Will Work for Prom Dress was a really cute, fun read. Aimee Ferris did a great job of adding humor and comedic misunderstandings into this story and creating ridiculous working situations for these two girls as they try to find jobs to earn money for their prom dresses. Quigley and her friend Anne (who has a famous clothing designer mother and an absent, secret movie star father) are working on bettering themselves to find dates to prom. Every odd job they have seems to end up with Quigley in an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.
Then there is the school situation. Quigley is an artist, but hasn't quite found her niche yet, although she thinks her dream is to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. She has a competitor at school, and she doesn't quite know why David, the self-proclaimed "Art King" is now being friendly to her. Meanwhile, she has to watch her best friend Anne who seems to keep falling for the bad boys. The day they start their newest job as models for a fashion design course, and Quigley meets Zander, things all change. Numerous antics happen along the way: a parade, an arrest for vandalizing a police car, a fire in a dark room, a murder mystery dinner, a secret father revelation, an Elvis pizza - all leading the two girls in a direction they didn't expect with boyfriends, family, school, and life decisions.
Will Work for Prom Dress ended up having more heart than I expected, but it did take a little while to get to it. This book has elements of celebrity and fame; friendship and honesty; figuring out what's important in life; choosing which direction to go with life's path; learning to like oneself as is and learning to like others for who they really are. I really appreciated the message that comes at the end of the book when Quigley makes decisions about her life that relate to her realizing what home and family really means. It was a light, cute book with some good messages; however, it was a little bit predictable and I felt it lacked some character depth in places.
One thing I noticed also was the "YA pet peeve" of the missing parents - Quigley's parents are mentioned, but never appear in the book; however, Ann's mother is well represented and serves as a mother-figure in many senses. The romantic subplot is enjoyable as well especially because Zander is a really good and sweet guy and nothing goes too far, something which can sometimes be missing in books like this. Also, it is a very honest relationship beginning/progression as it's not lust at first sight.
It's a very real growing of feelings based on how he treats her, while she is confused and doesn't know where she stands with him. Their relationship also endures a major conflict that is resolved in a good way. Overall, I enjoyed the book for the plot, humor, unique take on celebrity, realness of the relationships, and the relationship between Quigley and Zander, and I think many teen girls will as well.
- This reviewer also blogs at http://teach8bookblog.blogspot.com
- Publisher: Egmont USA
- Date of Publication: February 2011