Having co-workers that are also bookworm means having a chance to share and read books without bringing out money. And that’s how I met 21 Proms. According to my friend who owns and referred this, this book, 21 Proms, is a collection of short stories about proms from different best-selling fiction authors. I love the idea as I witness different perspectives about the said formal event. And since it’s varying, I can’t make a general review so I plan to give my opinions on each of the stories.

You are a Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance

I first thought that this is not going somewhere. I wondered why Ayla hates everything from her dress, heels and 32D underwire Chantelle bra to the idea of dancing and prom. But it all makes sense at the end. It may be about love, but it’s more about being confident and going outside your comfort zone.

All she Want

I can’t find the prom theme here. It may show hints of it but still, it doesn’t hit the point of the story. As I view it, it’s more about loving and kissing. I don’t know. But in the end, it explains that aside from dancing, prom is all about kissing. So that’s why. All she wants is to experience prom because all she wants is to kiss the boy she secretly liked.

In Vodka Veritas

This one is totally different. First, it tells the point of view of a guy, which is actually a good thing without the second difference because second, it’s so vicious. I see that Holly Black widens her imagination as she writes this and as she turns prom from magical and dreamlike to a dark fantasy. It’s creepy but cool.

Your Big Night

Why should the story use me or its readers as the books point of view. It’s not our story. It’s not my story. I’m not desperate in getting a guy for prom just to make my ex-boyfriend jealous. Besides, the pronoun baffles me. It has a good lesson though. It reminds us that even though we don’t have a prom partner, we have friends whom we can spend the night with.

Off like a Prom Dress

So what’s with different font? I know font does not matter but it is better for a book to be consistent on its format no matter what literary form it is. However, I couldn’t imagine that a short story like this can make a beautiful and meaningful tale since I noticed that it’s not a narrative like the most of the stories.

“Mom Called, she says you have to go to the Prom”

The female lead is going to sleep on their screened-in porch because it’s summer. Philip doesn’t have enough oxygen in his brain. Mother calls and said that she should go to the prom. She can dance. Okay? What do these scenes have to do with one another? I can’t connect them or I’m just slow or tired since school’s back. I don’t know. Maybe, I should just proceed to the next story.

Better be Good to me

This is the kind of story I’ve been waiting for. I was looking for a story that will catch my interest even from the start. I actually thought that this is about Harper. But regardless whose story this is, Zack or his daughter, Harper, I know that it will be great since it tells a memorable prom experience that results to a child. Even though Zack and Rebecca became parents early, they never regret it and never forget that prom night.

Three Fates

I think this is like the fourth story, Your Big Night. The girl protagonist is also desperate to have a partner to her prom although this tells more of the pain when she is being dumped by the boys she asked. But Three Fates has different ending. In fact, it’s an unexpected ending because the three guys who dumped Abby went into her house during the last minute of the prom, wearing their tux, and joined her to the prom. Hmmm! Entertaining!

The Question

The fact that it’s a screenplay already caught me. You, guys, know how I love plays, right? But this story lead me to this realization. Making short stories and compiling them into a book doesn’t just work. I mean, I noticed that some are in a hurry. Some have missing pieces. Some do not tackle the climax and resolution. And The Question is an example of that.

Shutter

Honestly, I find Shutter adorable. Finding out how parents feel whenever they realize that their girl has already grown up into a fine lady just like how Joe reacts when his daughter, Andrea, finally steps into one of the most memorable night of teenagers, which is prom, is just so cute. Maybe our parents really wonder how time really flies.

Geechee Girls Dancin’, 1955

Jacqueline Woodson’s way of writing Geechee Girls Dancin’, 1955 may be unique and brilliant but we have to accept the fact that it is quite confusing. It’s like she scrambled the words of each sentences. Or it’s like she’s just describing each event of Rue-Jean’s life and not telling them directly. I almost didn’t understand a thing.

How I Wrote to Toby

As pages gets higher, the story becomes lovely. I must say that I’m now into 21 Proms. Well, How I Wrote to Toby shows that even though prom is one of the significant events of our teenage life, that doesn’t mean we’ll prioritize this in line with family events. Be like Paige, the protagonist of the story. She chose to visit his brother, who is in rehab, instead of attending their prom.

A Six-pack of bud, a Fifth of Whiskey and Me

A Six-pack of bud, a Fifth of Whiskey and Me gave me a lot of surprises! First, it made me think that it’s a true-to-life story since aside from mentioning that the the names of the other characters have been changed to protect the popular, the protagonist’s name is the same the author’s name, Melissa de la Cruz. I’m not familiar with the author so I’m shocked when she stated Filipino stuff. I just found out today that Melissa de la Cruz has a Filipino blood. So proud! Anyway, I have nothing more to say about her story since it’s just a typical story I usually see.

Primate the Prom

Some authors here possess minds that are beyond ordinary, huh? Well, I find gorillas cute. Having a pet gorilla is adorable. But dating a gorilla, taking him to a prom and kissing him right on the lips maliciously, I don’t know. I couldn’t take it. I see some kind of Beauty and the Beast at the thought. Yes! That’s what Primate the Prom is all about. It’s weird but it grabbed my attention though.

Apology # 1

Promptly, I like this story. It’s wonderful that I didn’t notice the pages I flipped yet I felt sadness and disapproval to the guy’s belief. He said that he felt free that he didn’t go to the prom, that he won something and that he was back to the version of him he really enjoyed. It means that he is not happy with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s decisions which includes the prom. Well, as a girl and a girlfriend of someone, the story of this guy is really saddening. But I can’t hide the fact that this story is a beautiful disaster.

See Me
I know Lisa Ann Sandell isn’t familiar with the Wattpad stories written by Filipino authors. But I would like to tell her that her short story in 21 Proms is similar to these Wattpad stories. I’ll give you a little background. Check out my blogpost Wattpad Cliches and you’ll find out what I’m trying to say. There’s a lot of dreaming commoner there and I think, Kate fits in there.
 
Prom for Fat Girls
Reading the title, Prom for the Fat Girls, I already got a hint of comedy from it. But honestly, I don’t get a thing from this. One problem with a compilation book is the fact that the readers would have to refresh their minds to new stories over and over again. And I have to admit that it is a dull process. Perhaps, that’s the reason why I didn’t understand some stories like this one.

Chicken

Titles get funnier. What does Chicken have to do with prom? Maybe, their prom dinner is a chicken but I don’t think that’s enough to make a whole story. My curiosity makes me read Chicken first. And I found out that Chicken here do not pertains to the food, it is their pet chicken whom they named Chicken. Such a cutie! As cute as the story!

The Backup Date

Reading a compilation book helps me to easily identify the good from the bad. Every after good story, I mindlessly end it and proceed to the next story. Every after bad story, I don’t even bother to finish it and mindlessly fell asleep. Fortunately, The Backup Date is among the good ones.

Lost Sometimes

According to the reviews I’ve read about 21 Proms, Lost Sometimes by David Levithan is the saddest story and I truly agree. It contrasts to what Levithan usually writes which are light-hearted. Well, this one’s also also fun but the meaning make it sad. I don’t want to tell what happens in it but I’ll give you a clues. It’s about homosexuality.

The Great American Morp

This is a John Green creation so I was expecting a lot from The Great American Morp. And he didn’t fail me! Finally, I found my favorite story in 21 Proms. Among all the authors, Green’s writing is the best. Every scene is clearly narrated. His characters were realistic. The plot is hillarious. Adding all these elements results to an awesome short fiction. Good job, Green!

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