(**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a thoughtful review.)
When Azure’s principal gives her the chance to turn the school’s traditional (and boring) senior prom into an event that will appeal to everyone, not just the jocks and cheerleaders, she jumps at the opportunity. Soon Azure manages to convince her best friends, Luke and Radhika, to join the prom committee as well.
Facing heavy opposition and admittedly clueless about prom logistics, the three friends are nonetheless determined to succeed — if Luke’s and Azure’s secret crushes on Radhika don’t push the committee members, and their friendships, to the breaking point first.
Told in two voices and filled with comical missed connections, It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) explores the ups and downs of planning an alternative prom — while dealing with an unrequited crush on your best friend — and shines with National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters’s unmistakable wit and insight.
It was a coincidence that I happened to receive this book the week after my own Junior Prom. I opened up the package and smiled; I was kinda excited to read it. Prom is an event that almost every kid in America is excited for and I’m glad I was able to read this book after finally being able to experience the excitement that is Prom.
To begin, It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) is one of the few (but growing) LGBTQ novels I have read. I was excited to read this novel not only because it dealt with prom, but because it dealt with it through the POV’s of two people who like their own sex. Prom is an exciting event, but it can be very stressful and very difficult, especially if you are gay. Peters successfully shows this stress mainly through Azure’s and Luke’s POV, but shows how all the other characters are also going through the annoying time. Throughout the novel, I found myself making comments out loud about certain things or reminiscing back to the time when my friends and I would go off on tangents about anything related to prom. The characters had me wondering about their lives while also thinking about my own.
Additionally, this book has a variety of character relationships that are incredibly realistic and easy to relate to. Just like in real life, the characters have bonds with other people that go up and down daily. The characters are loving, caring, annoying, hurtful, concerned, etc. Azure and her father have a very good relationship; one where they joke around and tell each other anything. Luke and Dobb (Luke’s brothers friend) absolutely loathe each other. Why? Because Dobb dislikes Luke for being bisexual and harasses him for it. There are many good and bad relationships between characters and I’m glad Peters exposed the complexity that make up real-life relationships; it allowed me to connect with the characters that much more knowing I had similar connects with people.
I also really loved Azure’s mindset. She isn’t always in a good mood and she doesn’t always stay positive, but never once does she really put herself down. A lot of girls will call themselves “ugly” or “not worth it” when bad things happen, but Azure does not. She reminds herself that she’s beautiful when she’s starting to feel down and I believe more female protagonists should be like her! It’s really nice to read about positive thoughts in a world of negative ones.
On the other hand, I did think this story had a few weaknesses. The book switches back and forth between Azure and Luke and I found their voices to be too alike; I had to keep reminding myself who’s POV I was reading. I also didn’t think there was a whole lot of detail to this book; I tried to picture the costumes in Luke’s play or the decorations of the wall during their prom and couldn’t form an image in my head.
It’s Our Prom (So Deal With it) is a good book, but I didn’t really get into it. I’m not really sure why, but I guess it just wasn’t for me. I still recommend it, though, to anyone wanting to read about prom. I also recommend it to anyone who reads LGBTQ novels, since, you know, it is one. Either way, I’m sure you guys will enjoy!