Ashley Hannigan's plans for the future don't include the senior prom; they include things like squeaking through to graduate, moving out of her parents' crowded house and into a Philadelphia apartment with her high school dropout boyfriend. Those plans change when Miss Crane, the math teacher, embezzles all the prom money. Before she can say, "Too weird," Ashley finds herself choreographing a school gala that changes everything. Tender; funny; perceptive.
"This energetic novel, narrated by Ashley, offers snappy commentary about high-school life, and some priceless scenes," wrote PW. Ages 14-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ashley Hannigan considers herself one of the "normal" kids. She is scraping through an urban Philadelphia school, cuts class regularly, but does enough homework so she will be sure to graduate. She is more interested in sex than school, though her boyfriend can be a loser at times. Her home is full of love and male siblings. The babies keep coming, in fact there is another on the way. Ashley's has enough going on when her best friend Natalia, who's a real student with a real interest in the prom, hooks her into planning because the faculty advisor has embezzled the money and left everyone in the lurch. Ashley must avoid her many earned detentions to help her friend plan an event she doesn't really care about. Or does she? And if she did, who would she go with? And what is she going to do next year? Short chapters, involving voice, accurate dialogue, humor and reality all make this a winning book for teens, especially the ones who are not in the top academic or most popular groups! 2005, Viking, Ages 12 to 15.
Gr 8 Up-Ashley is (in her own words) normal-a senior from a lower-middle-class family, dating a high school dropout, and gearing up for graduation but with no plans for college. But when the new math teacher steals the prom money, Ashley-who swears she doesn't care-finds herself sucked into turning nothing into the best prom ever because it means the world to her best friend, Nat. This is a light, fast read, with "chapters" that range from one line to five pages and a narrative voice that is only a little smarter than it should be. Some secondary characters-Ashley's mother and Nat's grandmother-jump off the pages; unfortunately, the teens do not fare as well. Boyfriend TJ is a stereotypical tough boy, and Ash and Nat's other friends are there mostly as filler. But the first-person narration and the essentially personal nature of the story-Ashley finally comes into her own and proves herself successful at something other than garnering undeserved detentions-makes this a flaw that readers will overlook. In fact, the major flaw is that it's hard to believe Ashley is as bad a kid as she might have you believe. But teens are notorious for making petty misbehavior sound bigger and badder, so this could be read as further proof of just how normal she is. Those looking for another Speak (Farrar, 1999) may be disappointed, but this book will delight readers who want their realism tempered with fun.-Karyn N. Silverman, Elizabeth Irwin High School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Ashley thinks of herself as a normal kid: best friend next door, hot, but unreliable dropout boyfriend, parents a bit spacey, and a household barely hanging in there. She's not into the prom the way her best friend Natalia is, so when it nearly gets cancelled because a teacher has absconded with all the money, Ashley is not prepared for Nat's approach. Nat figures they can still have a prom, if they beg for stuff and get teachers to help and bribe the custodial staff and so on. Rather against her will, Ashley gets sucked into the lists in Nat's pink notebook. It delights her very pregnant mom; it makes dealing with all those detentions and uncompleted assignments even more of a chore; it focuses Nat's slightly addled Russian grandmother on dressmaking; and calls Ashley's hilarious aunts to the fore. Modern teen life just outside Philadelphia is vividly drawn in Ashley's first-person tale, and it's both screamingly funny and surprisingly tender. It's also full of sly throwaway references: oaths taken on a copy of Lord of the Rings instead of a Bible, Ash's dad singing Aerosmith, accounts that read, "he was all . . . I was all . . . then he was all." Expect teen readers to be quoting aloud to each other, and giggling. (Fiction. YA)
"Modern teen life just outside Philadelphia is vividly drawn in Ashley’s first person tale, and it’s both screamingly funny and surprisingly tender. Expect teen readers to be quoting aloud to each other, and giggling." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review