Cute, YA Contemporary Based Upon the Broadway Show of the Same Name | Review: The Prom by Saundra Mitchell

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If you love the musical, you'll enjoy the novelization. And, yes, they fixed the fact that they tried to erase Alyssa Greene's sexuality from lesbian to pansexual. Both Alyssa and Emma are lesbians in The Prom, as they always were!


About

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.



The Prom by Saundra Mitchell 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 stars)

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. 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. 

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