For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Review: How (not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee


Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and (definitely) still a virgin. He's never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It's not like Penn Valley is brimming with prospects. And when his big sister stages an elaborate “prom-posal” so Nolan can ask out his not-so-secret crush, Nolan freezes. He's saved from further embarrassment by bad boy Bern, who, for his own reasons, offers to fake-date Nolan.
Nolan thinks it's the perfect way to get Daphne off his back and spend the rest of the year drawing narwhals, tending to plants, and avoiding whatever died under his bed a few weeks ago. What he doesn't think about is Bern's ex-girlfriend, who seriously wants to kill him. ~ Goodreads

Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review: The first few chapters of How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom meandered with no real direction, with characters and scenes drifting on and off the page so quickly that they barely made an impact. I was just about to dnf when the fake dating trope finally kicked in and it was all sweet, fluffy goodness from there. I’m so glad I didn’t bail!

Nolan is a plant obsessed, narwhal loving, shy, art boy who has never been kissed. His sister, Daphne, decides that he should go to prom and picks the super cute, and popular, Si, to push Nolan into a very public promposal. When things get awkward – Bern – bails him out and accepts the invite to help Nolan save face. Only one problem – Bern hates Nolan and isn’t gay.

Despite those (possibly not true) minor details, Nolan and Bern enter a fake relationship that benefits both of them. Nolan needs to get his sister off his back and Bern wants to show his ex, Gia, that he’s moved on.

Of course, feelings start being had, misunderstandings happen, but it’s all so sweeeeet.

While this is not a super intense character study – the characters aren’t exactly how they first appear. From Nolan’s pov – Bern is a bully but we start to learn about certain events from other perspectives – where most people consider Nolan to be the jerk and are in fact worried about Bern being the one that gets hurt.

Bern is such a sweetie pie even though he could be clearer about his intentions. While Bern shows affection and clearly likes Nolan beyond faking it - I can see how Nolan wasn’t so sure and tried to protect his heart.

Nolan’s adoptive family are quirky and fun but maybe a little too quirky. They have a lot of family game nights where it gets so competitive there are actual injuries. They seemed more like friends than parents at times but they were present, accepting and caring. And his bff, Evie, is awesome and a sane counterbalance to some of the more outlandish stuff.

As for his sister Daphne. Whoa – chill girl! She is super pushy and intrusive in Nolan’s life. And I guess the idea is that she’s leaving for college soon so she wants to take care of him as much as possible before she goes. But yikes! That girl needed some firm boundaries. Nolan is so shy that he lets her make decisions and push him around, and it does get addressed somewhat, but I wish that whole thing wasn’t brushed off as my kookie sister Daphne. And she befriends Bern's ex, Gia, and they have some weird sort of friendship that is never truly explained - maybe that will be a companion novel?

I had a few minor issues, especially with that beginning that was all over the place! but if you're looking for a quick read that will leave a big smile on your face - this is it. 

24 comments:

  1. Hmm.... this sounds good, but I am not a big fan of the whole fake relationship because it always turns into a real relationship and it has been done so many times.... Glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. What I liked about this one was that there was a bit of past story for these two and Nolan acknowledges the trope so it was sort of wink...wink when it turns real.

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  2. Even with the issues you had it sounds like a pretty good story.

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  3. I guess it could work for me, but there are things that I am not fond of there

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  4. I love those fake it until you make it relationships in books, you know it'll always end up with both of them falling in love. This sounds so cutesy but his sister needs a swift kick up the ass. I love books with involved families but that's just overkill. So glad you stuck with it Karen and ended up enjoying it wonderful review!

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    1. The sister came from a good place but I HATE overbearing people so I was just - back the fuck off lol

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  5. That's why I'm afraid to DNF, what if something happens that saves the day???? I'm happy it was enjoyable in the end. It sounds like the characters have some pretty strong personalities.

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    1. I KNOW! I totally would have missed how happy this ended up making me.

      I'm horrible at dnf'ing. I at least skim to the end.

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  6. I like the cover but feel the things you found irritating may well irritate me too ... more than the promise of a quick read that would put a smile on my face would make up for.

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    1. Once the fake relationship starts it's adorable and an easy read.

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  7. It sounds like this is a book which has to warm up a bit before it can work it's magic. But I am glad you stuck through the beginning and were able to get to the enjoyable bit! I love the fake dating trope so I think I would love this one if I got through the beginning ;)

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2019/05/she-bakes-the-cakes-book-review/

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    1. Yes. The beginning was sort of just flying through chapters without much happening but it ended up being adorable.

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  8. Nolan sounds adorable, and this sounds like a fun book with some sweet characters, aside from Daphne lol.

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    1. He's a little bit of a pushover and so self protective that he doesn't see how he can come off to others but SO sweet! As was Bern.

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  9. I was so in love with Nolan and his family, I wanted to keep reading. Goslee created families that endeared themselves to me and were utterly amusing in both her books. I like a book that can make me laugh and smile.

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    1. I really liked Whatever too. Her stories re easy but also have something to say and feel really authentic to be being a teen.

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  10. I saw another review for this one and it made it sound like a cute read. Even though you had some issues if overall you think it's a fun easy read then I most definitely want to read. It still sounds cute.

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    1. I'm glad I finished it - left me with a big smile!

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  11. I like a fun easy read sometimes and even though you did have your issues I am glad that it was enjoyable to read.

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    1. It was such a short read that once it kicked in any annoyances were minor.

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  12. This sounds like all around cute read! The sister sounds a bit intense, but hey, I can go with it. ;) Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you stuck with it.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. She was too overbearing for me lol but she had good intentions so...it's super cute!

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