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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Will Work for Prom Dress

Will Work for Prom Dress (ARC) by Aimee Ferris
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: February 8th, 2011
Pages: 240
Age Level: 13+
For review from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis via Goodreads
Quigley Johnson has, reluctantly, given up the rest of her last year of high school to take part in her best friend Ann's Betterment Plan, which will turn them into the best-dressed, most sought-after, most admired girls at their senior formal. Because - hey - who doesn't want the perfect prom, complete with a dream dress and a devastatingly handsome date?

But the prom costs money - lots of money - and even though the girls could easily have Ann's mom design their dresses (she's only Victoria Parisi, one of the most famous designers in the world), Ann insists that they pay their own way. And that's how Quigley gets stuck making artistic topping masterpieces on frozen pizzas canvases, before becoming a live model for Ms. Parisi's fashion design class, where she meets Zander.

He's cute, and cool, and funny, with a killer design sensibility (even if he can't sketch). But is he too good to be true? And what about David, the hot, talented artist at school, who's also kind of a jerk, but won't leave Quigley alone? And Ann - she started the Betterment Plan to improve Quigley and herself, but it seems like it's ripping their friendship to shreds.

This road to the prom dream may just end in disaster.

When I picked up Will Work for Prom Dress, I was expecting a nice quick and fun read. What I was surprised to find, while indeed the book was quick and fun, was that Ferris had provided her novel with some subtle depth and meaning as well.

Will Work for Prom Dress has one of the best overall cast of characters I've come across in a long time. Even the supporting characters carried their own bit of complexity as well as both internal and external conflicts. Quigley was a humorous and realistic protagonist that I found myself able to connect with effortlessly. Her confusion over Zander and David as well as what she wanted out of life and her art was very well executed and believable. Anne, Quigley's outgoing and tease of a best friend, was a surprising character and while her problems weren't always center stage, she still had a lot that she was having to deal with emotionally, and I loved seeing how she developed throughout the book. As for Zander, he was funny and sweet and just beneath all of that was a strong guy who had had his fair share of misfortune and persevered through it all; I absolutely loved him for that. Then we have David, a somewhat confusing character, especially when it came to his motives, and even I'll admit that I found him to sometimes be unpredictable. In the end though, my original opinion of him proved true. Two characters with relatively small roles that I still feel I should mention are Anne's mom and The Spikester. Anne's mother was just a wonderful character to me and I really admired her. The Spikester was a perfect example of just how deceiving appearances can be.

The plot for Will Work for Prom Dress was keenly created, seamlessly tying together various elements including ones of friendship, family, romance, and self-discovery. While generally a light read, I found myself pleasantly caught off guard by the substance of the book; it wasn't all fluff and good times. Most of the story's conflicts went deeper than just finding a prom dress and date and yet the book never felt heavy or overwhelming. The eclectic incorporation of art from drawing, to photography, to clothing design was something else that also had me hopelessly entangled in the story.

There were a couple of times when the writing would seem a bit confusing, like I'd have to re-read over a passage to make sure my mind had processed everything right. However this was rare, and I found that the rest of Ferris' writing was pretty well crafted, perfectly paced, and witty and authentic in both dialogue and context.

The best thing about the ending was getting to see how far the characters had come since the beginning. I was very pleased by the decision Quigley made in the end and couldn't have been more happy for her.

All in all, Will Work for Prom Dress proved to be a delightful and lovable read and I am so glad I accepted it for review. I very highly recommend this one and can't wait to read more from Aimee Ferris as she did an excellent job on Will Work for Prom Dress. This is definitely a book I'll be reading again.

Characters: A-
Writing: B
Plot: A-
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: A-
Recommendable: A-

Overall: B+/A-

Cover: B


Miss Page-Turner said...

I CANNOT wait to read that one. I love your review! You talk about everything important and are honest all the time. This novel sounds like a good mix of story elements I like.

Precious said...

Great review! I liked how you emphasized that this has subtle depth. Yes, the title 'Will Work for Prom Dress' suggests a fun and quick read between the covers. I'm glad the characters were complex, they simply reflect the reality of humanity.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I've heard that this book is just downright cute and I want to read it for that description alone. I normally don't go for the fluff, but I admit to wanting to read this one now. Great review!

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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