Sixteen Candles meets Sliding Doors in this hilariously charming and irreverent YA debut. Fans of realistic teen fiction like Lauren Barnholdt's Two-Way Street and Sarah Mlynowski's Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) will love Ask Again Later's pitch-perfect tale of prom night drama—with a twist. Heart LaCoeur has zero interest in a messy high-school romance, no matter what her name suggests. That's why she's decided to avoid prom angst by going with a group of single friends. And that's why, when two surprise prom invites derail her brilliant plan, Heart takes the only foolproof, drama-free solution: a coin flip—that somehow gives her the chance to live out both prom nights. Heads or tails, where they both end up might be the most surprising thing of all. . . .
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Sometimes you just really need something light and fun and adorable and ASK AGAIN LATER really delivers on that front.
The characters are what sold me immediately on this book. Heart LaCoeur has a witty narrative voice that pulls you into her mind and emotions on the first page. Her voice is so strong that she feels like a real person, someone you would definitely want to be friends with. And her friends are hilarious! The No Drama Prom-a Crew are the kind of people who you can count on to make you laugh and have a good time, but they're also there to support you when you're down or you make the wrong choices.
Of course, it wouldn't be prom without some romance! It's obvious to the reader from the start who Heart is supposed to be with, but you can't help but wonder how they'll get together since Heart is completely oblivious to the brewing sparks. Let me tell you, when it finally happens, it happens in the hilarious, over-the-top way I was expecting from Heart and her friends.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The hook of Heart living through two different versions of prom didn't really add to the story for me. The important things happen outside of this scenario, and I feel like the same story could've been told without it.
The Final Verdict:
ASK AGAIN LATER is a funny, charming story with a quirky narrator and a relationship that will make your heart swoon.
Dear friends, I want to push this book on you if you love fluffy things. And banter. And ships. And adorableness. If you do not like those things, you should probably turn around because you would hate this book. However, those of you who are like me, YOU WANT THIS. Ask Again Later is the sort of fluffy, slow burning, bantery goodness of which I will never tire.
First things first, let’s discuss something: the main character’s name. It is, in fact, Heart LaCoeur. If you know me well, you know that I HATE all the stupid YA character names just to make a bland character stand out. While I’m sure that’s at least some of the motivation, I’m okay with it, because Heart abhors her name and she actually got picked on for it, which is way more realistic than most YA novels where Hiohefoqhn is treated like a totally ordinary name. So, yes, her name is Heart LaHeart, but it’s totally fine.
See, the real thing that makes her name okay is the ship. Well, that and the fact that she actually has a personality. Anyway, I boarded a ship on page 12, when the boy she calls Schroeder calls her spleen because “he never called [her] by [her] real name, always by some other internal organ.” While, in general, nicknames annoy me in books, clever ones like this are the beeeeest. The Schroeder nickname is great too. So yes. I knew on page 12, which was the third page of actual text. I regret nothing.
Heart is completely hilarious. I know that the reactions to this book have been somewhat mixed, and I get it. Ask Again Later is the sort of first person contemporary that is heavily dependent on whether you are amused by the main character and understand her way of thinking. I’m sure she could be endlessly frustrating if you don’t get her, but she is totally a kindred spirit for me. I especially love that, though she’s a good friend and sister, she will tell someone off when that needs to be done. Oh, and, she’s a YA heroine who wants to be single; how awesome is that?
“I’m telling you, there’s no way to make this decision. Even fortune-telling toys won’t help me.”
Heart gets three offers to Prom her junior year: her friend group (the No Drama) Prom-a, Ryan, and Troy, her brother’s friend. The above quote is Heart’s indecisiveness, as is the entire book. Essentially, all three are friend options not date options, and she doesn’t want to let anybody down, so she can’t choose. I feel your pain, Heart. Choosing things is hard.
On top of the awesomeness of Heart, I love the big group of friends in the novel. She’s got a whole passel of friends from theater, and they are wonderful. They make fun of one another and bicker and banter constantly and it’s magical. With such a big group, the dynamics aren’t perfect, but they’re all watching out for one another and able to get through fights healthily. Also, yay for an adorable, non-stereotyped gay character!
What Left Me Wanting More:
Sort of like a non-depressing Post-Birthday World or even fluffier Split Second, Ask Again Later runs through two scenarios for Prom night: if she’d gone with Troy or if she’d gone with Ryan. This framework was actually my least favorite part, with its odd fatalism. I loved reading every bit of it, but the hook of the novel really didn’t add to the experience for me.
The Final Verdict:
If you’re on the fence, go to Amazon and check out the free preview. Check out th voice and see if you love it. If you do, GET THIS BOOK. If you ask again later, my answer will be unchanged.
Heart has no interest in romance and plans to spend prom with her friends as the No Prom-A Drama Crew. But she suddenly gets two surprising invites to prom and can't decide on who she should go with. The simple solution is to flip a coin. Heads she goes with one, Tails with the other.
Told in alternating narratives, Heads and Tails, we get to see what happens if Heart were to choose either of the guys.
When I first saw this book, I wasn't very interested. Since the book takes place at prom, I thought that the book would be too girly. I thought that this would not be my kind of book.
Yeah, I was wrong. Thanks to the raving reviews from bloggers, I decided to pick this book up and I definitely ended up liking it!
Let me start out by saying this: This was an adorable, fluffy read!
It was so much fun and entertaining to read this book! Not only because of the random shenanigans and whatnot that are found throughout the book, but the characters are amazing!
