Title: Prom Kings and Drama Queens
Author: Dorian Cirrone
That summer, Hurricane Emily was in the news. The headlines shouted things like: "Emily Rocks South Florida." I wanted to be like that Emily in the headlines. I wanted to take the world by storm. Not that I wanted to knock over mango trees or whip power lines across the sky like spaghetti. But I wanted to rock in my own way.
Emily Bennet has some impossible projects on her "To Do" list, like landing her longtime crush, Brian Harrington, and winning the job of editor in chief of the school newspaper over her arch nemesis, Daniel Cummings. And, on top of that, she's determined to do something special. Something important. Something good.
Suddenly, Emily's checking things off her list left and right. She's kissing Brian on a semi-regular basis and she's raising money for a good cause by planning an Alternative Prom (but she would secretly rather go to the real one). The only item that remains is knocking Daniel Cummings off his pedestal. But when did he start to look, well, cute?
Emily's finding it harder and harder to stick to her list. And she still needs to conquer the most important item of all. Can she find her inner prom queen and figure out how to rock??
The book title sounds very shallow that I expected numerous conversations about prom dresses, limousines, corsages, and tuxes. And though they are mentioned, they are not the focal point of the entire story. Halfway through the book, I’m still not reading half of what’s in the teaser. But instead of annoying me, it surprised me, in a pleasant way. It misled me. Prom Kings is not as superficial as I thought it would.
You would think that the “Girl likes boy. Girl and boy couple up. Girl realizes boy is not all that. Prince Charming, who girl initially dislikes a lot, enters the picture.” formula might have been used one too often times, but given a new twist, Prom Kings offers an interesting take on prom and its preparations.
The characters are lovable. Emily is a sweet teenager who dreams of rocking the world. Daniel is her nemesis who brings out Emily’s inner competitive spirit. Lily is an old lady, with a young, romantic heart. Brian is Emily’s literal Boy-Next-Door, a basketball jock-type with a sweet spot for his Grams, Lily.
Even though we know Brian is not the Prince Charming Emily will eventually end up with, we feel the tiniest pain when we see them go separate ways, because aside from being a bit immature and afraid to break out from the mold, he is basically a good guy (he plays hoops with Emily’s little brother in their driveway even before he dated her; he’s supportive of Lily going on a date; he didn’t want to play dirty tricks on the opposing team). This proves that a love triangle can still be effective without resorting to character assassination of the third person. In fact, Brian’s good side has been highlighted more than Daniel’s.
But I guess, one lesson learned here is, a person’s goodness isn’t enough consideration when getting into a relationship. Chemistry must be present. Both of you should at least be able to want the same things. If you can’t mutually agree on something, you can always respectfully disagree. This is what Emily realizes when she stepped back and allowed herself to see Daniel without judgments.
I find Emily playing messenger between Lily and Captain Miguel cute and romantic. It feels wonderfully fulfilling. I know this because, when my older brother was just ten, he played mail courier to a young couple whose budding romance had a few complications. And now, the once young couple is happily married for more than 25 years. Their eldest child is one of my closest friends.
The cover doesn’t give justice to the story at all. It lacked creativity. If not for the almost giveaway title, I’d think that this book is an adult, historical romance. The crown and heart lei are a nice touch, but they got lost in a sea of pink and red and outlines of leaves and flowers. On a more positive note, the pleasant story more than makes up for the lackluster book cover.
Lily shares this with Lily, “Anything you can do to make the world a more beautiful place is worth trying. It’s the little gestures, my dear. The little gestures that make other people smile, even for just a short time.”
And it’s true. Even without an elaborate plot or witty pop culture references or complex characters, Dorian Cirrone delivers an entertaining story that will leave you feeling good. Prom Kings and Drama Queens is such a delightful read. Its charm lies in its simplicity.
I give it 4.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Yes - The Goddess Approves!