this book to know what prom is like:D

    Tia | GARNETIA

  22. Great review! I've been reading Dark Days from the same author who wrote "Gone Girl." It's pretty decent so far. I read her other novel, "Sharp Objects," and LOVED it.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

  23. Sounds like a good read!! To be honest, it's been a while since I've had time to get a book in my hands :(.

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. I enjoy books that have several stories from different people, makes it so much fun! I will have to check this book out, thanks for sharing it. I didn't go to my prom so it will be an interesting read! :) x


  25. Great post, I haven't heard of most of these books so will definitely be checking them out!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose’s Rooftop

  26. Sounds like a great book to read! I will check it out. I will never go to prom, as we have something similar but not exactly the same as it in Australia. Maybe this will feel like its giving me the experience :)


  27. I love short stories and I totally agree that with collections, there will always be ones you love and ones you don't xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

  28. Btw, I've nominated you for the Blog Tour Award - check out the link here :) http://lovelyandcozy.com/2015/06/08/the-blog-tour-award/

    ~Lor @ lovelyandcozy.com

  29. Thanks. will definitely check these out! :)

    Kiss Me Darling

  30. This sounds really interesting and something completely out of the box, not like anything I've ever read before! Despite the 3/5 I want to give it a go, and will follow you on goodreads too :) xxx

  31. That's so awesome that they donated some money to an important cause. I love love love that. I haven't read any short stories like that since the Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, and this looks like one I'll have to try.


  32. Grear tips darling! So useful!! Thanks for sharing:)
    Coco et La vie en rose - Valeria Arizzi


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