Review: Saundra Mitchell – The Prom

The Prom
Saundra Mitchell

Emma Nolan wants to go to Prom like every other girl, and dance. The only problem is that in small town Indiana there’s no chance she’ll be able to take her girlfriend the way she dreams of. Alyssa isn’t ready to get out of the closet, and her mom certainly doesn’t want to hear even a hint of her dating a girl. Alyssa’s in charge of organising the prom, so everything will be fine, right?

I found myself disappointed in the level of depth in this novel. Ok, the prom is cancelled because the protagonist wants to take a same-sex partner. Then it’s not cancelled, because Broadway stars come to save the day (they are of course pushing their own agenda). Maybe it’s because I’ve seen this concept basically done before by Julie Anne Peters It’s our Prom (so deal with it).

Emma gives up far too easily, and also forgives too easily! Emma living with her grandmother because her parents kicked her out is just written off as normal and hardly upsetting at all – which I doubt. And then the bad guys magically just reform from being told off. Likely? No.

It’s based on a ‘Hit Broadway Musical’. Why does it have to be a musical before it’s a novel? Why can’t they just write a decent book? Maybe it works better with singing and dancing, and having that playing in my head at the same time might have bumped up the reading experience for me.

I’m really happy to see big publishing houses like Penguin getting into queer fiction, I’m just sad that there isn’t an original novel here. 3 stars from me for an underwhelming read.

Penguin Random House | 17th September 2019 | AU$16.99 | paperback

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