Hi All! It’s Becky. I am a huge Broadway fan and I was super excited when I found Prom by Saundra Mitchell on Overdrive. I excited to listen to this audiobook and I was surprised by my mixed reaction.
Author: Saundra Mitchell, Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, Matthew Sklar
Note: I listened to the audiobook.
Summary: Emma Nolan has a very simple dream for the end of her senior year of high school. Emma wants to attend prom with the girl she loves, Alyssa Greene. The only problem is that Emma and Alyssa attend a small high school in a very conservative town in the very conservative state of Indiana. Alyssa’s mother doesn’t know about her daughter’s relationship and as the head of the PTA she will do whatever it takes to make sure that only boy/girl couples are in attendance at this year’s prom. When news of what’s happening to Emma goes viral several broadway superstars appear in town to rally and give Emma her perfect night.
Review: When I started this audiobook I only knew the most basic details about the Prom. I knew it was about a girl who, after being denied a prom ticket because she was going to bring her girlfriend, ends up in the middle of a national news story about LGBTQ rights. In that way, this book is excellent. Mitchell depicts the despicable, realistic, and heartbreaking way some LGBTQ teens have been treated in their homes. The author tells the story of a girl who was thrown away by her parents, shunned by members of her community and turned into a public enemy only because she was attracted to girls instead of boys. The way Emma Nolan is treated by her parents, classmates, and neighbors felt cruel but so realistic that it evoked a visceral reaction. However, the aspects of this book that were very “Broadway Musical” didn’t quite work in the novel format. The characters were a little too over the top making them feel like caricatures instead of characters. Also, the ending felt a little rushed and a little too neat. I understand that the over the top characters and quickly crafted Happily Every Afters are stables of the broadway stage but it just felt a little off when reading the book. Prom has a strong message of acceptance and that everyone deserves respect and the right to freedom to love the person of their choice but the message is a little diluted by the dramatic storytelling.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5