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All booksYoung adultHow (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom
How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee
Young adult

How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom

by S.J. Goslee

Quick take

When a prom-posal goes horribly awry, an awkward teen finds himself fake-dating an unlikely classmate.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Happy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LightRead

    Light read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL


Why I love it

Camille Perri
Author, When Katie Met Cassidy

High school junior Nolan Grant Sheffield is gay, out, and unashamed of who he is. When we first meet him, dating—never mind going to prom—is the last thing on his mind. His meddling sister Daphne, however, has bigger plans for his love life. You may be able to guess what happens next, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Nolan ends up in a sham relationship with a boy who once bullied him! Chaos ensues. By now we’re all familiar with the “fake-dating” trope—but until now we haven’t seen it done quite like this.

But back to Nolan and his fake dating situation. Like most characters in this predicament, he has no clue what he’s doing most of the time and this leads to a series of events made ever more ridiculous by his errors in judgment throughout. Call it cliché if you wish. I call it downright Shakespearean. There’s a reason this plot device—the comedy of errors; the farce—has withstood the test of time. It kinda never gets old. Meanwhile, the modern voice and humor S.J. Goslee brings to the story keeps this tale-as-old-as-time fresh and new.

Read this book if you can’t get enough faux love that becomes (or perhaps always was) true love. Or read it because you’re looking for a diverse romance that goes way beyond just a gay protagonist. Basically, if you’re looking for a novel to fill the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before-shaped hole in your heart, this is the book for you.

Read less


Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He's never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It's not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He's saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to fake-date Nolan.

Nolan thinks it's the perfect way to get Daphne off his back and spend the rest of the year drawing narwhals, tending to plants, and avoiding whatever died under his bed a few weeks ago. What he doesn't think about is Bern's ex-girlfriend, who seriously wants to kill him.

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Check out a preview of How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom.

Member thoughts

All (268)
All (268)
Love (104)
Like (132)
Dislike (32)
279 ratings
  • 37% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 11% Dislike
  • Lakeland , FL

    This was pretty damn adorable! The first half was a bit boring and the writing style is basic. But, I enjoyed the characters and the different relationships. The ending was cute!

  • Brainerd, MN

    This book is so sweet. It profiles a character who does not quite understand what he’s feeling, which is really refreshing. It’s a quick read, but it’s a great one!

  • Round Rock, TX

    Ah, high school, that time when we're at our most oblivious. The story is sweet, and a great reminder of why so many of us are glad to be done with high school.

  • West Babylon, NY

    It was a cute and fun book that I finished in two sittings. Definitely made me feel all the warm and fuzzy feelings.

  • Moultonborough, NH

    loved loved loved. omg. fell in love with nolan, as he was falling in love with Bern. such a cute story!!!!!

  • Buffalo, NY

    This was the perfect light hearted YA book! It just made me so happy! Bern is by far the best character!


    My 15 YO son, asked me to pick this one for him and he was so glad i did. He read it in one sitting.

  • Coral Gables, FL

    Very signposted, but still wonderful. The ending feels slightly rushed but still a great read!

  • Floral Park, NY

    So cute. So short. So. MUCH. FUN! Highly recommend if you need a light, LGBTQ+ friendly read!

  • Rome, NY

    I love this book so much! I have recommended it to multiple people. It is so heartwarming.

  • Marion, IN

    You root for the characters to fall in love and learn that not everything is as it seems.

  • Windermere, FL

    A cute little high school story. Would love to see what’s next for these characters!

  • Las Vegas, NV

    Loved the way this book was written, loved the story line and the flow.

  • Saginaw, TX

    Sounds like it will be full of cliques but it has its own spin

  • St Louis Park , MN

    A quick and cute read. Not amazing, but very enjoyable.

  • Valdosta, GA

    A good little read, I only wish there were MORE to it.

  • Murray, KY

    This book inspired me to start an instagram page!

  • Sugar Land, TX

    Very cute book with great characters

  • Ladson, SC

    It's just an adorable quick read

  • Durham, NC

    I couldn't put it down!

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