Our main character, Heart, is hilarious! She definitely has a personality that shows up in the book!
Schroeder (A.K.A. Chase) was also a great character and, to be honest, Heart and Schroeder's relationship was one of the reasons why I loved this book! Their bantering was hilarious and the nicknames for each other were also fun (Schroeder calling Heart names of other organs, Heart calling him Schroeder after the Peanuts character).
In fact, everyone in the No Prom-A Drama Crew were amazing! Heart is lucky to have such great friends!
You might be wondering, why did I not give this book 5 stars if all I'm doing is raving about it?
There was absolutely nothing that I did not like in this book, but I couldn't give the book more than 4 stars because, while I really really liked it, it did not knock my socks off enough for me to up the rating.
This was an adorable read, mostly thanks to the great characters in the book. I definitely recommend this book!
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! And in the true spirit of loving and whatnot, I bring to you Ask Again Later. No, seriously, if you’re going to sit at home and mentally whinge about your single status, you might as well do it with a fun contemporary, right? The story follows Heart LaCoeur, she of the unfortunate name (coeur means heart in French), a junior at high school. Prom night is coming up and Heart already has a date – well, several of them. Her best friends have decided to go to prom as a group – dubbed the No Drama Prom-a – so their night could be fun while avoiding the nauseating cliches of people with dates. This works out excellent for Heart, who’s basically anti-relationship on all counts because her mother left her family years before after having Heart and her older brother Phil as a teenager. The problem is, Heart winds up getting two actual prom invites. One is a pity date with Phil’s best friend Troy, who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend and is wallowing in misery. The other is from Ryan, a nice guy who’s a part of Heart’s theatre crew at school. Heart knows that neither of the boys – for their own reasons – want her for her, but she has to pick one because she feels guilty. So she flips a coin, and we end up reading both scenarios. Heads say she goes with Troy, and tails says she goes with Ryan. Heart winds up having an insane prom night both ways… and no matter who her date ends up being, some things can’t be changed.
This book was a very quick read, light and funny without being downright stupid. Our MC Heart has a lot of friends, but isn’t popular-popular, she has her quirks but doesn’t pretend she’s special – and I think she fits a role that a lot of people can relate to. She’s a completely normal person trying to just have a fun night with her friends. Except prom is never that simple.
“So, what happened?” he asked.
I sighed. “Well, first, when we were dancing, there was… I don’t know… a thing.”
“A kissing thing?” He did his finger twisty thing again, drawing out the word kissing like a string of saltwater taffy.
“No! Just an… eye thing.”
“No! Not an eye thing!” He gasped, covering his heart with one hand. “I hope you used protection.”
It’s written in the light-hearted way too, and it’s more of a casual read than anything that will seriously involve your feelings. It’ll make you laugh and gasp, but I can promise there’ll be no tears involved. I think the author actually intended for it to seem like Heart magically lived out both scenarios, given that there are frequent mentions of déjà vu and funny feelings, but that’s not really explained properly so… It still makes sense if you ignore that idea. This book isn’t just about Heart’s romantic problems/inclinations, for me it was also about her friends, her relationships in general (particularly with her brother).
…hey, that’s how you know who your true friends are, right? They’re the ones who offer to stuff you in a trunk, and you’re not only willing, but grateful.
Ask Again Later could be like an Amanda Bynes or Lindsay Lohan movie. Well, back in the day. I’d definitely recommend it if you wanted to get cosy on a couch and just smile for a bit.
I received this book as a free ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from an advanced copy and are subject to change in the final print.
I wanted to read Ask Again Later because it sounded like a cute read and I like the premise of being able to live out both flips of the coin and see what changes and how it effects her. I was glad to see it on Edelweiss for review and I have a good run with Harper Teen.
It came through with the cute and fun. Heart, the main character is easy to like and she learns how to stand up for herself in this one, we get to see the heads side where she goes with Troy, and tails with Ryan. I liked the banter between her and Ryan, and things that he helps her to see. Ryan has a reason why he asked her, and that he doesn't make for a long term relationship, and I like how his story was handled. But I didn't find a whole lot that made me like Troy. I know that his heart was broken and all, but still. Also there was an interesting relationship between Heart and her brother.
But all along I was pulling for Chase, or Schroeder, a long time friend who calls her by random body parts and she calls him that because of the piano player. It was obvious to me, but not to Heart that he liked her, and it was interesting what drew them together in both flips of the coin. He is shy, a drama nerd, and head over heels for Heart, which endears me to him.
I do love the premise of fate and how different choices have different effects. I also liked that in both of the sides of the coins, certain things happened, like they were inevitable, that life will sometimes just get you a certain way and not much can change it.
I liked her circle of friends but none of them really stood out to me. They supported her and brought her truth when she needed it, but I think their personalities could have been more fleshed out and they could have played a better role in it.
I flew through this one, and it was just what I needed. A cute and fun story, with some pretty epic bad prom moments that made me cringe or giggle, sometimes both. While I liked it while reading, I couldn't rate it higher because there was nothing that made this story unforgettable, or something that made a bigger impact on me. Sure I liked the romance in the end, but besides sweet, witty and being right for Heart.
I wasn't sure how the ending was going to work out, but I think that it came to the best ending in my opinion and got there in a way that I didn't suspect. It gave a definite conclusion and the happy ending that I was searching for.
Bottom Line: Cute read about a coin flip to decide who should be her prom date and the sweet boy in the background that isn't head or tails, but perfect for Heart.