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Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily…

Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom (edition 2013)

by Emily Franklin (Author), Brendan Halpin (Author)

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988240,600 (4.12)None
Feeling humiliated and confused when his best friend Tessa rejects his love and reveals a long-held secret , high school senior Luke must decide if he should stand by Tessa when she invites a female date to the prom, sparking a firestorm of controversy in their small Indiana town.
Title:Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom
Authors:Emily Franklin (Author)
Other authors:Brendan Halpin (Author)
Info:Walker Childrens (2013), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Brendan Halpin


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The writing isn't bad, and the story is fast-paced and easy to read, but it's no surprise to find out after finishing it that both of the authors are straight. Although the book has a lesbian main character and the plot revolves around the homophobia she faces, there's hardly any focus on her lesbian relationship, while the hurt feelings and heterosexual romance of her misogynist male best friend plays a major part of the story. It helps that his mother occasionally points out how gross and selfish he's being — like asking him to stop ogling women in front of her, although it doesn't stop his constant objectification of every girl around him — but it's disappointing how focused the story is on glorifying Tessa's male best friend and their friendship, while skipping over any relationships between women.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of “Tessa Masterson Goes to Prom” because, well … I'm cool like that. (Stop laughing. That shtick got me this far, sweetheart. The point is, I got to read it before you did and therefore, get to tell you how kick-ass it is.)

A simple plot summary might suggest that “Tessa...” is merely a ripped-from-the-headlines retelling of the events surrounding Constance McMillan's 2010 Mississippi prom controversy. However, in the deft hands of Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin, Tessa's characters come alive and the story becomes something unique, specific and utterly delightful.

Set against the backdrop of conservative small town which is slowly disintegrating, Tessa and her best friend Lucas struggle with questions of honesty and love. The poignant relationship between the pair, best friends since early childhood, was for me, a reminder of that bittersweet moment in time when romantic interests first overthrow the deep bonds of friendship in their emotional importance.

The big messages here are those of acceptance and loyalty. It's not hit-you-over-the-head stuff, but clearly woven through the unfolding events in a manner that should be accessible for both the intended Young Adult audience and the adult readers who love them. As a cultural commentary, I can only hope that this lovely little book will feel dated within the next decade, and be read then as a peek into what it was like BEFORE.

Halpin shines here (as always) with his ability to create teenage characters who walk, talk, think and behave like teenagers. It is one of the things which drew me to his work initially and one of the things which keeps me coming back.

“Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom” has taken up residence on my bookshelf, and not the casually overstuffed bookshelf in the bedroom, but the Here-To-Stay shelf in the living room. In this house, that's saying something. Mostly, it says, “These are the books we DON'T want the dog to pee on.” but in the story of our lives, that's kinda important. ( )
  laurustina | Jan 14, 2015 |
Review from ARC from NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this one. Not sure if my lesbian friends will love it or hate it. Be warned, though, there's a thinly disguised Lady Gaga character in the book. ( )
  kcarrigan | Aug 26, 2013 |
Lucas and Tessa have been best friends since grade school, and everyone seems to be waiting for the pair of them to start dating. Lucas decides to ask Tessa to the prom in a big way, and it backfires when Tessa tells him that she's been keeping a secret from him - she's a lesbian. Lucas is hurt, and soon it gets out (partially due to Lucas) that Tessa is a lesbian, she wants to take a girl to the prom, and she wants to wear a tuxedo to the prom. This ignites a homophobic uproar, and it looks like Tessa might not get to go to the prom at all - and that her friendship with Lucas is broken beyond repair.

I am so happy that this generation of LGBTQ youth have books like this available to them. Not too long ago (about 15 years ago, before I had even heard of the internet), I was in a similar situation to Tessa. My best friend (who happened to be a gay guy) and I wanted to go to the prom together - except with me in the tux and him in the dress. Unfortunately, we didn't keep that too secret, and the principal stated that if anyone came to the prom in "non-gender-conforming" clothing, we'd be expelled for the rest of the year. And since my best friend and I both had full-ride scholarships to college and couldn't wait to get the heck out of that backwards town, we stayed home and played video games instead (I have to say that playing Super Mario Kart until 3am hyped up on Mountain Dew and candy probably was much more fun than the prom, had we attended it).

So I can totally relate to this book. Every insult that Tessa endured (and there were a lot of them), it almost felt as if it was directed at me (and many of them had been in the past). The book, as a consequence, was kind of a hard read. But I loved how everything worked out in the end, and I felt some weird form of vindication at the end of it.

Definitely recommended. ( )
  schatzi | Jun 20, 2013 |
I absolutely loved this book! I didn't realize at first the exact premise of the story (for some reason when I first glanced at the synopsis all I saw was "girl wants to go to prom, her best (male) friend will make sure she does") and completely missed the entire fact that she was recently come out of the closet and therefore her school was forbidding her to go because of her "deviant tendencies", so the first chapter or so was a bit...surprising. The story, though, written both from Tessa and Lucas's POV, soon drew me in and before I knew it I didn't want to put it down.

It ended up being a fantastic story about friendship, being true to yourself, and accepting others' differences. It had a serious message, but still was rife with humorous touches throughout. Watching poor Lucas misinterpret every single one of Tessa's clues in the beginning, for example, is as funny as it is realistic. People do, as is said in the book more than once, tend to see exactly what they want/expect to see in any given situation. Watching things spiral out of control at the school and in town is horrifyingly true to life, and seeing how it all got started (unfortunately, because of Lucas's hurt feelings--though he certainly doesn't intend any thing like what happens to happen when he does what he did) is as plausible as it is scary. I put many things on hold to finish this book, because I just had to see how Lucas would possibly get Tessa to the prom. He does, and the journey to get her there is more than worth the price of the hardcover. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Feeling humiliated and confused when his best friend Tessa rejects his love and reveals a long-held secret , high school senior Luke must decide if he should stand by Tessa when she invites a female date to the prom, sparking a firestorm of controversy in their small Indiana town.

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