Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
What do you get when five great authors come together to create a paranormal prom anthology? In a word - greatness!
Meg Cabot starts off the collection with THE EXTERMINATOR'S DAUGHTER. When Mary shows up at Swig, an exclusive VIP club in Manhattan, it's not to socialize. No, she's on a mission to take out Sebastian Drake -- and by take out, I mean kill him with a crossbow. But when Adam, a fellow student at Saint Eligius, takes his own potshots at the dreaded Sebastian, things get a lot more interesting.
Lauren Myracle, the author of THE CORSAGE, has written what is probably the saddest, and creepiest, story of the bunch. All Frankie wants is for her best guy friend, Will, to realize that it's his destiny to ask her to the prom. To accomplish that goal, she drags Will and her other best friend, Yun Sun, to visit Madame Zanzibar, a fortune-teller. She's sure that Madame Z will proclaim that Will is her one true love, and that will be that. But the psychic is short on information, but does end up grudgingly handing over to Frankie a dried up old corsage, which she says will grant her three wishes. Over the next couple of days, however, Frankie will come to realize that she'll have to make some requests that she never in her wildest dreams would have thought of making.
MADISON AVERY AND THE DIM REAPER by Kim Harrison is the longest story in the group, and the most involved. When Madison ends up at the costume prom with a dud date, she's surprised to find one guy who can pick up the slack. Seth isn't like anyone she's ever met before. Unfortunately, before too long she'll find out why that is, and the picture it paints isn't pretty. There are deaths, white reapers, black reapers, grim reapers, and odd amulets. I really liked this story, and would be happy to see more of these characters in the future.
Michele Jaffe's story, KISS AND TELL, was by far my favorite. Miranda has a secret. Not only is she a student and a part-time driver/chaeffeur, but she also fights crime in her spare time. It turns out Miranda has special abilities that allow her to do things most regular teens can't do -- like, say, knock over a lamppost just by leaning on it. This particular day turns out to be stranger than the norm, though, when she picks up young Sibby Cumean, a strange girl who has an even stranger habit of kissing every boy she can find. When weird things start happening, Miranda's day turns into an action-adventure movie beyond anything she could have expected. I LOVED this story, and I HAVE to read more about Miranda and Sibby in the future! Yes, Ms. Jaffe, that's me begging!!
Last but not least is HELL ON EARTH by Stephenie Meyer. This is the story of Sheba, a demon on earth who loves bringing misery to others. Her plan is working pretty well, too, because nearly everyone at the prom is having a downright horrible time. Everyone, that is, except for Gabe, who seems not just happy but serene. By the time Sheba can figure out what's happening, it's too late, and prom just might end up having a happy ending after all.
PROM NIGHTS FROM HELL is a great paranormal anthology that teens and adults alike will enjoy. I highly recommend picking up a copy today!
I liked the Meg Cabot story and I thought the Stephenie Meyer one was cute. Michele Jaffe's was okay - it felt like it was part of some bigger story, but I wasn't motivated enough by it to check to see if it actually is. The Kim Harrison story also felt like the beginning of a larger project and I liked it enough to look it up. Sure enough, it is a new series she is working on. I look forward to reading more. The Lauren Myracle story was blah. She does give credit to "The Monkey's Paw" as the inspiration for the story, but it's much too close to the original (which I'm familiar with), so it was a bit of a yawn because I knew exactly how it would turn out. She should have had some neat twist that was different from the original story.
This was really good! I was planning on reading these stories one a night before bed, but they got gobbled up a bit quicker then expected. You never know with anthologies, and short stories aren't always my thing, but great collection! They all fit nicely with the theme and each one was engaging right from the start. Not a bad apple in the bunch!
But as usual with short stories, I want more! Only the second story, "The Corsage," seemed really like it had nowhere else to go. (And as usual, I marvel at silly bad use of the three magic wishes. Really, put some thought into these things, people!) The rest of them seemed like they could easily have made the base of a yummy novel! Kim Harrison's "Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper" actually seemed like it was an excerpt from a larger story -- so much so that I was a little dumfounded when I turned a page and there was nothing else. It left me feeling like I was hanging at the end of a chapter break instead of the end of a story. No real conclusion at all!
It's hard to pick a favorite -- "The Exterminator's Daughter" and "Kiss and Tell" are probably vying for first place, but all five stories are up there.
A group of teen chick lit's greatest writers come together for this altogether unique and interesting collection of short stories--not about perfect, normal proms, oh no, but ones that have been interrupted by, shall we say, the paranormal.
A vampire exterminator rushes to save her friend from her enemy's evil clutches. A magic corsage delivers wishes gone wrong to a group of friends. A girl is killed by the grim reaper at her prom, which also happens to be her seventeenth birthday. Two very special girls with clashing personalities must stick together to outwit the people who are after them. And angels and demons show up at one school's prom.
The five stories in this collection delight fans of books such as TWILIGHT--whose author, by the way, is one of the contributors to this short story collection. All the stories are interesting, amusing, and leave you wanting more.