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An honest, laugh-out-loud, feel-good novel inspired by the hit Broadway musical The Prom --a New York Times Critic's Pick! Seventeen-year-old Emma Nolan wants only one thing before she graduates: to dance with her girlfriend at the senior prom. But in her small town of Edgewater, Indiana, that's like asking for the moon. Alyssa Greene is her hi An honest, laugh-out-loud, feel-good novel inspired by the hit Broadway musical The Prom --a New York Times Critic's Pick! Seventeen-year-old Emma Nolan wants only one thing before she graduates: to dance with her girlfriend at the senior prom. But in her small town of Edgewater, Indiana, that's like asking for the moon. Alyssa Greene is her high school's "it" girl: popular, head of the student council, and daughter of the PTA president. She also has a secret. She's been dating Emma for the last year and a half. When word gets out that Emma plans to bring a girl as her date, it stirs a community-wide uproar that spirals out of control. Now, the PTA, led by Alyssa's mother, is threatening to cancel the prom altogether. Enter Barry Glickman and Dee Dee Allen, two Broadway has-beens who see Emma's story as the perfect opportunity to restore their place in the limelight. But when they arrive in Indiana to fight on Emma's behalf, their good intentions go quickly south. Between Emma facing the fray head-on, Alyssa wavering about coming out, and Barry and Dee Dee basking in all the attention, it's the perfect prom storm. Only when this unlikely group comes together do they realize that love is always worth fighting for.


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An honest, laugh-out-loud, feel-good novel inspired by the hit Broadway musical The Prom --a New York Times Critic's Pick! Seventeen-year-old Emma Nolan wants only one thing before she graduates: to dance with her girlfriend at the senior prom. But in her small town of Edgewater, Indiana, that's like asking for the moon. Alyssa Greene is her hi An honest, laugh-out-loud, feel-good novel inspired by the hit Broadway musical The Prom --a New York Times Critic's Pick! Seventeen-year-old Emma Nolan wants only one thing before she graduates: to dance with her girlfriend at the senior prom. But in her small town of Edgewater, Indiana, that's like asking for the moon. Alyssa Greene is her high school's "it" girl: popular, head of the student council, and daughter of the PTA president. She also has a secret. She's been dating Emma for the last year and a half. When word gets out that Emma plans to bring a girl as her date, it stirs a community-wide uproar that spirals out of control. Now, the PTA, led by Alyssa's mother, is threatening to cancel the prom altogether. Enter Barry Glickman and Dee Dee Allen, two Broadway has-beens who see Emma's story as the perfect opportunity to restore their place in the limelight. But when they arrive in Indiana to fight on Emma's behalf, their good intentions go quickly south. Between Emma facing the fray head-on, Alyssa wavering about coming out, and Barry and Dee Dee basking in all the attention, it's the perfect prom storm. Only when this unlikely group comes together do they realize that love is always worth fighting for.

30 review for The Prom: A Novel Based on the Hit Broadway Musical

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    This was an interesting mixture of fluffy and frothy...but with some serious content matter. I received the paperback for review so I didn't actually know it was a Broadway musical adaption. Once I realised that, the style made sense. It's extremely "telling" instead of showing, fast-paced, and doesn't delve very deep. Basically it's like Queer Eye x Broadway, where a gay teen just wants to go to prom with her girlfriend but the town is outraged and some failed Broadway stars come "fix" everythi This was an interesting mixture of fluffy and frothy...but with some serious content matter. I received the paperback for review so I didn't actually know it was a Broadway musical adaption. Once I realised that, the style made sense. It's extremely "telling" instead of showing, fast-paced, and doesn't delve very deep. Basically it's like Queer Eye x Broadway, where a gay teen just wants to go to prom with her girlfriend but the town is outraged and some failed Broadway stars come "fix" everything up. I'm happy for more fluffy gay romcoms, for sure, but the content matter for this hit me hard: especially Emma being thrown out of her home by her parents for being gay. But it's so nonchalantly told. Emma is "lolol what can u do!" in tone. And all the "villains" are so shallow, their arcs quickly fixed by a good "telling off" so they become better people. Maybe this worked in musical format (where things aren't realistic anyway; and it's all about the glitz and glamour and singing numbers) but as a book it felt a little wan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)

    I really enjoyed this book! At first I thought it was a bit shallow because of all the prom thing, but when you go past that, this book really puts out a lot of issues like homophobia, how parents can be cruel to their children when they reveal themselves as not straight, religious fanatism and how dangerous and hurting can closed-minded people be. Before going into details, I must say that I had no previous knowledge about the Broadway Musical this book is based on, so I cannot compare them. Th I really enjoyed this book! At first I thought it was a bit shallow because of all the prom thing, but when you go past that, this book really puts out a lot of issues like homophobia, how parents can be cruel to their children when they reveal themselves as not straight, religious fanatism and how dangerous and hurting can closed-minded people be. Before going into details, I must say that I had no previous knowledge about the Broadway Musical this book is based on, so I cannot compare them. The Prom is about a couple of girls, one of them lesbian and the other pansexual, that promise to each other they're going to go to their prom together. The thing is they live in Edgewater, a lost town in the middle of Indiana and that, fun fact, was the last State in the US to legalize same-sex marriage. But anyway, Emma is out already, but Alyssa (who's pansexual) is not and is struggling with it because her mom is the president of the Parent-Teacher Association and a very christian woman. Emma is waiting for Alyssa to tell her mom so they can go to prom, but Alyssa is really afraid of how her very conservative mother is going to react, so she keeps pushing back the issue. One day, Alyssa's mother finds out that a lesbian girl is going to attend prom, so she creates new rules so no LGBT+ person can go to prom. And everyone is outraged because they think prom is going to be cancelled and they blame Emma. After all that, Emma, who has a YouTube channel, uploads a video complaining about the situation and she goes absolutely viral! From that page on, the book is an absolute rollercoaster of emotions. You can feel everything Alyssa and Emma are feeling. They're sad, mad, outraged, disappointed, happy, then sad again. I think The Prom really depicts what is to live in fear of what other people think of you and how the stupid prejudices some people have can really hurt and deeply affect other people. I loved how real all the struggles were in Alyssa and Emma's relationship. How can you truly love someone who's still hiding? But also... how can you judge someone for wanting time to come to terms and talk freely about who they really are? Their situation is really complex and it was hard to read. They were hurting each other but also desperately finding their way out of this mess together. In the end, I loved everything about The Prom. I found it to be a really inclusive and eye-opening book with lots of real situations and emotions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia Sapphire

