Prom Nights from Hell by Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle

I read this book sometime last year but I was so disappointed with it I didn't even bother to review it. Everything felt like it lacked effort. Anyway, I've had this nagging unfinished feeling about not reviewing so here goes. This is a anthology of prom stories with some kind of paranormal aspect to them.

The good thing about this book is that a portion of the proceeds goes to firstbook.org, which is a charity I like. Um.. otherwise, it was in the average to meh range for me.

The Exterminator's Daughter by Meg Cabot – This was a story of a vampire slayer's daughter, trying to track and kill the son of her mother's killer (that would be Dracula, naturally). Each chapter was told from the point of view of Mary, this girl, or of Adam, another teen involved. Well this seemed very predictable. Teen + paranormal + prom, let's just have a vampire slayer going after a vamp at prom. Add a dash of back story, some other teens for perhaps a romantic angle. The end. This lacked kick and I didn't understand the point of switching narrators so much (to show how they liked each other? not really that necessary).

The Corsage by Lauren Myracle – Well there's a warning on the front of this story that this is inspired by "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W Jacobs, and talks about being careful what you wish for. This was definitely in the creepy camp, and the most memorable story in the book. The narrator is a silly teen girl with foot in mouth syndrome, who, just to get the boy she likes to take her to the prom, makes some really dumb decisions involving a bad voodoo-vibe object – an old corsage. I could have smacked this girl, but I still felt sorry for her after what happened.

Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper by Kim Harrison – well this girl was another one I could have happily smacked. Another one who didn't listen to other's advice and made rash decisions out of spite, then other rash decisions out of fear. But there was an interesting paranormal aspect about dark and light reapers, and about the protagonist's role in the future. The reapers reminded me of the shinigami in Full Moon o Shagashite. I felt like this could be the start of an interesting series, and there seemed to be more detail and thought to this world than some of the other stories. And I hope if this is the start of a series, that Madison starts acting after thinking. I would really like a teen protag that I do not want to smack. Why are they lacking in recent young adult fiction?

Kiss and Tell by Michelle Jaffe – Ok, so a protag (Miranda Kiss) who is a princess with special powers, hiding out as a town car driver. She befriends a girl (Sibby) who she drives from the airport. A special girl who has some other powers herself. Miranda decides to rescue her from a cult, some actiony stuff ensues, but the suspension of disbelief I had was hard to maintain. Not badly written, but too many leaps in logic to get the story going.

Hell on Earth by Stephenie Meyer – This was about a junior demoness spreading despair and unhappiness with mental nudges at a school dance, but she can't seem to get everyone unhappy because a boy at the dance seems unsucceptable to her powers – he's just full of goodness and light. Not only that, he senses the darkness in her and wants to help her. Not a bad idea, has a sort of open ended conclusion, but it also felt somewhat predictable to me. And a little sappy.

Sighh. I am old I think. Old and crabby about young adult books now.

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