Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sophomore year, Nicolette Antonovich was dumped two days before prom by the hottest guy at school. As a result, she became the proud owner of one unworn, perfectly magical pink vintage dress. But Nic is determined to put that night behind her for good. She's a junior now? older, wiser, and completely overwhelmed by a new set of problems: (1) The bank's ready to foreclose on her childhood home. (2) Her father's too busy with his "replacement" daughter to care. (3) Her best friend's brother is an eternal thorn in ...
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Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

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Overview

Sophomore year, Nicolette Antonovich was dumped two days before prom by the hottest guy at school. As a result, she became the proud owner of one unworn, perfectly magical pink vintage dress. But Nic is determined to put that night behind her for good. She's a junior now— older, wiser, and completely overwhelmed by a new set of problems: (1) The bank's ready to foreclose on her childhood home. (2) Her father's too busy with his "replacement" daughter to care. (3) Her best friend's brother is an eternal thorn in her side. (4) Her best friend isn't exactly the rose attached to that thorn. (5) Rumors are flying around school that could get her kicked off the volleyball team, which would (6) ruin all chances of a college scholarship. (7) She still likes the boy who dumped her in the first place. (8) And what in the world do you do with an unworn prom dress, anyway? Strangely, it's getting to the bottom of this last dilemma that just might hold the answer to all Nic's problems.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jane Harrington
While the fun title and adorable cover of this book will likely draw teens/tweens into its folds, many of those readers may come away feeling like victims of a bait and switch scheme. The attention-grabbing "top ten list" idea—presented as a key motif in the back cover blurb and the title—turns out to be insignificant in the story. And though the plot mirrors the popular chick-lit formula (spunky girl ends up with least likely guy), it does not offer a very fresh take on the model. It is clear in the first few pages which boy will be the protagonist's destiny, and the boy she mistakenly thinks she wants—the one who left her with the unworn prom dress—comes across as a stereotype ("big blond football player" dating most popular girl). Though the lively writing style is definitely a bright spot, a lack of central focus in the story keeps the voice from sparkling. The main character angsts over too many different things (mother's money woes, father's distraction with new family, problems with various boys and girls, sport-related dilemmas, etc.), so the story seems always zipping off in a new direction. Some themes raised—reputation, body image, sexual promiscuity—might have been more meaningful to the age group if given greater attention as plot threads. Overall, this one just does not seem to be the right fit for the sophistication level of a young adult readership. A suggestion at the end to recycle prom dresses is a good one.
KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
Just two days prior to the prom, sophomore Nicolette Antonovich is dumped by her prom date. Rod, or "Rascal," is a year older than Nic and the hottest guy in school. Nic is shocked when he asked her to the dance—she didn't even think he knew her name! When his girlfriend unexpectedly moves back to town, he cancels his date with Nic, expecting her to understand. Try as she may, Nic just can't get over being dumped. It's now her junior year and she still has the prom dress hanging on the back of her bedroom door, serving as a constant reminder of her rejection. If that's not bad enough, she even puts it on and fantasizes about what the prom with Rascal would have been like. Alison, her best friend, tries to remind her that Rascal is a loser, but Nic just can't stop liking him. He makes sure to flirt with Nic just enough to keep her interested. Meanwhile, Alison's brother, Jared, who is also a senior, seems to be showing more than just a friendly interest in Nic. The two of them spend more time together as Nic attempts to help her mother save their house and her career. Nic is a likeable, well-written character, but she is often frustratingly naive. She is completely oblivious to Jared's rather obvious feelings. She seems to understand that Rascal is a manipulative jerk, but repeatedly gets sucked into his mind games. It takes her far too long to realize that Rascal is not worth her time. That said, it also probably takes her a realistic amount of time to get over him. Readers who see the situation more clearly than Nic does will grow antsy for her to stop mooning over Rascal, but Nic's uncertainty unwinds at a rate that feels honest and real.
Kirkus Reviews
Jilted days before the prom by her hunky date, Nicki never got to wear her perfect vintage prom dress. Despite its hefty price tag, Nicki just can't bear to return it, especially when months post-prom, Rascal, her ex-date, is still on her mind. Despite still pining for Rascal, Nicki becomes determined to recoup her losses on the dress and demands that Rascal pay up. Besides an excuse to talk to Rascal, Nicki's repayment request stems from her mother's bleak financial situation, which threatens their home and Nicki's volleyball scholarship. Determined to help her mother, Nicki hires her best friend's older brother, Jared, to help her manage her family's finances. It soon becomes obvious to everyone, except the couple, that Jared and Nicki are more than friends, which alienates Nicki's best friend and triggers a nasty jealous response in Rascal, leaving Nicki with a tough decision. Consistently portrayed as an intelligent and spunky student athlete, Nicki's naive interactions with Jared feel forced and slow down the otherwise realistic pace. Predictable. (author's note) (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307492036
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/18/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 424,037
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Tina Ferraro lives in Los Angeles, California. This is her first book for young readers.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Prom Goddess
A heavenly floral scent surrounds me as the zipper of The Dress magically closes against my back. I gaze at myself in the mirror on the door--which isn't usually there, but whatever--and lose myself in the vision. I am totally feminine, elegant even, from the heart-shaped bodice to the nipped-in waistline to the bit of crinoline peeking out from under the hem.

