Title: Ask Again Later
Author: Liz Czukas
Pub Date: March 11th, 2014
Page Count: 336
Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...
My ThoughtsA fun story about the craziness that can happen at Prom. I'm now twice as excited as mine! - Nova @ Out of Time
I was initially a little "meh" about this title. More because I haven't experienced Prom yet and because I love stories that have to do with more serious topics. I had a little fear in the back of my mind that this story would be very fluffy (fun), but not really go anywhere.
I was actually quite surprised to have loved the concept. I still think it was a little ridiculous, but I enjoyed reading it. It reminded me of the teen shows I watch in my spare time for entertainment.
This is a story that takes place over the course of a little more than a day, I think. But this day was so eventful and Czukas certainly has a way of making it a fun and quirky story. So, it reminded me a little of "Pivot Point" where the MC has two different choices and each leads to something different. Only difference was that both "paths" ended up on the same one towards the end.
I really liked the story. I laughed a lot during it and was completely invested in the story. It was very cute because though there were two different streams, they both had their similarities while it not being too boring or one-track.
I had an issue with the characters. There was close to no development in the characters, which I can understand because the book was over the course of a night. They stayed completely the same. I didn't expect the prom to be some kind of revelation, but some crazy stuff did happen that I know would change me as a person (if it happened to me). I also thought there were too many characters. They kind of blended into each other to make the scene, but didn't have personalities and very limited lines; their involvement came with I also didn't particularly connect with any of the characters. I didn't know them, only what their interests were.
And I guess that's the disadvantage to having a story that's so limited in terms of time. I can't say that the author's goal was character development because it was a quick and fun read, but I would've liked some change.
The romance itself was actually very sweet. I found it a little rushed when it happened, but the events leading up to it were created for a smooth and "aw" worthy transition. Heart and Schroeder's relationship was actually developed off-screeen as they knew each other from before. It only took a crazy night at prom for them to realize that they liked each other. And I love how in both decisions (paths), the same outcome happened with Heart and her romantic interest.
The only thing that I didn't as stated in the beginning was PROM as a subject. It seems a little dreamy to think about, but I couldn't really connect. I was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing; I mean, I've seen movies, but it isn't the same because I couldn't get how the characters felt.
Plus, I know both guys had good reasons for wanting to go to Prom with Heart, but I found the "who do I go with" thing way to dramatized. From synop, the theater guy has Heart's interests - he's the obvious choice. And the other guy is drooling over his ex. I didn't understand why it was such a hard choice and that frustrated me.
All in all, Ask Again Later is a fluffy, quick read about the crazy happenings at Prom. Czukas writes in the fresh voice of Heart LeCouer, a girl trying to make the difficult decisions that high school socials throw at you. And I think that a lot of people can connect with that.
Liz Czukas is a freelance writer who lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ask Again Later is her first novel. She collects college degrees she doesn't use, types too loud, and always has a song stuck in her head. In high school, Liz did go to two proms but not at the same time.
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