Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Based on it’s cute pink cover, I was expecting Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress to be a funny, fluffy, Meg Cabot-type book. Instead, I read a book that was more reminiscent of Ann Brashares. (Partly because an article of clothing is named in the title?)
Nicolette is still obsessing over her pink vintage prom dress months after prom took place. It’s understandable, because she never had the chance to wear it to prom. Her longtime crush, Rod “Rascal” Pasqual, asked Nic to go to prom with him after his girlfriend moved out of state, only to leave her hanging when his girlfriend returned. In the mean time, Nic’s mother, a realtor, hasn’t sold a house in months, her father seems to love his new daughter more than he ever loved her, and her best friend, Alison, starts distancing herself from Nic. With her junior year off to such a bad start, it’s nice to have the prom dress hanging in her room to fantasize about.
Between Ferraro’s voice and the parents/friends/boys scope of the book, I was, as I said at the start, very much reminded of Ann Brashares. The story flows, is the best way I can put it. It’s not rushed or fast-paced, but takes it’s time, is occasionally rather leisurely, and very much puts readers in the observer’s seat. I did feel like most of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out better, including Alison and Jared, Alison’s brother/Nic’s potential love interest, but Nic and her parents were very much flawed and real.
Word of warning: Nic is supposed to be the starting setter of her school’s volleyball team. Fine. I’m from Hawaii, land of the short front row volleyball player, so I’m willing to go along with a sub-5′ 2″ setter. But twice Nic refers to herself as a center, which killed a lot of the good feelings I otherwise had for this book. If it happened just once, I probably could have let it go. But not twice. It should have been caught by the author or various editors. On the other hand, I suppose if the thing that bothered me most is two instances of incorrect word usage, the book must have been pretty good. So, if the book sounds appealing, you’ll have to decide if this is the kind of thing you can overlook, or would even notice, or if it would be a dealbreaker.