    I was provided an ARC of this novel by Penguin Teen, all thoughts are honest and my own. Firstly, I wanted to say that I adored this musical and already was invested in Emma and Alyssa's relationship. I also thought it was interesting how lines from the musical were directly put into this novel. The writing was quirky and had that senses of humor to it. There were a few lines that were very awkward to me or just frankly poor sentences. Some of the slang used also got on my nerves such as "OG". I was provided an ARC of this novel by Penguin Teen, all thoughts are honest and my own. Firstly, I wanted to say that I adored this musical and already was invested in Emma and Alyssa's relationship. I also thought it was interesting how lines from the musical were directly put into this novel. The writing was quirky and had that senses of humor to it. There were a few lines that were very awkward to me or just frankly poor sentences. Some of the slang used also got on my nerves such as "OG". There were also many jokes that felt super flat, in my opinion. I typically stay away from looking at other reviews of a book until I write my own. But, this book I did look over something that I noticed and wanted to clarify. They change one of the character's sexualities from lesbian to pansexual. Some people are saying that the author just did this to add more representation. So it is something I wanted to ensure I mention in my review. I enjoyed my reading experience because it reminded me of the musical. Honestly, if you are interested in an f/f romance with lesbian representation, I would highly recommend watching the Broadway musical instead. I think without my prior knowledge of the story, this would have fallen even flatter. This does have some important themes nonetheless of sexuality, identity, romance, bullying, etc.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    My review of The Prom is up on my blog now! https://bookreviewsfromanovelnerd.wor... My review of The Prom is up on my blog now! https://bookreviewsfromanovelnerd.wor...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    (3.5 stars) Blog | Twitter | Instagram My stop on the official blog tour can be found here and features a photo journal of the novel as well as a few mood boards. Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review and/or participation in the blog tour. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Before you all ask me: yes, the finished copy fixes the issue from the ARC where Alyssa Greene's sexuality (3.5 stars) Blog | Twitter | Instagram My stop on the official blog tour can be found here and features a photo journal of the novel as well as a few mood boards. Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review and/or participation in the blog tour. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Before you all ask me: yes, the finished copy fixes the issue from the ARC where Alyssa Greene's sexuality was erased/changed. When I scheduled my stop on the blog tour, I wasn't initially aware of the controversy surrounding the changing of Alyssa Greene's sexuality from lesbian to pansexual. Alyssa states in her narration that she is a lesbian; as does Emma, as it should be. This kind of representation is very important. I have not read the ARC in which this erasure occurs. That being said, your voices were very much heard and the issue that should have never happened to begin with has been fixed, thankfully. Representation matters and the fact that this was even questioned is frustrating. The Prom wouldn't be what it is without Emma and Alyssa, their relationship, and their identities. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a musical theatre person first and foremost. I've never loved anything like I love the stage and music. The Prom is one of those shows that feels like home and will always stir up emotions in me. There is so much to it that calls to me; Emma, Alyssa, their bond, the fact that its setting is not unlike my own hometown in Indiana. Everything about it sparkles. I was a little worried about a novel based upon a stage production. I've never been the best with novelizations of scripts. Don't ask me why. I genuinely don't know, considering musicals and literature are my two passions. The more that I thought about The Prom the more it reminded me how important it was to have this story out there in a way that will speak to those who desperately need it in their lives but aren't tuned into musical theatre. This is the representation so many needed. I thought the story itself translated sweetly to page, there are plenty of references to the production in its prose and I really appreciated that. Some changes were hits, others were misses, but honestly? That's okay with me. Because at the end of the day, I still really enjoyed The Prom and its mix of honesty and fluffiness. Page after page, I found myself screaming about how soft I was for these characters and it truly gave me the warm and fuzzies. As a contemporary YA novel, there is something that just works about The Prom, and I can't stress that enough. From the moments where your heart begins to ache for the characters, to the more heart-warming scenes, The Prom was a delight from start to finish. I only wish it were longer. In short, The Prom reminds us of the good and the bad in our world, life in a small town and most importantly what it's like to be young and in love.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Johnson

    honestly i’m furious over the removal of Alyssa’s canon lesbianism. you can’t erase her core identity and characterization without wiping out her entire character arc. And to remove Angie and Trent? Trent is the reason the kids begin to have a change of heart. Angie helps Emma find the self confidence she didn’t have before. Removing them removes central parts of the story. It gives the story less depth and heart. It ruins a lot of the continuity. and to act like any of this is okay is absolutel honestly i’m furious over the removal of Alyssa’s canon lesbianism. you can’t erase her core identity and characterization without wiping out her entire character arc. And to remove Angie and Trent? Trent is the reason the kids begin to have a change of heart. Angie helps Emma find the self confidence she didn’t have before. Removing them removes central parts of the story. It gives the story less depth and heart. It ruins a lot of the continuity. and to act like any of this is okay is absolutely ridiculous. Saundra this is not what the fans want. This is becoming more and more like terrible fan fiction which was the last thing we wanted

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    lesbian erasure is NOT GOOD. not only does it hurt so many fans of this show but generations to come.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma L.

