In times of great stress, sometimes the only way to shut your brain off is to pick up a book that is completely the opposite of the serious books lining your nightstand. As much as I loved Siege And Storm, I could not pick it up at the end of a 14 hour day of coming in ON MY DAY OFF and handling various crises. Instead, I needed some lighter fare and thank goodness I could see the bright purple cover of Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas peeking out of my TBR pile. I picked the book up without regard to date and began reading and immediately my mind went to the light and funny moments of high school and prom and all it’s inherent awkwardness. Y’all, if you are having a rough time in your life and need to blow off some steam, read Ask Again Later for a dose of the best medicine, laughter.
In Liz Czukas’s Ask Again Later main character Heart LaCouer has a problem that probably many of us have never experienced, she’s been invited to the prom by two different guys and has no idea which one to pick. Prior to the invites, she had planned to go to prom with her group of theater group friends calling themselves No Drama Prom-a Crew. Heart is terribly indecisive, so her friends decide to shake a magic 8 ball for her which leads to a whole lot of ‘ask again later’ popping up. So, Heart flips a coin. Heads, she goes with Troy, the football jock just getting over a bad break up and who is best friends with her brother, this is a pity date. Tails, she goes with Ryan, one of her stage crew friends who is hiding a secret. Instead of just exploring one route, Ask Again Later details what happens on both dates much to my delight and humor, because you guys it is about to get funny up in here.
Heart was a character that I could really relate to in some aspects. First off, she doesn’t always make the best life choices. Also, she is one of those people who should probably not ever be drunk which just kind of adds to the hilarity. She also is going through a phase where she hates her name. You guys, I went through one of those phases as a teenager and as a little kid and my name is not even that bad. She is also involved with drama club, only unlike me, she is actually good at it. I just thought that she came off as a genuinely warm character and someone I would totally not hate in high school. ALSO! While she does ditch her friends for boys, I will not pretend to be holier than thou, I did that too as a teenager because whatever that’s what some teenagers do. In the end, she learns her lesson about that, just like I learned my lesson.
This is like my second parallel stories book in like 2 weeks (I also read 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil which is definitely way different and sci-fi). This book leans more heavily towards contemporary, like there is no sci-fi stuff going on at all, it’s just an exploration of what happens as an outcome of the different choices she could have made. What I love about the writing or maybe it’s the plotting is how Liz Czukas syncs up what happens in both plotlines. I liked that in each plot line, for example, Heart breaks her vintage dress. Like, it happens to both, but as a result of different circumstances. I also loved how the ending comes together. There is a romance. Heart is oblivious. It is not who you would expect at all. There’s no teams to be had here you guys, you will immediately read about one boy and root for him for the rest of of the book. I pinky swear.
Fans of Meg Cabot and Stephanie Perkins are going to love Ask Again Later. It’s breezy, contemporary, and fun. It doesn’t lay down an extremely heavy theme on you. It’s snarky. It’s hilarious. The characters are great. You are going to want to join the No Drama Prom-a Crew. You are hopefully going to love how it all ends. This really is the book I would recommend to readers who want a break from serious reading for something lighthearted and engaging. Frankly I love this book and will end on the note of : Schroeder <333333333333
Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher