Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
Format: Paperback
Published by HarperTeen on 11th March 2014
Pages: 336
Genre: YA, Contemporary
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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 interestseven 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...
Well, this was a quick and fun read! I wasn't blown away, but it was an enjoyable way to pass a couple hours, and the voice was a delight, funny and engaging.

It's very much a prom book, with 90% of the book set on the night of prom itself. Our lovely protag, Heart, who has sworn to never date anyone because of issues regarding her family's past, has decided to go to prom with her friends. But then she is asked to prom by two different guys: Ryan and Troy. Ryan is the theatre geek and Troy is the jock. Troy didn't even really ask: he's best friends with Heart's brother and since Troy broke up with his girlfriend recently, Heart's brother told Troy that Heart would go with him. Heart hardly knows Troy.

Ryan did ask, and Ryan is already kind of friends with Heart; they're partners in French class. And they get to know each other better over the course of the novel, and it is awesome. Their friendship pretty much made the book for me. Ryan was so good to her, and he was an invaluable source of insight and humour in the book.

Since Heart is totally unable to decide between the two (though honestly, if I were Heart, the choice would be obvious – Ryan is obviously the one to go for!), she flips a coin. For the rest of the novel, we get to see how prom night unfolds in two different ways which alternate between chapters: what happens if she goes with Troy, and what happens if she goes with Ryan. This was an interesting method of story-telling, and I enjoyed seeing how different the two scenarios are.

Ultimately it was very predictable though, and you can probably guess from a mile off which guy Heart will end up with. I wasn't a fan of the romance, which... pretty much means that this book was destined not to get more than three stars from me, since the romance is kind of the point? Also, you know one of my book pet peeves? When characters in the book are already friends at the point the book begins, but the book offers very little sense of the history of their friendship. So it was with this book. Almost zilch history of any of the friendships. The most important friendship in this book was that between Heart and this guy she's nicknamed Schroeder; I kept hoping to find out more about Schroeder, but the book offered very little. Also, what made it worse was that he was kind of a jerk at times. I just didn't find him very likeable.

So, I didn't fall in love with this book, but it had its cute moments and I'm definitely interested in reading Czukas' next book (Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, out in December!). Hopefully I'll be more into the romance next time!

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Cynthia! I'm really intrigued by this book, it sounds quite cute! If you like the concept, you might like Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja. By choosing to kiss a guy or not once she's moved to America, the main character splits and both possible paths take place - being part of the popular crowd, or not. It's such a good book! I believe Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young has a similar concept too, though I've nnot yet read it. I do like those kinds of books, though! Very Sliding Doors! :)


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