    *** This review potentially contains both spoilers for the book and the musical. It's also quite a harsh, brutal review *** Rating: 🌟🌟 (2/5 stars). Uhm... BITCH WHAT? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EXISTED? ONE OF MY FAVORITE MUSICALS BEING ONCE AGAIN TURNED INTO A NOVEL? FUCK YES. CALL ME THE FUCK IN and I definitely just didn't order this (lol I totally did and when it arrives I'm going to read it as soon as possible). And then all my hopes and dreams got killed, destroyed, slaughtered by reading this *** This review potentially contains both spoilers for the book and the musical. It's also quite a harsh, brutal review *** Rating: 🌟🌟 (2/5 stars). Uhm... BITCH WHAT? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS EXISTED? ONE OF MY FAVORITE MUSICALS BEING ONCE AGAIN TURNED INTO A NOVEL? FUCK YES. CALL ME THE FUCK IN and I definitely just didn't order this (lol I totally did and when it arrives I'm going to read it as soon as possible). And then all my hopes and dreams got killed, destroyed, slaughtered by reading this dumpster fire of a book. God, I hated/hate this novel so much. What is this feeling so sudden so new? LOATHING. But here are all my complaints and reasons why I didn't like this book. And I'm sorry if I'm really harsh but this is truly how I feel. I'm sincerely like what the actual fuck was this. But let's get on with my meanness opinions uhmm... Barry never went to prom so why the hell would this be changed? I also don't like how novel Emma literally thought some quite harmful things about Barry. Like how he is the gayest person she's ever met, like the stereotypical kind of gay. And also that he is the queeniest person she knows. I truly don't like this. WHERE THE FREAKING HELL WHERE THE FUCK IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THIS MUSICAL? WHERE IS MY BAE? SERIOUSLY WHERE THE FUCK IS TRENT? Trent is in my opinion the best character in this musical but also he is the whole freaking reason why the teenagers turned around and became aware of their bigotry. So where is he? And why the fuck is he erased from this book? Also where is my cutie, my girl Angie? Why is she also erased and not present in this novel? Angie is the whole reason how Emma gets her confidence and like self confidence from. Book Dee Dee shouldn't be allowed to use Angie's zazz line. I'm also getting annoyed at the unnecessary irrelevant pop culture references. I'm so done and over that. Barry calling himself auntie is a bit weird? It just makes him more of a stereotype. I miss my Trent. Like he was so much better at reforming teenagers beliefs and he always had something sincere while I feel like book Barry and book Dee Dee are just super fake. Musical Barry & Dee Dee are soo much better and actually go through character development and learn from their mistakes. And besides Trent singing love thy neighbour is just the bomb. Also Emma didn't turn gay, god. She was just always gay. She was born that way. I really don't like how the book only used the lines about Emma turning gay and erasing the line that she always was it. Also why has only Shelby learned that she was bigoted? Oh and Kevin learned from his mistake too but why only those two? Because Kaylee & Nick learned it too in the musical. SO WHY THE FUCK DID THE AUTHOR CHANGE THIS TOO? Besides this novel containing some homophobic or like passages that I truly don't like. As someone who is queer (bi), part of the LGBTQ+ community some lines or scenes put a bad taste in my mouth. And some things were simply offensive or harmful in my opinion. Like the only complain I also have about the musical is like how they used the word dyke in the reprise of changing live. This is still considered as an insult word to lesbian people. But the rest I think it's done wonderfully and respectfully. But unlike the musical, this book totally completely fails to do that. While the musical is so inspirational, beautiful, important and makes my little queer heart incredibly happy. But not the novelization of the amazingness that is the musical. I sincerely would say skip reading this book, listen to the perfection that is the musical and read better non offensive harmful queer books. Oh I also think this is very important to know and also shows why I'm not happy that Saundra Mitchell wrote this book. In the musical Alyssa Greene is gay, lesbian. This utterly canon and confirmed but in advanced reader copies/proofs/original version the author decided to make Alyssa Greene pansexual and totally erased her sexuality. This is just a big NO NO for me and also gives me the feeling that the author doesn't truly grasp the LGBTQ+ community. I know that the published version, the version you can buy (aka the version I read) changed well restored Alyssa's sexuality but it simply should have never even been changed in the first place. I truly don't like this. Besides as a musical novelization this is really crappy and shitty. So many things have been changed or like freaking erased. In my opinion a good novelization of a Broadway show should follow the original content closely, answer questions the musical doesn't answer, adding little things, have some references or lines from the original product and the author should add their own touch to it. In my opinion, Saundra Mitchell almost completely failed to do this. I sincerely would have suggested that she should have looked at Dear Evan Hansen and how to do a YA novelization of a musical right since she absolutely didn't do that in my opinion. I do have to say that I really appreciated how Mitchell put quite some lines from the Broadway Show in her book. Everytime when I spotted one, it truly made me happy. But then she didn't even use to lines/references right at times. Like seriously was it so difficult and hard to use the lyrics of Unruly Heart when Emma made her second YouTube video that went viral instead of using the lyrics of dance with you? Was that really too much too asked? Also how dare you to erase, remove Trent and Angie from the story? I will be truly upset about this for forever. Besides, I also don't like how Mitchell wrote Barry and Dee Dee. They're so much more likeable and better in the musical. Hell everybody is more likeable in the original. Another complaint I have about this book, was the writing style. Quite a few times I was actually cringing about the sentences and words Saundra used. No book, how accurate it may be, should ever use the word OG. I'm truly sad that this book made me so angry and filled me with rage and disappointment. I truly had high hopes for this book and I really thought I was going to love it but the opposite happened. I'm still super mad that there was no Trent. I'm seriously like HOW COULD YOU ERASE HIM?? Tell me why.... I did listen to the original Broadway cast recording while reading this book and I Byatt want to give it my eternal gratitudes because without this album I wouldn't have been able to finish this book. Singing along to the magnificent songs while reading this this thing I want to erase from existence, totally saved my soul. Also, my sincere apologies and condolences to the Broadway show, it's creators, it's actors/actresses and anybody else involved that this piece got butchered and shredded to pieces. I'm truly sorry. So yeah, Go watch, listen to the musical this book is based on. I promise you that you'll love it and it is thousand times better than the dumpster fire piece of trash this book was. I know this is so harsh but the musical is one I really truly deeply love and hold dear. It's a story that's so close to my heart and I really hated how someone butchered, destroyed it. Seriously one of the very few things I do actually like about this book was the amazingness that was Emma's grandmother and the cover of this book which is stunningly beautiful. And one of these reasons is super superficial. Also, I went into this book excepting to really love it but that definitely didn't go as I had planned. The only reason I'm rating this book as a 2 star and not as a 1 star is because my heart can't handle that and it somehow feels I'm betraying one of my favorite musicals if I give it a one star rating. So I can't. My advice would be: Go listen to this beautiful musical, read every other well done queer book but just skip this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Davis

