Happy Tuesday, Reading Nook!
Today, we're reviewing Promposal, by Rhonda Helms. It's not just a cute book about the various drama that can be involved in invitations to prom.
It's also a cute study on friendship, relationships and deciding what you want, as you start moving on to the next stage of your young adult life.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2015 by Simon Pulse
Format read: E-ARC via publisher
Helms has a witty and thoughtful eye when examining high school relationships, especially when it comes to her cast of well-roudned characters. Readers will undoubtedly close the book with a smile on their face.
Camilla can't help hoping her secret crush, Benjamin, might randomly surprise her out of the blue with a promposal. However, when she's asked to prom by an irritating casual acquaintance--wearing a fancy tux and standing in front of a news crew--she's forced to say yes. Yet all hope's not lost. A timely school project gives Camilla a chance to get closer to Benjamin...and it seems like the chemistry between them is crackling. But is she reading into something that isn't there?
Joshua, Camilla's bestie, has been secretly in love with his gay best friend, Ethan, since middle school. Just as he decides to bite the bullet and ask Ethan if he'll go to prom with him, even if just as friends, he gets a shocking surprise: Ethan asks Joshua for help crafting the perfect promposal--for another guy. Now Joshua has to suppress his love and try to fake enthusiasm as he watches his dreams fall apart...unless he can make Ethan see that love has been right in front of his eyes the whole time.
The road to the perfect promposal isn't easy to navigate. But one thing's certain--prom season is going to be memorable.
Well, I'm happy to say that I was wrong. Because Rhonda Helms has written a funny, witty book about the ups-and-downs of high school life, and how one (potentially dreaded!) event - the Promposal! - can help shape lives, form friendships and influence young lives, as they move onto the next stage of adulthood.
Helms introduces us to Camilla and Joshua, who both have hoped-for prom dates. But life intervenes, and Camilla gets asked out publicly by an acquitance, while Joshua ends up being asked to help his crush ask someone else. Now, both Camilla and Joshua have to navigate post-Promposal waters, as they figure out what they want and how to achieve it.
The book alternates between Camilla and Joshua's perspective, showing how both of them cope with Promposal fever. Helms does a fantastic job with both voices, nicely showcasing Camilla's struggles with both empathy and (minor) irritation as she deals with her unexpected date, and Joshua's desires to share his feelings with Ethan, once and for all.
Readers will undoubtedly like the fact that both characters make mistakes and stumble as they get caught up with prom fever, but also learn from their situation. There's an especially nice moment where Camilla begins to see the bigger picture of both the dance and the relationships that people form within high school, and shows empathy to someone who is undergoing a situation as hers - but chose to handle it differently.
Bottom line: this is a great book on high school life and love, and also figuring out what a person wants as they move past another young adult milestone. Also, there's no way that readers will be able to end the book without a happy tear in their eyes. Seriously. Helms does a great job of bringing their stories to a close, with the promise of a wonderful future.
Not only did I enjoy it Rhonda's witty observations about the various ups and downs of high school life, I also loved the diversity of the relationships. Love Camilla figuring out what she wanted (and learning how to both stand up for herself and compromise when necessary), and Joshua and Ethan taking the time to figure out what they want for themselves.
I highly recommend this book for fans of contemporary fiction, who are looking for a book that will definitely leave them with a smile on their face.
About the author:
Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.
When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.
Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.