Zany comedy dominates this romp through the prom night from Hell.
When Justina literally finds herself lying in a ditch beside the road at the end of prom night, she hobbles to a nearby convenience store to get help. There she tells her sad tale to the clerk and a sympathetic customer. Justina and prom date Ian have remained just friends, and each seems a safe prom date for the other. Justina yields to her mom’s wishes and wears a thrift-shop dress with everything dyed blue to match. Mellon tells Justina’s story using various stains on the dress as a framework for introducing increasingly crazy episodes. The emphasis stays on comedy as Justina’s tale of the night progresses, such as how she missed the chicken Marsala dinner and eventually including an incident involving a three-legged Chihuahua. Throughout, Justina receives cynical advice about men from her convenience-store audience, but a thread of real romance lurks just below the surface. Has Ian really ditched Justina, or is he caught in a similar comedy of errors? In any comedy readers can trust that everything will come out all right in the end, and that it will be a fun ride getting there. The author displays a well-developed touch for the absurd.
For readers with a funny bone that needs a tingle, this should hit the spot. (Comic romance. 12 & up)