Ferraro, Tina. 2007. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress.
TOP TEN USES...is a guilty pleasure providing ultimate satisfaction to this reader. While other Librarian Choicers steered clear of selecting TOP TEN USES...during our last meeting (in March), I happily put it among my books. Why? The glorious pinkness of the cover--loved the polka dots. The Barbie-esque girl on the cover with her perky pony tail, big eyes, and pouty lips. Her high-heeled shoes. The pinky perfection of the prom dress. Judging a book by its cover is something we all do. Other people might have felt this book had to be stupid or friviolous or frilly because of the Barbie-girl image. Me? I wasn't afraid of the Barbie-esqueness. I embraced it. I didn't care at the moment if it provided warmth or depth. I just was looking for a fun, light read. I got that, and so much more.
Meet Nicolette Antonovich. She was a sophomore in high school dumped carelessly by Rod "Rascal" Pasqual two days before prom. Now, she's a junior in high school. She still has a crush on the juvenile boy who "broke" her heart and "ruined" her dream of the perfect prom night with the ever-so-perfect dress. There is Alison, her best friend. And, don't count out, the boy-next-door, Alison's very own brother, Jared. Jared, who seemed so ordinary. Jared who seemed like such a jerk. Such a brothery jerk. Now, almost out of nowhere, Jared is her right-hand man, the boy who is picking up the pieces. The boy who is LISTENING and SUPPORTIVE and always there for her. Could these one-time enemies, be on the way to true love??? And what will Alison do if her brother and best friend hook up and leave her out??? And why is she still holdiing on the dream of wearing that perfect prom dress? Why does it still contain the magical "essence" of all her romantic hopes and dreams?
Narrated by Nicolette, TOP TEN USES is a funny, honest look at life. Nicolette is a likeable girl. Jared is a VERY lovable guy. There are real problems. Bigger problems than an unworn prom dress. More than fluff is found within the pages. Deeper characters than you might be expecting. There is romance. There is friendship. There is family drama. And there are lists. Lists of reasons why the prom dress is still useful...
#10 Create a human-sized nest in which to hide from the world--primarily people you'd rather not be related to.
#7 Drape it over your bead, for while you may never be prom queen, at least you'll sleep in princesslike splendor (and avoid mosquito bites).
#5 Run the silky pink fabric up the school flagpole in solidarity with all girls who've been cruelly ditched, dodged, and dumped.
#4 Cuddle material; insert thumb in mouth, and do your best Linus impression until you can feel and act your age again.
Sitting in geometry the next morning, I made a startling discovery about my life. About life in general. (Besides the obvious that learning geometry was a waste of perfectly good brain cells.) I decided that life was like that Chutes and Ladders game you played when you were little. You spin the wheel and move your Mini-Me in a slow and steady progress toward Ultimate Happiness. Unless you land on a ladder that sends you racing to new heights. Or on a slide that tumbles you down, down, down... (53)