Title: Ask Again Later
Author: Liz Czukas
In short: light-hearted, fun, and enjoyable on the whole.
Goodreads: 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…
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! And in the true spirit of loving and whatnot, I bring to you Ask Again Later. No, seriously, if you’re going to sit at home and mentally whinge about your single status, you might as well do it with a fun contemporary, right? The story follows Heart LaCoeur, she of the unfortunate name (coeur means heart in French), a junior at high school. Prom night is coming up and Heart already has a date—well, several of them. Her best friends have decided to go to prom as a group—dubbed the No Drama Prom-a—so their night could be fun while avoiding the nauseating cliches of people with dates. This works out excellent for Heart, who’s basically anti-relationship on all counts because her mother left her family years before after having Heart and her older brother Phil as a teenager. The problem is, Heart winds up getting two actual prom invites. One is a pity date with Phil’s best friend Troy, who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend and is wallowing in misery. The other is from Ryan, a nice guy who’s a part of Heart’s theatre crew at school. Heart knows that neither of the boys—for their own reasons—want her for her, but she has to pick one because she feels guilty. So she flips a coin, and we end up reading both scenarios. Heads say she goes with Troy, and tails says she goes with Ryan. Heart winds up having an insane prom night both ways…and no matter who her date ends up being, some things can’t be changed.
This book was a very quick read, light and funny without being downright stupid. Our MC Heart has a lot of friends, but isn’t popular-popular, she has her quirks but doesn’t pretend she’s special—and I think she fits a role that a lot of people can relate to. She’s a completely normal person trying to just have a fun night with her friends. Except prom is never that simple.
“So, what happened?” he asked.
I sighed. “Well, first, when we were dancing, there was… I don’t know… a thing.”
“A kissing thing?” He did his finger twisty thing again, drawing out the word kissing like a string of saltwater taffy.
“No! Just an… eye thing.”
“No! Not an eye thing!” He gasped, covering his heart with one hand. “I hope you used protection.”
It’s written in a light-hearted way too, and it’s more of a casual read than anything that will seriously involve your feelings. It’ll make you laugh and gasp, but I can promise there’ll be no tears involved. I think the author actually intended for it to seem like Heart magically lived out both scenarios, given that there are frequent mentions of déjà vu and funny feelings, but that’s not really explained properly so…It still makes sense if you ignore that idea. This book isn’t just about Heart’s romantic problems/inclinations, for me it was also about her friends, her relationships in general (particularly with her brother).
…hey, that’s how you know who your true friends are, right? They’re the ones who offer to stuff you in a trunk, and you’re not only willing, but grateful.
Ask Again Later could be like an Amanda Bynes or Lindsay Lohan movie. Well, back in the day. I’d definitely recommend it if you wanted to get cosy on a couch and just smile for a bit.
I received this book as a free ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are taken from an advance copy and are subject to change.