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Book Review: Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom
by Brendan Halpin, Emily Franklin

3 stars: A Good Read
Format: Hardback
Publication: March 27, 2012
Pages: 257
Brendan: Website | Twitter
Emily: Website
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon (Hardcopy) | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

Lucas and Tessa’s friendship is the stuff of legend in their small Midwestern town. So it’s no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his feelings for Tessa are more than friendship and he asks her to prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian instead of accepting his heartfelt invitation. Humiliated and confused, Lucas also feels betrayed that his best friend kept such an important secret from him.

What’s worse is Tessa’s decision to wear a tastefully tailored tuxedo to escort her female crush, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Lucas must decide if he should stand on the sidelines or if he should stand by his friend to make sure that Tessa Masterson will go to prom. Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin tackle both sides of a ripped-from-the headlines story to show that true friendship will triumph after all.

Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin bring humor and teen angst together in a book about the different forms of love. It is easy not to see something if you aren't expecting it, even if it has been there all along. Tessa gives Lucas many clues about her sexuality, but he doesn't want to see it. On the flip side, Lucas believes that he is in love with Tessa, but she hasn't noticed his feelings either. When Lucas asks Tessa to prom in the flashiest romantic way he knows, their feelings come to a head and threatens to ruin a beautiful friendship.

Most LGBT books that I read are serious in nature. While the characters are serious about the issue in their own ways in this book, I couldn't help but feel that this book takes a lighter tone, which may be a result of the characters' voices. And I like it. From Tessa, we see the thoughts and emotions of a lesbian after her sexuality is exposed. From Lucas, we see the reactions of a teen who learns that his best friend is a lesbian.

The alternating perspectives of Tessa and Lucas rounds out the story and drives home the message that some secrets shouldn't change friendships when they come out into the open. Homosexuality is a part of life. Gay people are no different from any other people. While the coming out of Tessa's sexuality causes a huge disruption in her town, Tessa herself views it as a normal part of her life and takes everything in stride as angry as she is about the town's reaction.

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom is a quick, light read. It isn't bogged down in detail, which may not appeal to those of you who like books filled with imagery, and only the main characters' stories are fully developed. If you can't get past these, however, you will find Lucas and Tessa's voices and the teen angst relatable.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
3 comments on "Book Review: Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom"
  1. It's great that there are more LGBT YA books out there, and they aren't all really heavy thematically.

    This one sounds so refreshing! A great read:))

  2. I did really like the lighter tone of this book, to match the bright cover. Personally I found Lucas to be a much more vibrant character than Tessa, which made me dread her chapters.

  3. I love the sound of this, will have to check it out! Great Review!


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