Prom season is upon us – so before you go donning your favorite frothy dress, jump into a limo, and dance the night away, why not curl up with a fabulous book or two about the big night? We’ve compiled 15 of our favorite YA books that are all about prom (or at least feature prom). Check out the list below, then let us know what you’re reading before prom!
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.
Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she’s willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.
Prom. It’s a near-universal high school experience. And here at least 21 of today’s bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors riff on it.
Authors include: Libba Bray, Jacqueline Woodson, Ned Vizzini, John Green, Sarah Mylnowski, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly Black, Brent Hartinger, Lisa Sandell, Will Leitch, Leslie Margolis, Cecily von Ziegessar, E. Lockhart, Jodi Anderson, David Levithan, Dan Ehrenhaft, Liz Craft, Aimee Friedman, and Adrienne Vrettos
From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.
After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be – especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.
Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk – so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.
Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together – stain by stain on her thrift-store dress – exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag’s moving car…
But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.
Margarita “Madge” Diaz is fat, foxy, and fabulous. She loves herself, and is adored by almost everyone else…except queen bee/student-body president Bridget Benson. These two girls have a history that’s uglier than a drag queen after last call. During a heated argument, they decide there’s only one way to end their rivalry: be named prom queen and the other backs off — for good.
Of course, everything looks different in the sober light of morning, but pride is at stake and the race is on. Madge is committed to doing whatever it takes to secure the title, but so is Bridget. And everyone’s got something to hide.
Welcome to Winter Park High School, where the dirt’s not just gonna fly…it’s gonna go into freakin’ orbit.
Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Ferris Bueller meets La Femme Nikita in this funny, action-packed young adult novel.
It’s prom night—and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a much-anticipated gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas—their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student—to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan’s concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad’s red Jag.
Infused with capers, car chases, heists, hits, henchmen, and even a bear fight, this story mixes romance, comedy, and tragedy in a true teen coming-of-age adventure—and it’s not over until it’s “au revoir.”
The undead can really screw up your senior year …
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.
When Azure’s principal gives her the chance to turn the school’s traditional (and boring) senior prom into an event that will appeal to everyone, not just the jocks and cheerleaders, she jumps at the opportunity. Soon Azure manages to convince her best friends, Luke and Radhika, to join the prom committee as well.
Facing heavy opposition and admittedly clueless about prom logistics, the three friends are nonetheless determined to succeed — if Luke’s and Azure’s secret crushes on Radhika don’t push the committee members, and their friendships, to the breaking point first.
Told in two voices and filled with comical missed connections, It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) explores the ups and downs of planning an alternative prom — while dealing with an unrequited crush on your best friend — and shines with National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters’s unmistakable wit and insight.
Well, in summary, your fake date’s in the bathroom with a hangover and a crispy hairdo, while my fake date is out wandering the Willard, searching for his heterosexuality or something.
High school senior Cameron Hayes gets coerced into going to the prom with a girl, even though he’d rather be with his boyfriend. The evening goes from bad to worse when his fake date gets sloshed, his boyfriend slugs him when he sees Cam kissing his fake date, and Cam flees the prom in disguise with a drug dealer. Then things really spin out of control. Over the course of one harrowing and hysterical night, Cameron’s life comes undone, leading to accidental revelations, criminal adventures, and an unlikely romance.
Brian Sloan’s madcap romp is a hilarious take on a teenage rite of passage — with a decided twist.
Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
High school senior Ashley Hannigan doesn’t care about prom, but she’s the exception. It’s pretty much the only good thing at her urban Philadelphia high school, and everyone plans to make the most of it-especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money, and Ash suddenly finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance out of absolutely nada. But she has help-from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from her fellow classmates. And in putting the prom together, Ash learns that she has choices about her life after high school. Prom has everything that award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for-humor, poignancy, teen readers’ tough issues dealt with head-on, and a voice teen readers will recognize as their own.
Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.
They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy – some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.
Nicole is committed to making the world a better place, but first she wants to get to her senior prom. So when the guy she’s had her eye on for months unexpectedly invites another girl, Nicole decides to transform her grungy next-door neighbor, Chase, into a dream date. “With droll humor, Nicole and Chase tell their stories in alternating chapters, bringing to life the frenetic intensity of the high school social scene”. — Booklist
Prom Nights from Hell
In this exciting collection, bestselling authors Meg Cabot (“How to Be Popular”), Kim Harrison (“A Fistful of Charms”), Michele Jaffe (“Bad Kitty”), Stephenie Meyer (“Twilight”), and Lauren Myracle (“ttyl”) take bad prom nights to a whole new level–a paranormally bad level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don’t hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper–and he isn’t here to tell you how hot you look.
From angels fighting demons to a creepy take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, scary fun.
Want more YA prom fun? Check out Story Crush’s cute pairing of prom dresses with YA book covers!