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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

    Happy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LightRead

    Light read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL

    LOL

Why I love it

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.

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Synopsis

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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Sneak peek

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

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