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Friday, May 14, 2010

Prom Nights from Hell

Title: Prom Nights from Hell
Author: Various
ISBN: 9780061976001
Publisher: HarperTeen

In this exciting collection of paranormal tales, best-selling authors Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), Kim Harrison (Once Dead, Twice Shy), Meg Cabot (How To Be Popular), Lauren Myracle (TTYL), and Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty) take prom mishaps to a whole new level - a truly hellish level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don't hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper - and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.

From angels fighting demons to a twisted take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux can. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, creepy fun."
First Lines:

"The music is pounding in time to my heartbeat. I can feel the bass in my chest - badoom, badoom. It's hard to see across the room of writhing bodies, especially with the fog from the dry ice, and the flickering light show coming down from the club's industrial ceiling overhead."
Page 3 (from Meg Cabot's "The Exterminator's Daughter")

Since there are only five stories in this book, I think I can easily review each one without this review getting too insane. I hope. Here goes:

"The Exterminator's Daughter" by Meg Cabot
This story set off the book with a bang. A literal bang of ketchup from a water gun :). I thought there were some really funny parts in this one - even though it was a life-and-death story (aren't they all). I like how it was from a vampire killer's perspective while digging deep into each character's story. That kept me really wanting to know what happens. I'd love to see a continuation of this one. So good!

"The Corsage" by Lauren Myracle
You know, there is a warning at the beginning of this story about how creepy it is... I should have heeded that warning. I know I've heard other versions of this story in the past, but there was something even more creepy about the way it's written in this story. I wasn't expecting it to be quite so... frightening. Perhaps it's because I read the story at night. But I really think the author did a good job portraying the story in a new way. Props!

"Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper" by Kim Harrison
I really only had one problem with this story - apparently it is a prequel to a book she's written... that I haven't read. So by reading this short story, I'm left without any sort of conclusion. I guess I could go pick up the full novel, but I'm not sure if I want to. I do think the concept is very cool - about warring reapers and who gets your soul and all that. Very cool. It just bothered me that the story wasn't complete. In my opinion, a short story should leave you more satisfied - doing that while getting you interested in more of the author's work. Guess this one just hit me wrong, sorry.

"Kiss and Tell" by Michele Jaffe
I really liked this story. It started out as being very strange - not quite clear about what was going on. But as the story progressed, I really started loving the characters and rooting for them. I think there's more to be explored in the story, so hopefully we will see more along this line. There's something interesting about an annoying little girl being a prophet - almost like there's a lot of background that we don't get in this short story. I guess we'll see if anything comes from it.

"Hell on Earth" by Stephenie Meyer
This story was a very cool concept - demon from hell sent to make prom miserable for everyone. The only thing that put me off this story is the number of characters you have to keep up with. I do understand that in making chaos at prom there are lots of things going on. I just couldn't remember who was supposed to be with whom... why so and so was mad a that person... and so on. While there was a lot going on, I did enjoy the concept. Maybe if it were fleshed out a bit more in a full length novel it wouldn't be quite so much to take in.

All in all, I liked this collection of short stories. It's a great way to get a paranormal fix without getting too involved. I'll definitely be handing it to teens who get into the whole urban fantasy genre.

(note: I do agree with a lot of these reviews saying that these stories were more about beginning a new story line instead of a solid short story. It's an interesting collection, but more full conclusions might be nice.)
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