    For those considering spending your money on this book. I wouldn’t. The prom is based off a musical that is currently on broadway. In the musical Alyssa Greene is. Canon lesbian however the author of the book adaptation took it into her own hands to erase her sexuality which the author refuses to answer our questions about it and continues to ignore us. which is incredibly offensive to lesbians. Lesbians are being left out of lgbtq+events and are given little to representation so having the prom For those considering spending your money on this book. I wouldn’t. The prom is based off a musical that is currently on broadway. In the musical Alyssa Greene is. Canon lesbian however the author of the book adaptation took it into her own hands to erase her sexuality which the author refuses to answer our questions about it and continues to ignore us. which is incredibly offensive to lesbians. Lesbians are being left out of lgbtq+events and are given little to representation so having the prom was a massive thing for our validation. So understable many wlw are very upset with this change from the musical to the book. Another big change from the musical to the musical is the easure of 2 of the main characters, Angie and Trent this change makes literally no sense and completely changes the entire plot of the show. Before wasting your money on this book I deeply recommend you support the original musical, by buying the cast recording which can be found in stores and also on digital form, on sites such as Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Valentina Boré

    The Prom is my favorite musical, but I absolutely refuse to read this book. Alyssa Greene is a lesbian in the musical, something which the author has acknowledged, and yet her sexuality was changed for the book. Taking away lesbian representation for pansexual people isn’t a good way to give pansexual people representation. And Alyssa Greene is a lesbian, which is a huge part of her story in the musical. Changing that is a disservice to her character and her arc. Please do not support this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clara (The Bookworm of Notre-Dame)

    Now I just really want to see the musical.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mehsi

    Two girls who want to go to prom together in a backwater town find trouble and chaos. Sadly, there were also things that were just unbelievable which lessened my liking for the book. I just love books like this. We don't have prom here, so I am always looking for books that are about it. And this one was even higher on my OMG list when I found out it was about two sweet girls who wanted to go to the prom together. And the difficulties that followed. Because this town doesn't like LGBT people. This Two girls who want to go to prom together in a backwater town find trouble and chaos. Sadly, there were also things that were just unbelievable which lessened my liking for the book. I just love books like this. We don't have prom here, so I am always looking for books that are about it. And this one was even higher on my OMG list when I found out it was about two sweet girls who wanted to go to the prom together. And the difficulties that followed. Because this town doesn't like LGBT people. This town doesn't want them there. And Emma just wants to go to prom. I could feel that. And I was just heartbroken that all the things that already happened to her (her parents throwing her out of her home, bullying since then) only got worse and worse, and still she wanted to continue, because she also deserves to go to a prom. I just wanted to hug Emma so many times. Because things are hard and they get harder and harder, especially when prom happens and something awful happens. The poor girl completely falls apart and again I just wish I was there so I could hold her. No one deserves the things she went through. No one. While I knew something was up with those Broadway stars I still enjoyed seeing them around, especially Barry was a favourite of mine. He really helped out Emma, he was there for her, and he made her feel like she wasn't alone. And I loved that they did everything they could for Emma and the prom. Sure, they had some egotistical reasons, but I know that at least Barry also meant it when he did all the things he did. Of course, I was a bit pissed when things came out. I expected it, but I was hoping it just wouldn't be true. I was a big fan of Emma's grandma who was a kick-ass lady who didn't take crap from anyone and I loved how she helped out Emma, consulted with her if she really wanted something. She was just the sweetest and I am so happy Emma got to live with her. I would have loved to see more romance between Alyssa and Emma. Now we have to rely on a lot of memories, and maybe a couple of moments. I am glad that we saw POVs of both the girls, Alyssa and Emma. I have to say I was pulled more to the Emma POV. I don't know Alyssa is a sweet girl, but something was just not working with her for me. I still don't get why people are afraid or angry at LGBT people. It isn't a disease, it isn't something bad, it isn't contagious. People should really be more open about things, and maybe read the bible a bit better and not just pick out the parts they like or that fit with their ideas. However, there were at least three things that I found a bit too magical and which is why the book was almost a 4 star, but in the end there was enough to like so 4.5 star. I will put these under spoilers. (view spoiler)[ That the teens in the school were all very bigoted but when one celebrity talks to them about the bible just once they suddenly open up to everything. Sorry, it just doesn't go that fast. Believe me. That the mom from the MC who was still in the closet would be totally OK with her daughter being gay. Or well, much better than anticipated. I don't believe that in the slightest. I have seen people like that mom and believe me they don't just go POOF and become slightly more normal people in just a couple of minutes. We do see that she is having a bit of a struggle with it, but that is all. Sorry, not believable. That in the end Emma makes a vlog about the situation and writes a very sad song and everyone in the school is all OMG EMMA IS AMAZING and we are so so sorry, at least most of the peeps at school did that and it just made my eyes roll. It just felt a bit too magical and a bit too much like oh the ending is coming and I need to make it a happy and glittery one. Sure, I would have liked a happy ending, but this is just not how it works. People who are bigoted don't just magically change because of a song, or a conversation. It takes time. Talking. Time. More talking. Hope and praying that they will understand. Believe me, there is a reason why I didn't come out as Bi until like 2 years ago. I have been grown up religiously (and still am Christian), and while my parents were pretty acceptable at points.. it was also not a situation to come out. Not to mention I don't know how the church would handle it but given they gave me a big speech about Harry Potter being evil, I think it is best I didn't explore things too much. So yeah, I just don't believe these situations would go the way they went. (hide spoiler)] Now I can hear you say, but Mehsi what about those Broadway stars that coincidentally hit the town. I can believe that, I have seen some stuff in newspapers, mostly from the US though, where this stuff is possible. I don't know how, but Youtube is a powerful medium that can make stuff happen. The ending was pretty sweet and I loved that there were second chances for many things (and no I won't spoil which ones). I also LOVE LOVE the cover, it is so sweet and I love the purple colour. All in all, in overall, I loved reading this one, it was a good read. I would recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fei

