Monday, February 04, 2008

21 Proms, ed by David Levithan and Daniel Ehrenhaft

I figured that a collection of 21 stories about going to your Prom would get pretty repetitive really quickly. Boy was I wrong. From the sweetness of the poetic "Off Like A Prom Dress" to the weirdness of a teenage bacchanalia plotted by the Latin Club in "In Vodka Veritas," there's an amazing variety in these visions. Best of all, they are all short stories so (good or bad) they are over quickly and this gives the authors an opportunity to really shine. There are unusual points of views ("Shutter") and odd characters ("Mom called, she says you have to go to prom"). There are surprisingly touching stories ("How I Wrote to Toby") and pieces of social protest ("Primate the Prom"). In all there are 21 stories here and every one of them is different and strangely unique.

Short story collections can be a rough bunch and there are definitely weaker/stronger stories in this collection, but as a whole this is a wonderful collection of stories that loosely centers around a single topic. A strong recommendation. If nothing else, it provides a great view of the variety among contemporary YA writers.

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