Not a volleyball-induced callus, bruise, or scab to be seen. I am Nicolette Antonovich, Prom Goddess.

My mother is suddenly beside me, mouthing words about him being on the doorstep.
Him. Rod "Rascal" Pasqual, the big blond football player who asked me to his junior prom. Who needed a date when his longtime girlfriend up and moved out of state. And who is so far out of my league that I suspect some of my bruises are from pinching myself.

Mom and I float through the mirror, down the hall, through the living room, and to the front door. Which seems to be opening with a will of its own.

Rascal's too-handsome face is right in front of me. His lips move, but his words are out of sync, something about me looking fantastic. I want to tell him it's all for him, but my own voice gets drowned out.

By laughter. High-pitched screeches and cackles--like the Wicked Witch of the West has been cloned and is laughing her heart out on my front lawn.

Then there are faces, everywhere. All around Rascal. And laughing. My teammates, my best friend, her evil brother. And inside the circle of Rascal's arms, I see someone. It's his perfect girlfriend, back where she belongs.

And zapping me--and the world's most beautiful prom dress--back into our places, too. Namely, the bedroom. In front of the mirror. Alone.

Just Say Yes

My mouth was gaping when I woke up this morning, but I wasn't laughing. I wasn't screaming. I'm not even sure I was breathing.

That dream--the nightmare--hit waaay too close to home. Although in real life, Rascal had given me the courtesy of a before-the-prom, private communication that Kylie had come back to town, the bottom line was still the same. My prom dress and I were left out in the cold and, real or imagined, I was left trying to lose the remnants of laughing faces.

Rascal and his girlfriend. My coach and teammates. My best friend, Alison, and her seventeen-year-old brother.

Especially her brother. Jared McCreary, who still treated me like I was twelve years old, when he bothered to treat me like anything at all. Yet despite that, I have been continuously forced to humble myself and ask for his help throughout my saga. As I was going to have to do again today--breaking our two-month unacknowledged and mutual silence.

Which was only slightly more appealing than the nightmare I was still slowly shaking off.

And an hour or so later, things were quickly going from bad to worse. Not only did I have to grovel this time, but it looked like I had to do it in front of Jared's buddies. Three idiots so invested in my present humiliation that they probably wouldn't notice if hundred-dollar bills fell from the AC vents.

There I was, standing beside Hillside High School's Senior Bench and staring into the eyes of the one person I swore I'd never ask for anything again.

I steeled my nerves, reminding myself of my desperate crusade: to prevent my mother from potentially losing our house. Our somewhat comfortable way of life. And our frigging minds.

I would suck it up.

Somehow.

I knew the only way I stood a chance with Jared was by playing by his rules. Pretending that the loud, finger-pointing scene on the deck of his parents' Santa Barbara beach house eight weeks ago hadn't happened. After he'd basically pulled me out of the arms of a hunky high school Canadian and then lectured me on safety and judgment.

Like I said--twelve years old.

But for today's purposes, I was determined to give that memory--as well as my dignity--the morning off.

With that in mind, I took a deep breath and forced it out. "I need to hire you." My hands balled at my sides like I meant business, when deep down, all a little voice inside me could say was: Please. Please. Please.

It came as no surprise when the guys lounging around him laughed. And a crooked smile tugged at Jared's mouth. Not a particularly wicked smile or even one that lit up his eyes, but his pleasure at my discomfort could not be denied.

"Hire me. Who's to say you can afford me, Nic?"

His buddies did that nudge-and-smirk thing.

I probably rolled my eyes. I know I did mentally. It was bad enough that the night before I'd had to actually see my mom cry instead of just hearing the muffled sobs through the bedroom walls. No self-centered, egomaniacal, year-older brother of my best friend was going to scare me into going through that again. I was determined.

"Oh?" I said, trying to make light of it. "How much you selling yourself for these days?"

