Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom Brendan Halpin Emily Franklin Book Review

I like reading books that seem to be inspired by current events. Y’all remember back when that school in Mississippi wouldn’t let that girl Constance go to prom because she was gay? Well, Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin explores this sort of story in greater detail.

Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom Brendan Halpin Emily Franklin Book Cover

Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom

Tessa and Lucas have been BFFs for FOREVA! So Lucas things that it is an obvious next step to ask Tessa to go to prom with him via a grand gesture. What Lucas never anticipated was Tessa saying no AND coming out as a lesbian. Tessa plans on bringing a girl to prom which causes a HUGE amount of drama in their small  town and some to picket Tessa’s presence at prom.

Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom is told using dual point of views and alternates between Lucas and Tessa. I thought the authors did a fabulous job with voices and making the two characters sound different. Lucas spends the book coming to grips with Tessa’s orientation and ultimately going through a bit of a self transformation, complete with life lessons and all. Tessa’s point of view deals with her coming out and her reactions to the prom debacle. It’s kind of funny because Tessa sort of expected people to know she was gay, but like no one figured it out until she told them. I liked that for once there is an LGBTQ book about a lesbian — usually it’s a gay character. I thought that was refreshing.

This is going to sound dorky, but I got SO angry while reading Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin because of the local treatment of Tessa. Now, I’m from one of the blue states and know a few people who went to prom in same sex couples, so I was infuriated that the town members wanted to block Tessa from prom and that the school administrators were SO homophobic. I mean, obviously these things happen in real life, and it sucks, but oh my god you guys this just BOTHERED me in fiction. And, well, I think it’s a good thing when you get your rough up over people not being treated with equality and dignity.

If you are looking for a contemporary that veers from the standard girl meets boy and falls in love with a slight problem along the way formula, then check out Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin. It does a decent job of telling a story that could be ripped from headlines while giving the characters both nuance and making the characters interesting. I was fairly invested while reading and was surprised to look up and see just how many pages I had read. Seriously, it’s a great read.

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.

Other reviews of Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin:

Rather Be Reading
The Excessive Baking Book Lover

Also reviewed:
Jenna And Jonah’s Fauxmance by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I can’t wait to read this; I have it downloaded and ready to go just as soon as I finish a few more books for review!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted..The CatchMy Profile

  2. I remember this whole story – kind of hard to miss it when it’s right next door! While I understand the prejudice against the gay community and where it stems from, I can’t in any way agree with it. I mean, who cares if so and so is gay/lesbian/etc.? Does that make them a different person than they were an hour before they came out? And why can’t they get fancied up and go to prom? The whole story made me a gross mixture of infuriated and annoyed. HOWEVER… I did feel a sense of relief and hope for our future that so many people came out to support this girl who had to deal with it. Great review!
    Candice recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday – You sound like an emo 13 year oldMy Profile

    • I did not know you were from that area. That’s nuts.

      I think that seeing people do things for the side of good, when these stories come out is affirming. Like I remember we had this anti-gay guy come to my college with signs, and all these students came out in support of our gay student population as allies and such. It was such a wonderful thing to see, and definitely fills one with hope.

  3. Glad you liked this one! It’s on my to-read list from NetGalley.

  4. Huh. I really like the premise of this one!
    Reut recently posted..Review: Illuminate by Aimee AgrestiMy Profile

  5. Estelle reviewed this book recently and was really bothered by the same things you were. I haven’t read it yet, but I feel like my insides would be churning and I would feel super uncomfortable. I despise when people are mistreated.
    Magan @ Rather Be Reading recently posted..Estelle: Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago RosenthalMy Profile

  6. This is one I’m planning to read within the next couple of weeks before it comes out. Glad to hear it’s going to be enjoyable! I’m interested to see how my interpretation of if might differ from yours as I’m someone from a Red State. I personally always fought against these types of reactions, but I’ve probably also seen them first hand more (yes, I’m from where Matthew Sheppard happened). Excited to read!
    Heidi recently posted..Audio Review: The Emerald Atlas by John StephensMy Profile

    • Yes, I bet our interpretations probably will be different from being raised in different areas/subcultures, because like even the united states has different subcultures and such, I think like where I’m from is a pretty liberal area for the most part.

      And wow, that’s crazy that you are from the area where Matthew Sheppard happened. At least you do what you can to fight those types of reactions.

  7. And this one is getting added to my tbr list to. What are you doing to me, April? I’m never going to finish my list at this rate XD
    Meghan recently posted..[discussion] Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

  8. I loved this one, although I too wanted to punch the school administrators/locals in their stupid, narrow-minded faces! Worst is the fact that people like this really exist. Like other people’s sexual decisions affect your life!
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted..Greta and the Goblin King Cover RevealMy Profile


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