However, when Ashley’s math teacher steals the prom money, the senior class is in crisis—especially Ashley’s friends who all but live for the prom. To Ashley, it’s not a big deal; she wasn’t planning to go to the prom anyway. But when her friend Natalia (also her next-door neighbor) works for hours to try to pull together resources—hotels, food, etc—to rescue and bring back prom to no avail, Ashley gets dragged into the situation. She sees how some of her friends were really looking forward to prom—and sees how some of them truly deserve it, after what they’ve gone through. Ashley offers some unusual but not useable ideas for prom. Nat and some of Ashley’s other friends support her idea, but will the principle and Mr. Gilroy, the strict vice principle go for it? With Ashley’s bad resume filled with detention and bad attitude, Mr. Gilroy is out to stop Ashley’s scheme. With only days to go, how will Ashley and the prom committee go from almost nothing to a successful prom?
Once Ashley’s parents and aunts find out that Ashley has pretty much taken charge of bringing prom back to life, they rush to gather resources—dresses, shoes, purses, and more!—so Ashley can go to the prom. But dresses and make up isn’t Ashley’s top priority; she must find food, napkins, decorations, and persuade the staff to help them. But Nat’s grandmother comes to the rescue with her amazing pastries that are now used to bribe the staff. What other magical talents does this eccentric old lady have?
Besides prom troubles, Ashley and TJ haven’t been going down a smooth road in their relationship either. With disputes and harsh words between them, all is not well. But TJ wants to make it up to her—but will Ashley see through him? Things don’t get any better when TJ shows Ashley their new apartment—some of it is used for storage of the owner’s stuff, and it isn’t exactly her dream apartment. It’s small and rather gross. Will she move in with TJ and stick with him? Or will Ashley finally listen to what her friends are telling her about her boyfriend and see that he really is a low-life kid?
Will Ashley and Co. be able to pull together a prom worth going to? Will Ashley go to the prom? And even if they do—will anyone come to the prom? A prom in the gym is not the same as a hotel ball room. But Ashley still has a few tricks up her sleeve to make this prom a success!
Prom is a coming-of-age story with some funny bits about a spunky girl that’s out to prove herself and help her friends! Although there are a few implications of some mature themes, Prom is a lighter novel than Speak (also by Laurie Halse Anderson) and will be enjoyed by teenage readers!