A couple of "oooh"s and a "She got you, dude!" sounded from the peanut gallery.

Jared slid off the bench and stood to his full almost six feet, clearly meaning to intimidate little old me. But considering I was the only volleyball starter under 5'2'' in the history of Hillside High School, you'd think he'd know I didn't let size get to me. Or a challenge, for that matter.

Besides, that was something I had more experience with than the McCrearys. Jared and his sister, Alison, had a pretty cinchy life. Not that I didn't adore Alison. She had a huge heart and was always there for me. It was her brother who got under my skin.

But it was also her brother, and his vintage '71 Chevy Camaro, that I needed more than I'd ever like to admit.

"Listen," I said, and flicked my head toward the stairwell. "Walk me down to my locker and we'll come up with something that benefits us both."

His buddies (the Three Stooges? Musketeers? Blind Mice?) did these stupid high fives.

"Ben-e-fits," the guy named Kevin or Keith called out. "I don't think she's talking about money, Jared!"

Guys could be so charming.

Jared followed me down the stairs and into the first-floor corridor, as I'd suspected he would. In these first six weeks of school, we might have not so much as nodded in each other's direction, but I knew he was a decent guy and would at least hear me out.

"So?" he said, stopping beside me when we got to my locker.

"I need to go see my father," I said, and popped my lock open. Then met his gaze. Yep, there was a frown.

"I thought you hated him."

"Right now my needing him is more important than my hating him."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Cute, Fun Read

    Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress was a great read; I started it and finished it all in one day. It wasn't just the fact that I really liked Nicolette and felt like I knew her already, I liked the unique plot and the important messages the novel was relaying. Friendship and family had big roles in Top Ten Uses and honesty did, too. I really liked Alison and Nicolette's friendship and I'm glad everything worked out for them in the end. I could see Alison's side as well as Nic's so I think it was fair how they worked things out. I knew from the start I didn't like Rascal, he was one of those playboy's who just make you want to cringe. Jared was a great character and his and Nic's relationship was so cute. One thing about Top Ten Uses was the characters- they were just how I expected- Kylie was the beautiful, popular girl dating the "hot" football star, while Nic and Alison were just gliding by under the radar. It was cute, and maybe a little predictable, but I really enjoyed it.

    All in all, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress was really good. This was Tina Ferraro's debut novel for teens, so I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her books. I really liked the ending of Top Ten Uses and it was a cause I'd never known about before. Donating your prom dress so more girls get to have their special moment is a great thing to do, especially since most girls never wear theirs again, I'll definitely have to find out more about it. The cover also really fit the book. It was pink and frilly and the dress with numbers was a great idea!

    In addition, Top Ten Uses is a great read for any girl. It shows how important friendships are, and that sometimes you need to compromise. Nicolette's life was complicated at times, but she proved that you can overcome anything if you believe you can. If you're looking for a light, chick-lit read, with great sub-plots and characters, Top Ten Uses For An Unworn Prom Dress is the book for you. Also, I loved the headings of each chapter that shared a use for an unworn prom dress- very cute and original. Looking forward to reading more books by this author in the future.

    Rating;

    Plot: 9.5/10

    Characters: 9/10

    Ending: 10/10

    Enjoyment: 9.5/10

    Cover: 9/10

    Overall: 47/50= 94%

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2007

    A Wonderful Read!

    There is something to say about a to-die-for pink prom dress and Tina Ferraro tells it perfectly in Top Ten Uses of an Unworn Prom Dress. Tina spins a story filled with laughter and tears as we follow the lengths one teen will go to keep her normal life from falling apart. This novel is any girl's guide to best friends, hot guys, and one fabulous prom dress!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    8 out of 10 stars!

    There are some books that make you want to rip your roots out of your head (example), and then there are some that are so easy and breezy to read/comprehend, that you can't keep your hands off it. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro was a book of the latter description. There's nothing that I like better in a book, than the style it portrays, of "beach read".
    Tina Ferraro makes reading so fun. Not only was the plot lively and enjoyable, but her style is just so...me. I felt like I was Nic, I felt like I could apply to all the concerns she had.

    Every girl has gotten her heart b r o k e n by a guy she's smitten with. Every girl has experienced unrequited love within the high school hierarchy, because there's always that one boy she's in love with, that's put his heart in another girl's hands. Well, that's Nic.

    See, she gets asked to prom by the boy of her dreams, but, nightmare of all nightmares: the night of, his out-of-town girlfriend is suddenly so in-town, and she gets stood up. The horror!