    tldr; the musical is better, the writing is eeeh inconsistent, save your money and get the audible free trial for a happy lesbian love story with good good narrators, or just read some fanfic i really wanted to love this book, and i only loved bits of it. the prom musical has been my obsession for the past few months and so i was eager (and trepidatious because, novelisation) to read this. as an adaption, i have only a few complaints. the plot was handled fairly well - as an overly hammy broadway tldr; the musical is better, the writing is eeeh inconsistent, save your money and get the audible free trial for a happy lesbian love story with good good narrators, or just read some fanfic i really wanted to love this book, and i only loved bits of it. the prom musical has been my obsession for the past few months and so i was eager (and trepidatious because, novelisation) to read this. as an adaption, i have only a few complaints. the plot was handled fairly well - as an overly hammy broadway musical the original canon was of course not realistic. i don't think that the changes mitchell made would bother anyone who hadn't seen the musical first, though they do seem somewhat unnecessary. the plot still works with the removal of the characters trent and angie, yet it doesn't run any smoother, so why do it? not to mention that it is jarring for those who've seen the musical. having emma sing 'dance with you' instead of 'unruly heart' works in the novel, but it doesn't add anything, so why change it? in fact, i would even suggest that 'unruly heart' is more universal an anthem than 'dance with you'. also in the list of unnecessary-deviations-from-canon are changing the age at which emma was kicked out of her house, and changing the car she drives from a pickup truck to a beetle. small details to be sure, but why?? there were also changes to canon that sparked controversy - mitchell initially declared that she intended to change alyssa's sexuality from that of a lesbian to pansexual. after the furor sparked by her statement, the published novel changes alyssa's sexuality back to match the musical's canon. however, it reads like mitchell mere did a find and replace, exchanging the word 'pansexual' with 'lesbian', which is just shoddy editing. i very much enjoyed the emma/alyssa centric focus of the story, with chapters alternating from their perspectives, but the tone of the novel was frankly annoying. sure, at some points mitchell's writing was achingly poignant, but this clashed with the narrators speaking directly to the reader, over-the-top 'teen speech' (think characters saying OMG), and some... very weirdly written ?romance? scenes, all things that immediately turn me off YA novels. characterisation was another odd point - book!alyssa's mother was scarily deranged where in the musical she is humanly understandable, but the characterisation of emma's grandmother was everything i had hoped for. mitchell also incorporated quotes from the musical which were at some point cringey and at other points really beautiful, so i guess that balances out. listening to this as an audiobook is what saved it - i could listen to caitlin kinnunen just read credits FOREVER. if i had read this in paperback form, i probably wouldn't have liked it. as it stands, i'll probably be listening to the audiobook again, because kinnunen is just that good. if you're looking for more emma/alyssa content, or just more wlw content, i suggest having a look through the prom musical tag on ao3 for content with better characterisation and better writing (though lacking caitlin kinnunen's narration). better yet, i'll start you off with the the prom fandom's premier fic: the cowgirl au. here's the goodreads link to how could they call this bad love when all i want is more or read it here on ao3 with all that said, i'm giving it 3 stars because i did genuinely enjoy it. the musical has lots of big big moments and drama and triumphant crescendos, but i appreciated the novel's deeper focus on less-addressed issues such as alyssa's relationship with her mother. there were moments that really tugged at my heartstrings and quotes that were just beautiful to listen to. mitchell portrays, accurately, homophobia - both the big acts of discrimination and the day-to-day cruelties, the struggles of both those closeted and those out, and the wrongness of parents who forcibly mold children into who they want them to be and refuse to accept children for who they are. at the heart of it all, the prom novel was a sweet yet meaningful lesbian love story, and we need more of those.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Amory

