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A Really Nice Prom Mess Hardcover – May 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; New title edition (May 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689874383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689874383
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,782,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

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. From "Publisher's Weekly" Copyright (c) 1997-2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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I love this book and read it in less than 12hours!
book diva
It captures nicely the confusion and frustrations of young love well, and the author has a knack for creating interestingly mismatched characters.
Morgan
Sort of an Augusten Burroughs dealing with normal people!
Grady Harp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Rory on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled onto this book by accident and was intrigued by the first chapter and figured I'd take a chance. This was probably the best choice I have made in awhile.

The book starts strong with the prom plot set up with the fake dates, drunk high school girls and closted hotties but goes off the rails (In a good way) with deaf dancers, drug dealers, skinny dipping, smoking pot, car chases, cute cops and more plot twists than seems possible.

The book reads like a smart, funny, slapstick, heartfelt comedy and managed to make me laugh, smile, cry, and not put it down. It's just a great summer read that has one the best cast of characters ever--you might not like all of them but they all need to be there and they all work to form one of the most daring books I have read in a long time.

Just read it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Brian Sloan may just be one of the better writers of comedy to come around in a long time. He manages to take a 'normal high school prom' situation and turn out a comedy of errors, of social faux pas, of class distinctions, of teenage drug and alcohol abuse, and of gay coming out stories and combine them in a page turner laugh riot that is one of the best reads around. Sort of an Augusten Burroughs dealing with normal people!

The story is literally twelve hours of a prom night attended (among others, of course) by two closeted gay boyfriends and their girl friend dates, an evening which manages to unmask everyone's foibles and secrets, lead to flaming hairdos, Russian drug dealers, police raids, and eventually a resolution to a courtship between two mismatched men that provides a world of lessons.

Sloan narrates the story as seventeen-going-on-eighteen Cameron Hayes and makes him so visual and witty and vulnerable that we can't help but love the kid and stay with him, delightedly entertained, until the very last page. There are moments when the contemporary teen language becomes a bit excessive: there are other more serious problems with Sloan's inappropriately poor grammar. But the overall result is galloping romp through that 'night of nights' when high school seniors (especially ones of wealth) toss convention to the winds of hormonal explosion and the fireworks are stunning! Grady Harp, October 06
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on October 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"A Really Nice Prom Mess" revolves around graduating Senior Cameron Hayes attept to go to the prom with his boyfriend Shane, a football player deeply in the closet. To achieve this romantic goal he is set up on a date with a wild, out-of-control girl who soon catches on to his secret scheme. Things go from bad to worse to insanity in the course of one evening as Cameron gets beat up, goes on the run with a drug dealer, ends up dancing at a local DC Gay Bar, and learns what it is to be an honest gay man true to his friends and himself.

Dispite a goofy title, this book was vary enjoyable overall. It captures nicely the confusion and frustrations of young love well, and the author has a knack for creating interestingly mismatched characters. Even when the action of the story gets a little too out-of-whack and unbelievable it is still a good quick read for a lazy afternoon. At 25, I feared this would be one of those gay teen novels that makes me feel like a wierdo oversexualizing underage highschoolers, but Sloan does a good job making the story sexy without making it salacious. This book does contain drug & Alchohol use and sexual situations, but it's prom night after all so what did you expect?! This book will remind many of us what it was like growing up gay in High School, and the things we did to get through it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Xochitl on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A really nice prom mess was one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Cameron's misadventures on prom night are hilarious. He seriously has the worst prom ever. This is a highly unrealistic story but it is such a fun read. From Dmitri the drug dealer bi-sexual Russian to Virginia McKinley the wild party girl to Buck-the gay deaf stripper the characeters are all so likable and funny.

This book is like all those teenage prom movies (She's All That, Drive Me Crazy etc.) with a little twist.

I could not put this book down and definitely recommend it to anyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shooting Stars Magazine on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Prom night: dress up, go out, dance, and have the time of your life. Right?! Not for Cameron.

First, he gets stuck going with a fake date, Virginia, because his boyfriend, Shane, wants them to go together...but not together. Instead, Shane will be going with his ex-girlfriend and best friend, Jane. Problem is: Virginia was the only one not in on the plan, and guess what? She finds out!

With a suddenly drunk date, Cameron is finding that the night is not going to go over well at all. The dance soon becomes just as bad, with Virginia burning her hair and Shane off pretending to be "one of the guys", that Jane decides her and Cameron need to get high.

The book continues with more and crazier events, with Cameron sneaking out of prom with the drug dealer, going to a gay strip club, being chased by the cops, almost drowning, and more, just too finally see prom night actually come to an end. But on a high note or low, you'll have to read to find out!

A Really Nice Prom Mess is a hilarious novel about a prom night gone completely awry. The book keeps you interested from beginning to end, with one adventure to the next. I loved the various relationships between the characters and how there are more then one side to everyone, which you find out as you read along.

The book is something that people will enjoy, whether in high school themselves or not! I highly recommend and I can't wait to read something else by Brian Sloan. Ever think of writing a sequel?!

(Link to my Site on this Profile!!)
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More About the Author

I am a writer and director of a number of indie films, most recently the drama WTC VIEW (www.wtcview.com). I've worked on some TV shows as well, namely COOKIN' IN BROOKLYN (Discovery) and EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS (BBC/Trio). And, oh yeah, I've written a couple books too. :) PROM MESS is the winner of the 2005 Violet Quill Award for best LGBT Book Of The Year. And my second novel, TALE OF TWO SUMMERS, is a finalist for the 2007 Lambda Literary Award in YA lit. How cool is that? :)