    But maybe getting stood up by a guy who you've always liked, but never really gotten to know, isn't so bad after all. Maybe it'll give you freedom to do other things, like practice for the volleyball team, or maybe, just maybe, you'll have room to realize that your crush was superficial, and that there's someone else out there, who'll be good to you like they really mean it. And you never know --there just might be a better use for that unworn prom dress (still hanging in your closet), that will make skipping prom all the more worthwhile, that you would never have imagined.

    With the quirky and intriguing voice of a distressed high school student that every girl has been, Tina Ferraro creates a fast-paced, heartwarming page-turner that teaches you the value of the prettier things in life, and the value of a really nice prom dress too.

    Rating: 8 hearts- Would recommend to lots of really good friends. ????????

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Cute

    I enjoyed this light and fast story.
    Nicolette is somewhat obsessed with The Dress that she didn't get to wear to prom. It's not exactly "unworn" since she wears it in her room a lot. (Probably more than she would have at prom.) Nic tries to get over the jerk that broke her heart while having problems at home and with her best friend and her best friend's brother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Really Good!

    This book was really good. The beginning started off slow, but the main character Nic is lovable and easy to like. I loved the tension between Jared and Rascal. I loved the relationship between Jared and Nic, and Nic and Rascal. Toward the middle, it starts to get a lot better. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress is the kind of book you'd want to read again. It's a fun and easy read. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    one of my favorites!!!

    i bought this book a while bakc and have read it at least 4 zillion times over. its such a good book, especially for any teenage girls who want a break from reality, who want a little happy ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    Pretty Good.

    This book was altogether pretty good. While the beginning was quite slow and I wanted to put it down several times, later in the book I really started to enjoy it... I couldn't put it down! I loved the many different twists to the story and I was very satisfied at the end... although I wish it was longer! I recommend this book to any teenage girl... even if you're stuck in the beginning, I promise it gets better!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    This Book Is AWSOME!!!!

    I think EVERYBODY should read this book it is probably the best book I have ever read, when you start to read it, it just pulls you in and you feel like you actually ARE this person going through all this trouble! It's an OUTSTANDING book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2007

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!

    This is the BEST book i have EVER read! It is so cute! It is a MUST READ for all girls! I love all the characters and the plot!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I think that this book is really great. It tells a great story of a girl dealing with her teen age problems boyfriends, friends, rumors, and a unworn prom dress. I think that this is a great book to show the ups and downs of high school life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    The best book I've read this Spring!

    This book is about a very confused teenaged girl. She is trying to deal with rude guys, prom, her divorced parents, and of course, and unworn prom dress. The author does a great job with this book because she tells it with humor and jokes. I would recomend this book to anybody!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    I LOVE JARED!!!

    My new favorite book! Jared is the perfect guy and I now plan to marry him! p Nicolette is a relatable narrator with two gorgeous guys alonside her! I can't wait until more books by Tina Ferraro are published!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Drake to emilee

    U up

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Emileeooks out

    N

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Good read

    I really did enjoy this book....even though it was a quick read, it was great. The beginning,the middle and the end was geat, if i were you i would read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2010

    There are more than 10 reasons to read this book!

    Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress was a great book that I could easily relate to. You follow a teenage girl named Nicolette as she goes through the typical trails and tribulations of high school, all the while trying to figure out what to do with an unworn prom dress. I myself am in high school and I feel that the author Tina Ferraro was spot on with all of the scenarios Nicolette came in counter with. Not to mention, it had a wonderful blend of comedy and romance. My favorite part of this book was being able to watch Nicolette go through some of the same problems I have gone through, and see how she reacted to them. This is an easy read that will keep you engaged for hours.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    First Review... Yay!

    This story has a lovable main charecter with an abundance of personality. It wasn't a really deep book but it was so funny! I recomend for light reading and for anyone who likes a good laugh

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    I LOVED IT!!

    I SOOO loved this book!! there was romance and fights and back-stabbing ...I loved it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

    At first, it was a little hard to get into this book. I don't know why, but I'm a fan of immediate drama or action. But as I got into the book, it got better. I think that the summary is misleading, though, because Nic's top ten uses for an unworm prom dress weren't crucial to the story. I liked the twists in this book. One thing I didn't like was how the sentences sounded too ... teenagery. Yeah, I know that's not a word, but you don't have to use 'like' or 'totally' or 'you know' or 'that is' too much to make the book easy to relate to. Other than that, this is a pretty good and quick book. I enjoyed it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    OK

    i think that the book was very hard to get into...at first it wasnt very good but then it got better at the end

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