    I really wanted to like this, mostly because so many people are negatively reviewing it without having read it (for "erasing" a character's sexuality, which is not at all the case), but it's kind of a mess. First of all, as an adaptation of the musical The Prom, this is a failure. The musical tells dual stories of the teen girls at the center of the prom controversy and the Broadway actors seeking positive press coverage by protesting the prom controversy. Most of the latter plotline is completel I really wanted to like this, mostly because so many people are negatively reviewing it without having read it (for "erasing" a character's sexuality, which is not at all the case), but it's kind of a mess. First of all, as an adaptation of the musical The Prom, this is a failure. The musical tells dual stories of the teen girls at the center of the prom controversy and the Broadway actors seeking positive press coverage by protesting the prom controversy. Most of the latter plotline is completely eliminated, and the book is told from the dueling perspectives of Emma and Alyssa. By cutting out the POV of Barry and Dee Dee and by removing multiple characters from that side of the story (Trent, Angie, Sheldon), there's very little story left. That can be a good thing, as it allows for more focus on the teen protagonists and their relationship, but it also takes out almost all of the action and humor. Gone are the monster truck rally and the subplot of Dee Dee and Principal Hawkins dating (though it's hinted at). Gone are the hysterically narcissistic scenes in New York and the adult jokes. Gone is, quite literally, the majority of the musical's content. What's left is a relatively simple coming-out story set in Indiana. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but in 2019, it feels passe and old-fashioned. If you read this without having any prior knowledge of the musical, I can't imagine this being too exciting. Basically now it's a story of two girls dating in the Midwest, one out and bullied for it and the other popular and closeted. The out girl tries to get the closeted girl to come out to the school and her parents. The out girl continues to be bullied; the closeted girl gathers the strength to come out; they go to prom together. And a couple of Broadway stars are there to screw stuff up a little bit and then to later act as a deus ex machina. It's a thin story, and not enough (almost nothing, that I can think of) is added to pad or expand the plot, aside from a few internal monologues and a primer on what it means to be pansexual (which, as much as everyone else is up in arms over this "change," is probably the best thing Saundra Mitchell did in her adaptation). The overall feeling is that The Prom is slight. I sat in the Longacre Theatre last year and kept thinking how important this story was, how beautiful the show was, and how delicately yet bombastically this sweet, sensitive story was told. In book form, without the songs and dance numbers and flashing lights and bright colors and inside baseball Broadway jokes, the story is still sweet and sensitive but a little more hollow, a little less special.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura Wilson

    The final release of this book corrected the ARCs horrific handling of Alyssa's sexuality, however it does not save the abysmal writing, nor does it correct how Saundra Mitchell butchered the plot of a fantastic musical. She clearly does not understand the characters or the show. If you want The Prom, listen to the soundtrack. Don't waste your time with this book. If you absolutely must read it, at least listen to the audiobook, where you can hear the cast try their best to save the material.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cor

    to not only erase a character’s sexuality but to then ignore the actual real life community affected by it ... i can’t imagine being able to enjoy or support this book in any way, shape, or form; you have completely destroyed alyssa’s character.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kali Cole

    In terms of the book itself, I really enjoyed this. I have not heard the musical yet, but I learned the Alyssa should actually be a lesbian and not pansexual, which she is in this book versus the musical. Taking that huge misrepresentation away, I felt that Emma’s story is definitely one that relates to many lgbtqia+ people that are surrounded by religious individuals. I can’t even imagine the abuse that some of these people face in those parts of the world and it is so unfair because that commu In terms of the book itself, I really enjoyed this. I have not heard the musical yet, but I learned the Alyssa should actually be a lesbian and not pansexual, which she is in this book versus the musical. Taking that huge misrepresentation away, I felt that Emma’s story is definitely one that relates to many lgbtqia+ people that are surrounded by religious individuals. I can’t even imagine the abuse that some of these people face in those parts of the world and it is so unfair because that community is full of people with big hearts and trustworthy personas. They are some of the best people I have ever met and I love how this took a really important event in people’s lives and showed how easy it is to just accept people for who they are because love is love no matter what.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    3.5 I love this musical but the book fell a bit flat for me. It should have been longer and a bit more in depth. I did love that all the chapters were named after musical songs (my musical theatre loving heart was very happy)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lennon

    i’m very disappointed in saundra mitchell for writing this story and penguin random house for allowing this lesbophobic book to be published. in addition to erasing a canon lesbian’s sexuality (the author changed alyssa greene’s sexuality from lesbian to pansexual), saundra mitchell has been active on social media websites, despite numerous accounts making posts describing the terribleness of this book and tagging her in them. please don’t support this book. don’t request ARCs or buy it when it i’m very disappointed in saundra mitchell for writing this story and penguin random house for allowing this lesbophobic book to be published. in addition to erasing a canon lesbian’s sexuality (the author changed alyssa greene’s sexuality from lesbian to pansexual), saundra mitchell has been active on social media websites, despite numerous accounts making posts describing the terribleness of this book and tagging her in them. please don’t support this book. don’t request ARCs or buy it when it comes out. don’t support saundra mitchell. instead, see The Prom on broadway, the original source material with all the correct characters and their sexualities represented.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ana P

    you want me to like this when theres lesbian erasure? i dont know why theres still things like this happening, this is so disappointing

