Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review: Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Book One of the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series

Tags: YA, paranormal, demons, prom

Rating: 4 out of 5


High school senior and aspiring journalist Maggie Quinn just wants to survive the last few weeks of high school without getting sucked into the prom madness. However, there’s more on her plate to worry about when strange and horrible things begin to happen to her grade’s “elite crowd,” lovingly called the Jocks and the Jessicas by Maggie. These boys and girls suffer accidents or lose what is most important to them, and Maggie, with the help of her friends, reluctantly admits that something sinister and distinctly hellish might just be happening, and it might take a trip to the prom for her to come get to the bottom of it.


Oh, Rosemary, how do I love thy writing? Let me count the ways. Maggie is my kind of protagonist: smart, snappy, and always ready with a quip, even at the most inappropriate moments. Here is a girl who’s not afraid to bust out SAT words in her narrative, even as she’s demeaning her admittedly stereotypical but never uninteresting lower-intelligence classmates, or trying to kick evil’s butt. She’s a no-nonsense, smart-alecky girl thrown into a situation that’s quickly turning unbelievable and distinctly UN-funny, and yet Maggie keeps her cool—and her snarky comments—consistently throughout.

Because of Clement-Moore’s fantastic writing style, even characters such as Maggie’s two possible love interests—Brian Baywatch, the rebel Jock with the lifeguard looks, and Justin, a student of the occult at the nearby university—don’t dissolve into stereotypical shining white knights (even if that is their character type). I would like to see more dimensions in Maggie’s parents and her grandmother in future books in this series, but that is a minor complaint. The strength of Maggie’s character is the thing that carries this book by far.

If you’re looking for a paranormal read that puts a smart twist on a familiar setting, look no further than Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil series. I can’t wait to read the next books!

Similar Authors
Maureen Johnson (Devilish)
Megan McCafferty
Meg Cabot (The Mediator Series)

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover discussion: 2 out of 5 - This style of art is just not my thing. It's rather...cartoonish for my taste, I guess. I do like the flames, though, and the cover. And this is one of those cases where I'd pick up the book regardless of the cover, because I now know how awesome Rosemary's writing is.


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