The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

by Blythe Robbins

I don’t know about you, but my expectations for prom were high. Even though I knew I was going with a close gay friend and I didn’t expect or desire any romance from him, I still had a feeling in my stomach that anything could happen.

There is something about prom–even if you’ll only admit it in a dark room with a bag over your head–that conjures up something magical. As though all the stars might align for one evening, giving us the perfect night that we’ll always remember.

The three main characters in The Anti-Prom–Bliss, Jolene, and Meg–feel just the same way. That is, until Bliss returns to the limo for her lip gloss and finds her best friend on top of her boyfriend in a . . . um, passionate embrace.

Afraid to lose her recently gained popular status by confronting the two of them, Bliss begs the help of resident bad girl Jolene to help her get revenge. Stood up by her date, Jolene agrees to help, and after Meg almost hits the two of them in the parking lot, they recruit the self-declared wallflower to be their reluctant chauffeur.

And so begins a crazy-fun adventure that throws these girls–from three very different high school social circles–into each others’ lives. Each girl shares her side of the story through rotating chapters, shedding light on her own personal agenda, attitudes, and actions. This structure makes for great storytelling, and let me tell you: about halfway through this book I realized it had addictive properties. I could not put it down.

As the night progresses, the girls sneak into a college dorm, crash a party, sing on stage, steal a painting, sprain an ankle, confront enemies, start a fire, find lost loves, and about a dozen other wild shenanigans.

The girls begin to reveal more about themselves than they ever thought they would, surprising each other (and the reader). Suddenly, this isn’t just an entertaining adventure (although it’s that too) but a story that forces the girls to confront who they have each chosen to be.

For tough girl Jolene, serious anger issues toward her father are starting to take over her life. Quiet and reticent Meg, still recovering from the death of her mother, has given up on having friends or any social life at all. And sassy and sophisticated Bliss fought, nay clawed her way up the social latter, and she intends to stay there, no matter what.

But here’s the thing: this book is titled The Anti-Prom but it actually ends up recreating the prom fantasy. For one evening, the stars actually do align for these characters as they manage to change their lives for the better and become best friends and have a crazy adventure together. It’s a night they will never forget.

Would this really happen in the real world? Probably not. But it doesn’t matter. Because the girls experience something magical that we want to believe in. It’s prom night. Anything can happen. And this story is so good, you’ll eat it up faster than the McDonald’s fries you picked up on your way to the post-prom party.

Blythe Robbins, a Californian living in New York City, is a geeky editor by day. At night, she can be found reading or writing YA fiction.

One thought on “The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

  1. Wonderful review 🙂 This book is being released at a perfect time. I actually have prom tomorrow night, although it’s not as fancy as senior proms. But it still has a magical quality to it, the feeling that like you said, ANYTHING can happen. Maybe I’ll end up hanging out with 3 people I didn’t expect? 🙂

    I love these crazy stories where random and fun things happen all the while teaching the main characters about themselves.

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