Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Release date: March 11, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...
I didn't go to prom. Dances were never my thing. I went to two dances my freshman year and one my sophomore, and that was the end of it. Actually, I went to see a local production of Jekyll & Hyde, which I thoroughly enjoyed, the night of prom (though I can't remember if that was junior or senior year.) And that feels mighty fitting considering the premise of Ask Again Later, which was all the fun most people expect from prom without the trouble, expense, or drama--though Heart's prom certainly isn't free from any of that. :)

Heart is a full-on theater nerd, with the flair for the dramatic and the turns of phrase to prove it. She has every intention of going to prom with the No Drama Prom-a Crew, a big group of her friends. She has no interest in the romance that normally comes with prom, or romance in general. But, when, in the span of a day, she is offered two very different dates--neither of which she, in good conscience, feels she should turn down--Heart is in a pickle and resorts to a coin flip to make her decision. In a parallel narration, we see Heart live out each scenario and watch as the dual possibilities for her night collide into one inevitable ending.

Seriously, this book is such fun. The narrative is very well done, with big events showing up in both the Heads and Tails chapters, but with them affecting Heart in different ways. It's fun to see how the narratives converge--and especially in the way they do. ;) Heart is witty and quite her own character; it's delightful to be in her head and read her reactions and comebacks. Her banter with everyone--though Schroeder takes the cake, of course--is literally laugh-out-loud funny and such a treat.

And Heart's decision is one that's actually difficult! I feel like it would've been easy for the situation to be one in which the choice Heart should make it totally obvious and one could want to smack her for not making that decision, but both Troy and Ryan are sympathetic and Heart's situation is definitely one I'd not like to be in--even though one easily proves to be the better date. It's a lose-lose situation, which is why the parallel narrative works so well.

There's just so much going for Ask Again Later, and it's hard for me to imagine anyone not liking it. I mean, who doesn't like almost sickeningly adorable romance? Who doesn't like fun banter? Who doesn't like quick reads that bring you utter joy and cause giant, painful smiles? And maybe the predictability might bother some people, but those people are silly and don't know how to enjoy themselves, because Ask Again Later is simply delightful.

Oh, and if you're interested... The blog tour stopped by here on Tuesday, with a guest post from Liz all about her experience in high school (including how she met her husband doing theater!!) plus a chance to win an annotated ARC or signed finished copy of Ask Again Later, plus swag! :D

About the author:

Liz Czukas is a freelance writer who lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ask Again Later is her first novel. She collects college degrees she doesn't use, types too loud, and always has a song stuck in her head. In high school, Liz did go to two proms, but not at the same time.

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