Below are a collection of writings created during my graduate studies.

YA Book Review

Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Clement-Moore, Rosemary. Prom Dates from Hell. New York: Delacorte Press, 2007.

Grades 8 & up

Maggie Quinn, reporter, photographer, and honor student with a sharp whited tongue, is a high school senior who is trying to make it through the last six weeks of school. So far, she has managed to ignore the prom and all the frivolity that comes with it. Until she has one dream that reminds her of her reluctant “gift” of the supernatural that she shares with her grandmother. This dream turns her life upside down as she perceives the evil that is targeting the elite clique of seniors at her school and the danger that it can cause, and she sets out to solve this mystery.

This book highlights the stable family of Maggie and her loving and somewhat supportive parents; with a father who fully believes in her “gift” and a mother that finally learns to accept it. Maggie’s other ally, her friend D&D Lisa, provides an edge to Maggie’s life, and has a secret that turns out to be one of the two reasons that this evil was started.  Maggie also attracts the attention of two cute boys while sleuthing, who give Maggie the male attention that she has not had in school; attention that Maggie is often oblivious to or surprised by.

This book begins normally with regular high school goings on of jocks and geeks and bullies, but quickly turns into an occult mystery that encompasses evil and magical spells.  The language in this book is tame at times, but there are the few moments that stronger language is necessary for comic relief and realism, such as when Maggie tells her new friend Justin to “just say ‘ass'”. While the ending does drag a bit (and the references to Ghostbusters and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are predictable, yet may not resonate with younger readers), the reader is happily awarded with Maggie slaying the evil demon at prom and getting her guy. Female and male readers will enjoy witnessing a girl save the day, even if it comes with a bit of romance. This book effortlessly requires the reader to suspend disbelief and while the laugh out loud moments prompts the reader to enjoy the ride.

Additional writings to come…

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