In a story unapologetically ripped from the headlines, a small-town high-school student starts a furor by announcing her intention to wear a tuxedo to prom and bring a same-sex date.
Lucas has always loved his best friend Tessa. But his grand, public invitation for her to be his prom date unexpectedly inspires Tessa to acknowledge what she has known in the back of her mind for years: She is a lesbian. In chapters narrated alternately by Luke and Tessa, readers experience Luke's initial anger and Tessa's growing self-confidence. Then it all hits the fan: Parents become outraged, students vandalize Tessa's locker, the school board threatens to cancel prom and a media circus descends as the story becomes national news. Readers familiar with lesbian would-be promgoer Constance McMillen will recognize the sequence of events here, from the arrival of a supportive but brusque ACLU lawyer to the exclusionary private prom parents create after the school-sponsored dance is axed. And despite a few standout characters—Luke's mom in particular takes a funny and surprising tough-love approach to her son—the book mostly reads as a dramatization of the 2010 news story.
An accessible, if not original, take on coming out and overcoming adversity. (Fiction. 12 & up)