Reviews for Really Nice Prom Mess
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Fall
Prom night for Cameron is a long string of illegal and questionable activities that really get wacky when he leaves the dance with a bisexual drug dealer. The night leaves a newly bold Cameron running from his parents, his principal, his soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, and the police. This offbeat and unpredictable farce is a memorable and funny coming-out story. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
In his first novel for young adults, filmmaker Sloan creates a bold, sassy comedy of errors starring Cameron Hayes, a gay high-school senior in Washington, D.C., who makes the mistake of trying to play "straight" man on the night of his high-school prom. Plans for the evening are simple in principle: Cameron and his boyfriend, Shane, will take two "fake" dates to the dance and meet up afterwards. However, little goes as planned. Cameron's date turns out to be a hot-tempered lush, who is none too pleased to discover her escort's sexual preference, and Cameron makes a pass at Shane's date, which brings the males to blows. Both guys get in trouble with the vice principal and Cameron narrowly escapes punishment by making a daring getaway with a drug dealer he meets in the restroom. Any prom disasters readers may have experienced will pale in comparison to the fiascoes recorded here. The remainder of Cameron's evening is a thrilling but unsettling roller-coaster ride as he speeds from one location to another, linking up with some unlikely companions, including a deaf male stripper, a burly football player and a gay cop who eventually rescues Cameron from his nightmare. In a mere 12 hours, Cameron's world has turned completely upside-down but somewhere along the way he gains some insight into his doomed relationship with Shane and into himself. The author's impeccable sense of comedic timing and cast of offbeat characters will keep laughs coming and make larger-than-life events easy to swallow. Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2005 August
Gr 9 Up-Sloan chronicles the outrageous prom night and post-prom morning for a gay high school senior. Cameron reluctantly agrees to go on a double date to the dance with Virginia McKinley, a red-headed bombshell beauty. Trouble is he would rather be going with his football star boyfriend, Shane Wilson. Shane and Jane are the other half of the date. It's Shane's idea so that he can keep his other relationship a secret. By the time Cameron picks up Virginia, she has figured out he is gay and tries to drown out her dissatisfaction with alcohol. They proceed to Shane's pre-prom party where she throws up into the fish tank. This is just the beginning of the night that continues a downward spiral. Cameron gets caught kissing Shane's date, Shane socks him in the stomach, and Cam runs off with a Russian waiter/drug dealer to a gay bar. Along the way he coincidentally meets other gay characters including a hearing-impaired dancer. Each meeting and situation seems a bit more absurd, but if readers suspend belief, they may enjoy the comedy that results. The characters are developed and the writing is solid despite the improbabilities. By the morning after prom, Cameron has learned more about himself, but this is one small step toward his maturation. The author's background as an independent filmmaker is evident in his many references to films and theater. The mature subject matter and language make the book best suited for public libraries.-Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2005 October
Washington, D.C., high school senior Cameron and his boyfriend Shane arrange beard dates for the prom and begin an evening filled with disaster, starting when one of their dates shows up drunk and continuing with several police encounters, a high-speed chase, and skinny-dipping in a pond near the Washington Monument. During the course of the evening, Cameron realizes that he is ready to come out of the closet but that Shane is not, and that their different stages in life make a breakup inevitable. He does, however, make a close friend of Shane's beard date and meets a potential boyfriend in one of the police officers, ending the story on an optimistic note The story grinds at the start, but plot and action take hold eventually, and the lively course of events should keep any reader engrossed in the book. Sloan does a good job of portraying the realities of coming out and the difficulties that gay teens face as well as typical teenage concerns such as body image and college. More careful editing would have been useful to take care of a few glaring grammatical errors and to steer the action away from its sitcom-like nature. Still teenagers will enjoy the breezy style of this book.-Jenny Ingram Cameron's funny and often sarcastic narration brings the tale of his senior prom to life. Although the events of the night border on the unbelievable, the real-life emotions and reactions of the characters keep this story from flying away. The message, that life is unpredictable and sometimes the best things can happen in the worst situations, is very relevant to the lives of modern teens. This book makes a great summer read; it's fun, current, and action-packed. 3Q 4P-Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer 3Q 4P J S Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.