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was just what I needed! It was short, silly and so readable. And it dealt with such current themes surrounding homophobia and its effects and just wow... Seeing what Emma, and Alyssa, face just makes my heart ache. I was genuinely on the verge of tears at so many point. Like when no one went to the prom. Or how they hung a noose on her locker. It was horrifying. The strength Emma finds to deal with it is beyond me. I look up to her so much. She has so much inner strength and instead of just This was just what I needed! It was short, silly and so readable. And it dealt with such current themes surrounding homophobia and its effects and just wow... Seeing what Emma, and Alyssa, face just makes my heart ache. I was genuinely on the verge of tears at so many point. Like when no one went to the prom. Or how they hung a noose on her locker. It was horrifying. The strength Emma finds to deal with it is beyond me. I look up to her so much. She has so much inner strength and instead of just running away (which would be perfectly excusable) or giving up she stays true to herself the whole time. That is a skill I wish I had and I’m going to try and incorporate it into my life. For if Emma can come out and life with it in an environment where she is constantly put down for being her amazing self then I can just life my life a bit more openly and try to avoid being self conscious or changing myself to fit society’s ideals. The lessons I learnt from this book are invaluable. The struggle Emma and Alyssa face in their small hamlet of Indiana is so immense for 2 teenagers. And in the ending when Emma turns down NYU to go to UI to help others and show them they can be gay in Indiana. My heart was bursting! I have so many feelings about this book. And sure there are flaws like it felt a bit of a weird point to show Emma and Alyssa’s story and I would honestly love a prequel to this of them getting together. It would be amazing. But I have to remind myself this is a take on the musical which from reading this I’m sure is amazing. This book allows others to experience the joy of “the prom” if they can’t watch it on the theatre. At points I felt like Alyssa was a bad girlfriend to Emma. She even after 1.5 years of dating (and 1.5 years of flirting beforehand) she didn’t come out. However I don’t know what that feels like and although it would be easy to fault Alyssa for not always standing by Emma when she really needed her. Alyssa has her own problems to deal with as well. And hearing constant homophobia in her own home and having a mother openly protest about ‘an inclusive prom’. What is there to protest about!!?!? As well as seeing the possibility of being abandoned like Emma. I don’t blame her any way. Yet she did have the courage to come out eventually. And I love their relationship and how Emma just waited for her and didn’t push her. Just such a current book with issues that although we’re seeing leaps and bounds of progress, equality is still a way off. And in small towns like the one ‘the prom’ is set in this book show how progress is possible. I bet this books nd the musical help so many people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I want to preface this by addressing the other reviews. I pre-ordered this book, never read more about it, and didn't know it changed Alyssa from a lesbian to a pansexual. I didn't realize that until I logged on here to mark the book as 'read'. It seems that was fixed, as Alyssa calls herself a lesbian quite explicitly in the book I read. I'm glad. Pansexuals deserve representation. Asexuals deserve representation. Bisexuals deserve representation. Every damn person in the acronym does. But you I want to preface this by addressing the other reviews. I pre-ordered this book, never read more about it, and didn't know it changed Alyssa from a lesbian to a pansexual. I didn't realize that until I logged on here to mark the book as 'read'. It seems that was fixed, as Alyssa calls herself a lesbian quite explicitly in the book I read. I'm glad. Pansexuals deserve representation. Asexuals deserve representation. Bisexuals deserve representation. Every damn person in the acronym does. But you don't erase one marginalized sexuality by changing it to another. Alyssa, in the broadway show that I loved so dearly from afar, is a lesbian. I'm glad she's a lesbian in this book. The novel is still inclusive of other sexualities and genders in their attendance at the prom. Now, onto that. I never got to see the musical, but I've inhaled every promotional appearance, every note of the cast recording, every Tweet and Instastory from the cast and crew. I love it, although I've never seen it. This book fleshes some aspects of the show out and flat out ignores some of it. The elimination of some (imo, important) characters, some errors that were clearly missed in the editing process, and the limited POVs prevent me from leaving it five stars. But as someone who didn't get to see it happen before me on stage, and in a day when the Netflix movie isn't ready and the tour (please actually happen) isn't running yet, this book is a little piece of this story that my little queer self can hold. It's tangible. And it made me cry. I cried in a sad way, in a happy way, in an "god, I understand" way. Midwestern small towns can be cruel. They can suppress, and beat you down without them or you realizing who they're beating down. There's a reason I was in my twenties before I knew things about myself. This story isn't perfect, nor is it a perfect retelling of the show (though I feel such perfection is impossible in different mediums), but I'm glad it exists.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning: homophobia, transphobia, bullying 4.5 ⭐️ (NOTE: having not seen the musical, I wasn't aware that Alyssa is canonically a lesbian. I would like to mention that changing a character sexuality is not cool, even though pansexual people are generally less represented - and more frequently erased - than lesbians. I knocked off half a star on my rating for this reason.) OMG THIS WAS SO CUTE! I legit felt b I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning: homophobia, transphobia, bullying 4.5 ⭐️ (NOTE: having not seen the musical, I wasn't aware that Alyssa is canonically a lesbian. I would like to mention that changing a character sexuality is not cool, even though pansexual people are generally less represented - and more frequently erased - than lesbians. I knocked off half a star on my rating for this reason.) OMG THIS WAS SO CUTE! I legit felt butterflies, reading about Emma and Alyssa's story. This book made me laugh and cry and smile like an idiot, and feel so many things for only 200 pages. This is based on a musical, so throw all realistic expectations out the window. It's cute and it ends well and half of it isn't believable, but it's destined to be a feel-good read about LGBT+ kids having a happy end. And while we're getting more representation in books these days, we still have too many sad stories. This is a much needed relief. Don't get me wrong, it's not all rainbows and happy face emojis. The very real, very present problem of bigotry and homophobia in small towns is addressed. Alyssa's afraid to come out. Emma was thrown out by her parents and is the victim of bullying at school. Parents in the community are treating homosexuality like a sickness that could extend to their kids if Emma and Alyssa go to prom together. And the homophobic reactions in the adults is never really solved. In fact, they conveniently disappear after the first disaster orchestrated by Alyssa's mom. It's the teens that change, and that's what I loved the most about this book. The teens have a mind of their own, and they realize that what they did was awful. They're the ones who try to make things better, because they know they made a mistake. It's nice to see teens think for themselves and work together to right a wrong. What they do for Emma - and all the other kids - at the end is incredible. I wish there was more of that in the real world. I will leave you on an excerpt that particularly warmed my heart: "[I]t's epic and there's room for everyone. Room for kids from my school. For kids from far away. For gay kids and lesbian kids, pan kids and bi kids. Ace kids are here, and trans kids, too. Nonbinary kids and cis kids. Straight kids and questioning kids and queer kids. It's a whole new family, and we're all coming out for our own big night." This is the kind of future I want for my fellow queers.😊

