The Prom by Saundra Mitchell


High schooler Emma is the only out gay in her school in Indiana, but with prom coming up, she just wants to dance with her girlfriend Alyssa, who’s still in the closet. But the prom committee – spearheaded by Alyssa’s mum – wants to keep their dance strictly heterosexual. And that’s where Broadway steps in.

I really liked Emma and Alyssa together. You could really see that they were good for each other and Saundra Mitchell makes their chemistry tangible. I liked their cutesy moments best, and I appreciated that they had their problems in the way of an ordinary couple and weren’t oversimplified or perfect.

Alyssa’s mum is one of the main antagonists of the novel. It’s hard to see Alyssa’s mum being homophobic around her daughter and not knowing she is gay, but it was important that their dynamic was explored before Alyssa came out.

The writing style really captures the two girls’ personalities but is relatively simple. It’s not filled with elegant imagery but rather tells the story in a charismatic way with strong, witty dialogue. I think that makes sense since the novel is based off a musical but I would have enjoyed slightly more showing rather than telling.

I did like Barry and Dee Dee and how they helped Emma – their personalities were great and they brought laughter and banter to the book – but I didn’t always like the way they interfered and sometimes they frustrated me by pushing their opinions on Emma. However, they turned out to be pretty great and full of kindness.

The Prom was an entertaining read which brought forward important issues, LGBTQ+ right and sapphic romance as well as being fun and full of wit. I can’t wait to see the movie, coming to Netflix in 2020.

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