Rating - 4
Ashley Hanigan is a senior in high school and will just barely graduate if she serves all of her detentions and pays her library fines. As for her future plans, she and her boyfriend, TJ, are going to move in together after high school. TJ didn't finish high school...in fact, he was kicked out of high school. Ashley has no interest in any school activities, preferring to spend her time with TJ. When one of the high school teachers steals the Prom funds, the students find out that the prom will be cancelled unless they can come up with the money to fund it. Ashley's best friend and head of the Prom committee, Natalia, is devastated but determined to have a prom no matter what. She ropes Ashley into helping her pull it off. In the process, Ashley begins to realize that she really isn't a slacker after all...she has talents and skills and suddenly, leaving high school to live with TJ and work in dead end jobs her whole life doesn't sound so satisfying.
I don't think I've ever read a Laurie Halse Anderson book I didn't like. She understands the adolescent psyche and seems to speak their language. She is able to look at issues facing teens today and tell the story from their perspective. This book was written in 2005, but is just as relevant now.
I listened to the audio version of this book. The reader is Katherine Kellgren, who does a great job of being Ashley's voice (as well as all of the other characters).