Friday, April 13, 2012

It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters

At Azure's school, prom is for the jocks and cheerleaders, so when Azure's principal offers her the chance to create and alternative prom for the whole school, she can hardly wait.  Azure has plenty of ideas, but making them actually happen is proving a lot harder than she'd thought.  And what's the point of prom if you don't have the perfect prom date?  For Azure that would be her best friend Radhika.  The problem is Azure's other best friend, Luke, is in love with Radhika too.

There were some things I liked.  I think the book made the point it's important to create a space that everyone can be in and feel comfortable.  However, it is also important that when creating change you don't go to the opposite extreme and end up isolating a different group of people.  Azure was so enthusiastic about creating an alternative prom that appealed to her, she didn't give much thought about making sure it appealed to everyone.  Drag show!  Tattoos!  A car show!(?)  For someone who claimed she didn't judge people, Azure was super judgey.  I found her annoying and overbearing.

Luke is busy being the writer/director/lead actor in a musical about himself.  He is also fairly self-focused, although not quite as bad as Azure.  He reluctantly agrees to be on prom committee and isn't nearly as enthusiastic about it as Azure is.  He has other things to focus on.

Man, I felt bad for Radhika.  Her two best friends were so busy being in love with her that they stopped being her friends.  It was so clear that Radhika was having a personal crisis and was under a lot of stress.  Azure and Luke were completely preoccupied with thinking about how beautiful she was and how nice she smelled that they seemed oblivious to her obvious pain.  No one stopped to make the time to sit Radhika down and ask her what was wrong.  Azure was too busy planning an over-the-top prom and being in love and Luke was too busy writing/directing/starring in a play and being love and they both made things worse for Radhika by pressuring her in to doing things and asking her out.  Poor girl.

The end was way too tidy.  Everyone ended up neatly paired off.  Azure wasn't really in love with Radhika!  She was in love with her ex-girlfriend the whole time!  Luke wasn't really in love with Radhika!  He was in love with his shy, closeted stage manager!  And Radhika was also secretly in love with someone who she ended up with.  So that was convenient and unrealistic.  Everyone had a date for prom.

Also, the whole plot with the prom being canceled and then the students striking and then them getting prom back with all the crazy stuff they wanted.  And suddenly everything they've been struggling with for months all comes together and they plan a prom in a week.  I don't know.  I wasn't buying it.  I guess it wasn't really any more far-fetched then other YA books, but I guess I just didn't have to buy-in to give it some leeway.

It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) comes out April 24, 2012.

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