Girls who have been close friends for years face their senior prom night with trepidation.
The action takes place across two timelines. The first is April 18-19, the day and night of senior prom. In alternating chapters, classmates Jenna, Ket, and Rosie narrate first-person accounts detailing their thoughts, hopes, and fears about their plan to go to prom as a no-date group with their friend Elin. In the book’s opening sentence, readers learn that Elin tried to kill herself. The second timeline is told in the third person, describing Elin’s life starting the previous Aug. 25 and progressing until it catches up to the prom timeline, when Elin starts narrating in the first person. The book is set in Park City, Utah. There are weak nods to diversity. Ket, who has two lesbian moms, is “Indian,” although it is unclear if she is intended to be Asian Indian or American Indian; her last name is West-Beauchamp, and her moms are assumed white along with most other characters. First-time author Snow has created a lackluster novel in which motivations are murky, romantic subplots are banal, drama is manufactured and illogical, and the characters are one-dimensional. Even the big reveal at the end about why Elin tried to kill herself and who saved her is surprisingly anticlimactic.
Snow attempts to engage with deep topics but ultimately serves up a shallow story. (Fiction. 12-18)