Moskowitz (Gone, Gone, Gone, 2012, etc.) again explores the experiences of a gay teen, in this humorous take on a teenage rite of passage—the prom—but with a twist.
Eighth-graders Stephen and Marco long have been best friends. Marco, a happily out gay kid, is small and bullied; Stephen sees himself as Marco’s protector. The boys fancy themselves crime solvers; they uncovered Stephen’s father’s infidelity, leading to his divorce. Now they plan one more caper before middle school ends: crashing the senior prom so Marco can announce from the stage his crush on exchange student Benji, bass player in the prom band. The story, told in Stephen’s voice, focuses primarily on their harrowing yet hilarious attempt to get to the prom, complete with bus disasters, tux problems and getting beat up. Also uncovered is the boys’ complicated friendship as they wrestle with fears of separation and of growing up at different paces. While best friends argue, this relationship seems too dysfunctional to believe, though. As a victim of hate crimes, Marco elicits empathy, but it’s confusing that sweet Stephen would continue to be friends with such an obnoxious, self-centered kid—he’s as “impossible” as the title states.
A less-insufferable protagonist and more-likely friendship would strengthen this gay-boy prom story. (Fiction. 11-14)