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    Admittedly I have never seen the musical or listened to the soundtrack so I went into this blind. I was NOT disappointed! Emma is the only out teenager at her high school. It's tough being the only openly gay kid in a small Indiana town. She isn't exactly the most accepted kid, even her parents kicked her out. Her girlfriend, the super popular class president, Alyssa, is still in the closet, as her mother is the head of the PTA. All they want to do is go to prom together and dance, but that's ab Admittedly I have never seen the musical or listened to the soundtrack so I went into this blind. I was NOT disappointed! Emma is the only out teenager at her high school. It's tough being the only openly gay kid in a small Indiana town. She isn't exactly the most accepted kid, even her parents kicked her out. Her girlfriend, the super popular class president, Alyssa, is still in the closet, as her mother is the head of the PTA. All they want to do is go to prom together and dance, but that's about to be a lot harder now that Alyssa's mother has started meddling. As a conservative Christian she is aghast when she finds out Emma plans on bringing a female date (can you imagine how much more upset she would be if she knew that date was her own daughter!), she swiftly changes the rules so that only boy/girl dates are allowed. Once the news picks up on it, two Broadway stars lend themselves to Emma's cause. They want to fight for justice (and a little free publicity too). Soon the whole situation has spun out of control. All Emma and Alyssa wanted to do was dance together. Wonderfully written, this is a must read for teenagers. It shows just how harmful discrimination is and begs readers to be more open minded and empathetic. Prom is for everyone! I definitely want to see the musical now!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This was fine. I liked it mostly because I love the show, but it lacked the same magic and most of the depth of the characters. I understand why certain changes were made, like cutting characters, but I think things like Barry and Dee Dee’s characterizations ultimately suffered by having to be combination characters rather than just themselves. I ultimately wanted more from this than I got, but Emma and Alyssa are my dear children and I did enjoy spending some time with them again. Also it was ve This was fine. I liked it mostly because I love the show, but it lacked the same magic and most of the depth of the characters. I understand why certain changes were made, like cutting characters, but I think things like Barry and Dee Dee’s characterizations ultimately suffered by having to be combination characters rather than just themselves. I ultimately wanted more from this than I got, but Emma and Alyssa are my dear children and I did enjoy spending some time with them again. Also it was very weird that the author gave minor characters in the novelization the last names of various actors from the Broadway cast. It always took me out of the story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Mutton

    A lot of these reviews mention differences from the musical as major negatives. As someone who hasn’t seen the show I found this didn’t at all affect my enjoyment of the book. Whilst I do understand the furor over the changing of Alyssa’s sexuality, again as someone mostly new to the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment, especially as the story still had a f/f relationship at its heart. Much like movies can be quite different from the books being adapted, I’d recommend reading and judging on its A lot of these reviews mention differences from the musical as major negatives. As someone who hasn’t seen the show I found this didn’t at all affect my enjoyment of the book. Whilst I do understand the furor over the changing of Alyssa’s sexuality, again as someone mostly new to the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment, especially as the story still had a f/f relationship at its heart. Much like movies can be quite different from the books being adapted, I’d recommend reading and judging on its own merits.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shell

    Alyssa is a canonical lesbian in the musical, and changing her sexuality in the book *is* lesbian erasure. Don’t read it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    alyssa greene is a lesbian. end of story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    August

    lesbian erasure isn’t fucking cool. alyssa is not pansexual, she is a lesbian. awful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carli

    Thank you to Edelweiss and Viking Books for the advance copy of this book. It is out on 9/10. All opinions are my own. • I really struggled with rating this one. I have lots of students who ask for adaptations of musicals, and I was excited to see this one, especially since it is written by an Indiana author. Then I saw the Goodreads reviews slamming it for erasing a character’s sexuality and was like, “Whoa.” So I read it. Having not seen the musical, I enjoyed it as a story about coming out in I Thank you to Edelweiss and Viking Books for the advance copy of this book. It is out on 9/10. All opinions are my own. • I really struggled with rating this one. I have lots of students who ask for adaptations of musicals, and I was excited to see this one, especially since it is written by an Indiana author. Then I saw the Goodreads reviews slamming it for erasing a character’s sexuality and was like, “Whoa.” So I read it. Having not seen the musical, I enjoyed it as a story about coming out in Indiana. However, the choice to change a character from lesbian to pansexual seems like an odd move and rings problematic. I will still purchase a copy for my library and I hope to have some good conversations with students about it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5. Recommended for grades 6+.

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