Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I am sharing reviews for Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan and Prom Kings by Tony Correia. These YA contemporaries are short, sweet, and perfect for your Valentine’s Day TBR.
Review Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan
When Ben's girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over. What could possibly matter now when Marly is gone? So when Valentine's Day approaches, it makes sense that this day that was once so meaningful to Ben leaves him feeling bitter and hollow. But then Marly shows up--or at least her ghost does--along with three others spirits. Now Ben must take a painful journey through Valentine's Days past, present, and future, and what he discovers will change him forever.
Marly’s Ghost is an interesting remix of A Christmas Carol in which the events take place over Valentine’s Day. In the story, the main character, Ben, gives up on love after his girlfriend dies and the classic three spirits visit him in an attempt to change his heart. Ben isn’t really meant to be a likeable character, but it is interesting to follow along during his transformation. I appreciated how the author made an effort to capture Dickens’s “old fashioned” tone, however it didn’t always work for me. Something about the mix of a modern day setting with some modern dialogue and the old-timey narration doesn’t fit. Also, the author didn’t stray too much from the original story, and the change in holiday was essentially the only difference. I did enjoy the concept and the effort to capture the essence of the original story, but I believe the execution could have been better.
Review: Prom Kings by Tony Correia
When the queer prom committee asks Charlie to join them, Charlie figures it'll be a good way to get closer to cute new guy Andre -- and maybe even ask him to be his prom date! The only problem is that Charlie has competition for Andre's attention in rich, good-looking Chad, who Charlie can't stand.
Charlie and his pal Luis come up with a plan to get Andre's attention -- to woo Andre as a secret admirer and then reveal Charlie's true identity with a spectacular promposal that Andre can't refuse. But when the promposal starts to go wrong, Charlie panics and says that he couldn't possibly be Andre's secret admirer, because he's been dating Luis!
Luis, however, is offended by Charlie using him as a decoy. Charlie begins to realize how much fun he's been having with Luis and thinks maybe he's been going after the wrong guy. He apologizes to Luis and asks him to be his prom date instead. Luis accepts.
Meanwhile, Andre has decided to accept Charlie's promposal. Now Charlie has two dates for prom! How will Charlie decide which guy to go with?
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
I was happy to stumble upon Prom Kings as I’ve never read an LGBT prom book before. This rom-com tells the story of a boy named Charlie who is working up the nerve to prompose to the new boy in the prom committee, however he begins to question who he truly likes as he ends up with two dates to the dance. The amount of representation in the book is enjoyable, and a wide range of genders and sexualities are included. As well, Charlie is a realistic main character, and it is easy to relate to his romantic struggles. He has a captivating voice that made me invested in his story, and I couldn’t wait to find out which of the boys he would end up with. Overall, this is a short and sweet take on a prom story that is full of awkwardness, but also softness. I just wish the book was a little longer.